When you think about it, motherhood is easy. Washing clothes, cleaning up, changing nappies, driving from one extra-curricular activity to another, cooking tasty and nutritious meals – it’s not rocket science. There’s nothing hard about being a mother.
What makes it hard is the pressure. The pressure not to fail. I’m not talking about looking good in front of your child’s friends or preparing a dinner they will eat, I’m talking about not failing them – your flesh and blood; the children of your womb. Of all the people in the world, you don’t want to fail them – the ones you love for dear life itself.
But you do. I do. We all do. We fail our children.
And that’s what makes motherhood hard. Dealing with not being the perfect mother.
I yell. I lose my patience. I forget to buy the muesli bars he likes. I feed him too much sugar. I forget to wash his favourite shirt. I forget to iron his favourite shirt. And when he complains I yell some more because I feel guilty. Guilty I missed it, guilty I yelled, guilty I am not the perfect mum.
Being the perfect mother would make mothering easy. I could fail in every other endeavour, but if I never let my children down, I would be happy.
This Mother’s Day my wish is to be the perfect mum. You know, the mum who looks like a glamazon, cooks like a Masterchef, styles her home like a magazine editor, and never, ever yells at her highly intelligent and angelic offspring – the perfect mum. Because somewhere in my mind, I believe she is the woman my children need, and I fall very short.
Sorry kids, Mummy isn’t perfect. Life isn’t perfect. Deal with it.
And they do.
They actually do remarkably well. They bounce back. They forgive.
And it makes them better children. Better people.
Because Mummy isn’t God.
Mother, you do an incredible job, but you won’t get it right all of the time. You will fail your children. Let it go. Apologise. Learn. Grow.
You aren’t the perfect mother. No one is. You aren’t God. He is. You cannot be God to your children. You will let them down, because if you didn’t, they would trust you more than they trust God. You don’t want that.
This Mother’s Day, and everyday forward, give yourself permission to fail. It’s okay.
You will fail your children, but He won’t. Because He alone is God.
Isaiah 49:15-16 “Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands…
Happy Mother’s Day.