“Mom, I was required to do it, but I didn’t know how. I did my best, but people kept looking at me like I was from Mars, so I know I wasn’t doing it right. I was so embarrassed and I felt ashamed!”
My daughter, Hannah (who has autism), was in a situation where she needed to know something I should have already taught her.
Have you ever asked yourself, “Am I a bad mom?” Or how about, “Are my child’s issues my fault?”
As moms, our greatest desire is for our kids to be happy, great Christians, great students, well-mannered, loved by all, successful, and dare I say it…perfect.
Ouch. That last one hurts. Is that true?
If it is true, that means our desire for ourselves is to be perfect.
Now wait a second. I know I’m not a perfect mom. There’s no such thing, and I don’t expect my kids to be perfect.
Yet there’s something gnawing at me from deep down inside.
Do I really know that?
Let’s look at this.
When we find out our kids are in trouble or in situations like Hannah was, why do we feel those insecurities? Aren’t we judging ourselves? We feel like we don’t measure up.
Don’t measure up to what? What are we demanding from ourselves? From our kids?
Hmmmm…perfection. I hate it, but I have to admit it.
I want to see my “Mom’s World” in reality.
As a mom, my world is messy. I have not taught Hannah everything she should know by this age. I still worry that I didn’t do enough for my other children, especially in the early days of Hannah’s autism. I don’t always have a sparkling clean house or have time to cook.
But reality contains more than this. It includes the time I spent teaching Hannah sign language, how to talk again, social skills, to not flap her hands and walk on her toes, teaching her everything that most kids learn from their environment, home schooling her to help her catch up academically, etc.
It also includes spending as much time as I could with each of my kids: going to my daughter’s soccer games and concerts; my son’s football games; being their greatest cheerleader; teaching them about autism and seizures, what they could do to help Hannah and how to connect with her.
It includes my husband taking the kids wherever they needed to go when he could, helping with laundry, cooking, and dishes.
More than anything else, the reality is my “Mom’s World” contains God’s grace. There is absolutely no way I could have done any of this without Him. I know myself. I could not have done it. When I could no longer hold on to Him, He held on to me.
He was there every step of the way – guiding us to the right place at the right time to get the best possible care for all my kids.
In short, we don’t have to be perfect. We aren’t God – not in our lives or our kid’s lives.
God knows our hearts. He knows and wants what’s best for each of us.
As we bring Him our imperfect selves and our imperfect kids in prayer, He blesses, covers, and helps in ways only He can.
The answer to the question, “Am I a bad mom?” is “No. I’m not. I’m an imperfect mom.” I’m starting to be okay with that, as I learn how much God loves me and my kids.
What about when situations come up like Hannah was in? Maybe He uses those situations to help us to be okay with our imperfect selves and our imperfect kids, and letting Him be the Perfect One in our lives.