It’s not glamorous. There, I said it!
There is nothing Facebook-worthy, or Instagram pretty about spagetti strung all across the kitchen floor. Cherrios lingering in the corners of your home, urine lined-toilets because little boys can’t aim, or a teenager assaulting you with language heard at school….
Yes, there’s nothing Hollywood or hopeful about diarhea crawling up a toddlers back, or therapies and treatments for children with ADD, autistism, or a thousand other behaviors.
Where Motherhood is concerned….There seems only to be silent heroines.
Wonder Woman takes the screen, hard-bodied athletes promise “getting fit” is the answer to our dreams…
But reality is, baby fat, baggy clothes, and powdered shampooed hair, have no praise in the real-life “Mommy-world”.
Yet, every one of those thirty-thousand times you wake up at night to feed your nursing infant, put heat on your back from the sling you’ve been dangling your children in…every time you bend a knee to pray for your growing men or women…God sees.
Yes, He sees and He is near.
And what I think we fail to tell our mothers, the stories and truths about the honest pathway we try to decorate, polish, sugarcoat, or deceive about…is that the road to raising children isn’t easy.
The journey to exceptional parenting doesn’t just come with “hopes” or “wishing,” but a fierce tenacity to give yourself away, day after day, hour after hour, in sacrificial surrender to the little eyes peering up at you.
And every home-run, has countless strike-outs, every great success story, is often laced in a thousand tries and failings.
Because, this journey is far from any perfect, clean, t.v. series. It’s challenging, yet beautiful, requires guts, strength, courage, and fearlessness…
And we must each wrestle with our own personal demons, letting kindness win, grace and humility be our champion…not pride, praises from men, or letting our own egos win thousands of untold scars.
We must fight against the temptations of jealousy and doubt when “perfection” smiles on Instagram, other families are offering only their perfectly edited photos…
I suggest we dig deep into our own past, and shovel out our own ugly, because there is nothing like children to surface what’s been dormant in us, hiding…
And children are gifts from heaven, they don’t need us to show them hell on earth.
And what I think most moms really don’t realize is…
It is o.k. to be unseen and unheard, to lock yourselves away, spending lazy Saturdays wearing pajamas, playing music, and dancing wildly to Disney.
- It’s o.k. to let your kids make you feel young and silly, play games of peek-a-boo, taking the adventure into their imaginations of tea parties, theaters, and stories made up from puppet shows.
- It’s o.k. to let your children remind you of laughter, simplicity, silly songs, and easy listening.
- It’s o.k….and even wise…to speak less and listen more, to let your kids tell you what they love and who they are (As long as it is in the context of Scripture)
- It’s o.k. to not be in a thousand activities, chasing some neighbors idea of perfection, being like the family who has careers and achievements and their children leaving to sports and events every night of the week.
- It’s o.k. to play an unstructured game of kickball, take a long, calm stroll along the sidewalk in your neighborhood…
- It’s o.k. to bypass fancy dinners, where everyone feels stiff and rigid, and instead let spaghetti string from the high chair, while everyone smiles, laughs, talks and prays together.
- It’s o.k. to be friends with your adult children. When they are grown, your roll changes, and parents can step back intentionally from commanding and demanding, to simply being a sounding board…someone safe, and welcoming, and non-judgemental.
- It’s o.k. to let your children fall, to let them own their mistakes, to make them responsible to pick up the pieces from the things they’ve done….
- But, it’s also o.k. to encourage them when they most need it. It won’t make them weak, soft, helpless, or dependent.
- It’s o.k. for YOU to get a hot cup of tea, turn on cinnamon and orange slices to simmer….just to make it through another day.
- It’s o.k….in fact…it’s vital for your children to hear scripture, through worship songs, age-appropriate Bible reading, through play and your testimony. Always making room for random conversations you never expected, because the Holy Spirit prompts you….
- It’s also o.k. to sneak away for dates with your husband. To find a few hours where kids enjoy babysitters, so your relationship can be the strongest, most loving relationship your child ever sees.