What Every Mom Needs to Hear Today

It’s the first Monday of summer.

There’s a lot of joy up in the house this morning. And by that I mean my kids are still sleeping. We are all fine with that,

I am a mother slash referee slash encourager slash cook slash comforter slash resident laundry queen slash chief finder of all things lost. So in other words, what’s a summer break?

I love this time with my kiddos. It’s slow and I’m not yelling HURRY UP a hundred times every morning or making another peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Instead I’ve tossed out the kid’s alarms and I’m gonna let them make their own lunch.  I control the tendency to constantly be plugged in (watching TV, playing on the computer and video games) with a little program I like to call “For every hour you read, you earn an hour of screen time.” I own summer.

But not really because I have to make myself relax and enjoy my children. Being the “fun mom” doesn’t come naturally to me and on more than one occasion my kids have reminded me that my OCD is showing. Ahem. It’s also challenging working from home (Mercy House and book writing) without always being on the computer. [My plan: wake up before them and go to bed after them-thank you, room darkening curtains.]

Moms don’t get breaks. But sometimes we need a breakthrough.

motherneeds

What Every Mom Needs to Hear (on the first day of summer):

You are doing a good job

There’s no manual in motherhood, no report cards or progress reports. It’s a lot of winging it, praying and breath holding. Our day-in-and-day-out monotony is a lot like a giant art project–up close it’s messy and out of proportion, and we wonder what our grade is at the end of a long day. But when we step back, we can see the big picture. And what we see is a work of art. And that’s enough. You might have hands covered in paint, but I want you to know you are doing a good job.

Your value isn’t based on the way your home looks

Don’t let that enormous basket of laundry in the middle of the floor judge you. Your sticky counters and the toys scattered on the floor are proof that you are alive. Your house isn’t a museum, it’s a place to live. Your worth isn’t measured in square footage or a white glove; it’s love. Don’t look at the dust, look at the aftermath of your life at the end of each day and count your blessings.

This will get easier (and then harder) and then easier:

Just when you think your teen couldn’t push you further, he does. Just when you think she couldn’t sleep less in that crib, she does. Dear Mom, it will get easier. This hard pressed phase will end; it will bring another. Sometimes with room to breathe and sometimes it takes your breath away. But with every passing day, the ebb and flow of parenting, you both are growing.

When you clean up that mess (again), you are serving God:

I found a trail of orange Cheeto fingerprints yesterday. I bent down low to wipe and I remembered, whatever I do unto the least of these, I do unto Him. Wiping up spills, pairing stray socks-scrubbing grass stains–it doesn’t feel like service. It feels like work-the kind that is endless. Your hard work-the day in and out duty-it’s service to God. Don’t you ever forget it.

It’s okay to be okay:

I’ve had good days in mothering (no vomit and a finding forgotten chocolate) and bad days (projectile vomit and out of chocolate). But at the end of the week, the ups and downs equal the grand total of average. And that is okay. Just because we can’t see hair or grass grow, doesn’t mean it isn’t. Our children can flourish in our imperfection.

Tomorrow is a new day:

At the end of the day, you crawl exhausted into bed and think: Today didn’t go as planned. You yelled too much, the kids argued about everything, the macaroni boiled over, and you served macaroni again. It’s okay, Mom. Tomorrow is a new day, a fresh start to hug twice as long and find new mercies.

You are loved:

Your kids might not be old enough or kind enough to tell you how much they love you, so I will. They love the way you get the bandaid just right on the boo boo. They love that there’s always clean clothes in the drawer. It’s like magic. They love when you cut up their fruit bite-sized and wait in carline every day.  And they love when you say no, because deep down, they know it’s said to protect them in some way. They love you in case you wondered.

 


Comments

  1. 5

    says

    i needed to hear the one about serving god when i am cleaning crumbs. the meals and crumbs are the hardest for me right now. our kids are big, so they actually chore it up for us and don’t need a lot of intervention from me. but. the food. holy cow. the food.

