Even at seven and one-and-a-half years old, I still check on them a couple times a night to make sure they’re breathing. Especially if one of them is sick or has had any kind of medicine.

I secretly get excited when one is sick because it means they will just lay with me in their PJ’s and snuggle.

At the park or after school, if I see or hear about another kid being mean-spirited to mine, the Mama Bear in me comes out and I want to throw blows and that that child down. Even if they are two.

I compare every other kid I meet to mine, and always come to the same conclusion – mine are better. (No offense.)

When I think about life with either of them, it seems so gray, boring and incomplete.

I will spoil them rotten as often as possible simply because I love watching their faces light up.

I get sad that I can’t remember well what they were really like even just a year ago; they change so much…so fast.

Even when they resist, or erupt in tears, I do what’s best for them because I’m raising people, not just having babies.

I sympathize when my head tells me not to. I discipline when my heart resists.

I cave when their big, blue eyes bat at me and they say “Mommy” in that sweet and tender voice.

I hold strong when their big, blue eyes bat at me and they say “Mommy” in that sweet and tender voice.

I’m a Mom. It’s what I do.

There are two fundamental truths that Mothers will continue to pass down through the end of time. One is that regardless of the situation, the decision or the outcome…there is always something for a Mom to feel guilty about. The other is that every Mom will fail miserably in some way, shape or form. And our daughters and sons will recognize that failure and be determined to make it better when they have kids.

But what we fail to recognize in our guilt and failure — what will give us comfort and relieve some of the pressure — is that this has been the cycle since Eve. It’s a continuous ebb-and-flow of doing great, and failing greatly. Thousands of years later, the cry is the same. I’m sure Eve’s daughter at some point said, “How could Mom have been such an idiot?!”

Sometimes, as I’m scratching Jaana’s back, I wonder what the cry to her child will be. Will she say, “I swear I will never be on the computer as much as your Grandma!” Or, “She never just played Barbies with me. All I ever wanted was for her to sit and play Barbies.”

As all mothers have done from beginning of time to today, we do the best we know how to do. And somedays our best is better than others. We love our children with as much love as we can hold in our human form. We make fools out of ourselves for them; we also take them for granted. We smother them with love and affection; we also put them to bed at night and wonder if they even felt like we loved them at all that day. We notice every little detail of their faces; we also study them some mornings and wonder when all the freckles erupted, or when they got so tall. We think we know every little thing about them; and then realize we might not really know them at all.

It’s the best, worst, hardest and most rewarding job to have. The only way to do it and do it remotely well is through prayer and the wisdom and strength of Christ. Because really, at the end of the day, knowing I’ll fail them eventually at their greatest point of need scares me to death. But if I pursue each day with Jesus, then I know that even when I do fail, He will be there to mend their broken pieces and stop the hemorrhaging the way only He can. He’s the ultimate Mama when our humanity gets in the way of our own mothering.

As I celebrate this Mother’s Day, I’m asking for a fresh anointing and realization of what motherhood means. I don’t want to take any moment for granted. This is a precious job I’ve been given. Rather, a most precious job I’ve been blessed with. And if I could do it free of the chains of guilt and failure, what a valuable legacy I could leave with them.

“Lord, I serve you. I serve you just as my mother did. 
You have set me free from the chains of my suffering.” 
(Psalm 116:16)

4 thoughts on “Mothering

  1. catching up over here…so true. thanks for the reminder. we will fail, but fearing it or obsessing over it—isn't the point.what a good point that generations can hopefully improve upon our parenting and turn to Jesus even more. I know my kids will be turning to Jesus [or counselors, lol] a lot!

  2. Monica,you are such a wonderful example of being a mother to me. I can only hope I am half the mom you are. Hopefully, that will happen soon :) Love you!

  3. Monica, I love what you write, how you write. You make me want to be a better person and mother. I wish you the happiest of mothers day's. You are a truly wonderful women. Love to you. – Jennifer

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