On Being a Good Mom :: A Letter to Myself as a New Mama
Dear Younger Me…the new mom…yeah you, trying so hard to be a good mama…
I just wanted to write you a note to say YOU ARE DOING SUCH A GOOD JOB!
Seriously, I know you are worried you are getting it all wrong, but really I know you are worried about what other people think. You see in your mind, the jury is still out on whether you are “a good mom” or not. Let me let you in on a secret. No one will EVER be able to tell for sure if you are a good mom by what they see you doing. It is the stuff that you do that no one sees that matters. The big embarrassing tantrum in the grocery store…the mismatched socks…the broken arm…the messy van…the spit up on your shirt…those are NOT the markers that define your mothering. No, ma’am. “Good Mom” is not a badge you earn…rather, it is the sacrifice you embrace. It is the nighttime waking, laundry folding, grocery shopping, small bite cutting, pediatrician calling, cool-headed deep breathing, stroller pushing, band-aid sticking, book reading, rocking chair rocking, throw up cleaning, Tylenol measuring, shoe hunting, crumb sweeping, eyes-in-the-back of your head watching, timeout giving, bedtime snuggling, sandwich crust cutting, nose wiping, toenail clipping, Jesus-help-me praying that you do over and over and over.
And don’t you for one second think it is a checklist to do ALL THE THINGS perfectly…because that is simply impossible. The goal is not perfection…the goal is not to arrive.
Instead, think of each little task as a tiny little drop in a very big tank…It is slow. You think it isn’t making any difference, but I promise, you will be amazed at how it all adds up.
And goodness, you will mess up. A lot. But just say you are sorry. Pray. Let it change you. And press on. Drop by drop. Because even “good mamas” can’t change their kid’s hearts. Let the Holy Spirit do in your kids what only He can.
So you just keep drip-dropping behind the scenes, sacrificially. It won’t always be fun, but it always matters. And when your kids get older, some things will get easier, but some things get harder. You will gain confidence, but you will always need reminders not to worry about what others think. It only matters what your sweet Jesus thinks of you. Your worth is not defined by what you do– only by what He has done for you, and He is singing over you. He never leaves you. He picks you up when you fall. He wakes you up each morning with joy. He delights in you, so delight in him. Look for him in it all.
Singing His Grace,