The Perfect Mom Badge.

So, I am no expert in parenting. I can't imagine there really is an "expert" out there, but there are plenty who know more than me. I just have the little bit of knowledge that I have gained from being a Mommy for seven years now. I can't believe it's been seven years since I first brought home a baby Lindsey all bundled up, screaming because she did not want to be in that car seat for the first time! I remember feeling the most insecure I have ever felt in my life. In fact, I distinctly remember the moment the Doctor plopped her down on top of me, thinking to myself:

"I have absolutely no clue what I'm doing."

I had never felt such unconditional love as I did in that moment. I have also never felt so much self doubt as I did in that moment. The combination was overwhelming. We settled into life as all new parents do, learning as we went. Every age comes with a new set of demands. In those early months it's just feed, sleep, change diapers. Then all of a sudden that cute little bundle of joy starts screaming in protest, crying to get their way...telling you NO, and the little routine you just finally figured out gets thrown out the window and it's time for a new way of doing things.

I struggled so much with my need to perform early in my parenting. I thought I had to keep up with this thought process and that way of doing things. Talk about exhaustion. It is not possible to "do it all" and we would be better off to accept that truth early on. There are a couple big things the Lord has taught me thus far in motherhood that I think all of us are on a journey to learn....

I am not a perfect mommy.

Yep, I said it. No perfection here. Sometimes, I raise my voice. Sometimes, I let my kids eat treats before dinner. Sometimes, I forget to wash my daughters uniform for Monday morning. Absolutely no perfection here. I am a messy woman raising two beautiful girls in a messy world. Can I just say, though, that I have found complete liberation in the knowledge that God is not waiting for me to earn my "Perfect Mom Badge"?! In fact, he constantly whispers to stop trying so hard. What I am getting in bucket loads out of this motherhood thing is...grace. God's grace is my anchor in every moment of this roller coaster ride called parenting. So, all you mom's out there maybe trying to earn that perfection badge, give yourself a break. God is not demanding perfection from you. He wants you to be you, whatever that looks like, and stop trying to keep up with that trend or this idea. He made you to be the mommy you are and he gave your kids to you because they need YOU! They don't need that other mom that seems like she has it all together...they need you.

The other thing I think I have learned is to keep things simple. Sometimes, I get it in my head that more is more...but usually less is more. My girls would rather sit with me and read a book than for me to go out and spends thousands of dollars on a dream vacation. It's the little things they will remember, and I have to remind myself of that everyday. Chatting on the way to school, going out for pizza, teaching my girls how to do dishes...these are things that will shape their little hearts and minds. They don't need lavish luxury...they just need me, pointing them to Jesus.

Between the pile of dishes and mounds of laundry...that is where you will find me giving my family my whole heart, doing the best I know to do. Some days, I get it right, other days I don't. In all days...God's grace is enough...more than enough. May you know his grace and see it in the eyes of your kids, and the laughter from their lips.


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