  2. 7

    JR says

    I love this post. Thank you for putting into words what deep-down I know to be true but forget over and over.

  3. 8

    says

    I figure the best way to measure if you’re doing alright as a mom is if when you sit down every breathing member of your home piles in and around your lap. :) It’s moments like those that I can cut myself a break and remember what really counts.

  4. 11

    Rachel says

    Thank you for this. I have been stressing out over all the end of year stuff, the house stuff, and the first HUGE vacation we are taking next week. So stressed that my jaw hurts from all the (unconscious) teeth clenching i am doing. Last night I ripped the house apart looking for library books (that have apparently grown legs and walked away) and discovered so.much.mess. Oiy.

    I recently committed to journaling my prayers and such and found the perfect journal to do it in – on the cover it says “she didn’t have to be PERFECT because she was PERFECTLY LOVED”. I need to read it every day.

    Thanks for doing what you do . I personally have been blessed by you :)

  5. 12

    Bec from Melbourne says

    Thanks. We are entering survival mode here – I am 40 weeks pregnant with number four and my eldest is 6. I think I will print out today’s post and put it on the fridge.

    • 12.1

      Bec from Melbourne says

      P.S. I DID print it and put it on our fridge, and kept looking at it during pre-labour. Baby number four has arrived :)

  6. 14

    says

    As a grandma who is every bit as busy as I was raising my children, I appreciate the freshness with which you share your story. Your message is real and yes you are doing a great job.

    Our life as an empty-nester grandma/grandpa got turned upside down when our three year old grand daughter was diagnosed with ALL (leukemia). This grandma has been pressed into duty ever since with barely a day off and it is mostly so that my children (daughter and son-in-law) can feel like they are going to make it and have their ‘arms lifted’ as they walk through this incredibly trying circumstance.

    You can follow our journey with her at http://shoshana.burndive.com/
    And you can follow our Healthy Horizons Family Farm at http://www.rentonorganic.com
    The Lord pressed upon my heart to convert our large lawn into productive garden and we figured it was because of the economy but now know God knew our needs for fresh food for Shoshana.

  7. 15

    Adria says

    Omgoodness!!!! This is EXACTLY what I needed to hear today. My mind is a mess and my heart lost. You brought me back. Thank you!

  8. 16

    says

    I am beyond the “crumbs” stage in my life and as children get older, the problems seem to get bigger in proportion…still your post is a wonderful reminder that I don’t have to be a perfect mom. Thanks for a great reminder today – especially that I am loved by God, regardless of the circumstances!
    Blessings,
    Bev

  9. 18

    kelly says

    THANK YOU!! i needed to hear this today..its been really rough lately..i dont know why my 3 sweet girls turned into angry “ITS ALL ABOUT ME” monsters…i hate to put the blame on their ages and thats the typical thing at these ages, but man oh man…i dont know how my hubby and i are gonna survive this……

  10. 19

    Leah says

    Oh My Goodness! I have actually printed this off and posted it on my bulletin board to see this everyday.. This is exactly what I needed read! Thank you! Thank you! Bless you!

  11. 22

    says

    Thank you for this remeinder Kirsten and for the encouragement. I was thinking the same thing the other night when the children all went outside to play spotlight and I resisted the urge to seize on the solitude and grab my laptop. Instead, I put on my gumboots and played with them. Best decision! It’s early winter here though, so I do envy you northerners, coming into your long lazy summer days. But, I get to wear boots!

  12. 23

    says

    I just shared this on my personal and Meaningful Mama Facebook page. It is what we all need to hear, and you put it so beautifully and succinctly. Thank you for your encouraging words.

  13. 24

    Kim Luptowski says

    Thank you so much! Sometimes the stress overwhelms me and I forget the “little” things, my children’s beautiful smiles and the cuddles on the couch! This made me stop and think and thank God for my 3 precious miracles!

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