Moms: Okay is Good Enough

She leaned in and put her arms around my neck. I could tell she was about to whisper-spit into my ear and I tried not to cringe:

“I love you, Mommy.” She paused and took a deep breath as if she was gearing up to say something really important.”You’re the best mom–I’ve ever had.”

She squeezed tighter and I tried not to laugh at her words.

But when I pulled her back, she had the most sincere look on her face. I really was the best mom she’d ever had. Of course, I thought about pointing out the obvious fact that SHE’D NEVER HAD ANOTHER MOTHER. But I didn’t want to ruin the moment.

I’m that person that if you compliment my dress, I will tell you I got it on sale. If you like my hair, I will tell you it needs to be washed. If you tell me something good you see in me, I’m the first to tell you something bad I see in me. It’s not a good trait, the deflection of compliments.

I’m a self-admitted average mom.  Life can’t all be baby kittens and puppies (thank God, because that’s just more work for mom). My children see my humanity more than anyone else. They know that I make mistakes. They know that sometimes I lose it, yet they are the first to offer me grace. It still amazes me that even with all my junk, they want me.

good mom

Moms are often their own worst critics. We compare ourselves to others and when we don’t match up, we have guilt.  It’s time to start diffusing the-too-good-to-be-true comparisons that perplex us and remember that life’s greatest lessons are usually in the ugliness we try to hide.

It’s okay if your kids clothes don’t match.

It’s okay if you don’t cook from scratch.

It’s okay if you let them watch too much TV.

It’s okay if you don’t share your sweet tea.

It’s okay for you to wish for bedtime.

It’s okay if you need a glass of wine.

Shake off the guilt. The would have’s and should have’s don’t define you, Mom. But love does.

Some of the best encouragement I’ve received as a mom has come from other moms, not gloating in their perfection or looking down at me. It’s come from other exhausted, weary moms who let me in behind their imperfection and confide, “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done; my kids do that _____ (fill in the blank), too. Want to compare notes over sweet tea?”

Good moms learn to embrace the okay and doing so releases us from nasty mom guilt and actually makes us better mothers.

I want to be on the Honor Roll of Motherhood and thank my people for their support. Who doesn’t? But a good mom is really the combination of less-than-perfect mothering with a bit of His glory thrown in. It’s loving the life you were given—as crazy as your tardy excuses may be—and finding God in the mix of it. Yesterday I corned my teen daughter in my closet after a rough morning. I put my arms around her neck and hugged her until the tension melted away. I don’t always get it right, but love is enough.

Because here’s the thing: Unless God wills differently, we are the only mothers our children have. They see us at our best and our worst, but at the end of the day when we cut up their chicken into bite-sized pieces or kiss a boo boo or snuggle on the couch to read a favorite book, that’s better than okay.

It’s good.

You’re an okay mom and that’s enough.


Comments

  1. 1

    Deidre says

    Awesome timing for reading this post…my 9 and 12 year old boys both got grounded today for doing the dumbest things. And boy did I yell! I really had to bite my tongue to keep from cussing and really about pulled my hair out! And of course, the sermon today at church was on grace of all things. Thanks for sharing your heart in such a relateable way and reminding me that it will be okay. :)

  2. 5

    says

    I am trying to adopt the “good enough” principle in my own home, and it’s been a great relief. Thank you for your encouragement. You’re a gift, Kristen Welch.

  3. 7

    Robin in AZ says

    I’ve been reading a blog written by a young gal who was in foster care most of her life. I think she would have been happy with an ok mom.

  4. 8

    MJ says

    What sweet words of encouragement. It’s such healing balm to my weary soul. I’d say “you have no idea…” but obviously you do!

    I do wish for bedtime….especially when the toddler hasn’t had a nap (after 5 tries of putting him down, of course) Sometimes I wish for it before my feet hit the floor in the morning. Pretty sad.
    I gave them mac-n-cheese for lunch today. (how did you know?)
    No wine…but a few too many cookies tonight, that’s for sure.

    Mothering (and homeschooling) is definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done. In February 2010 we moved our family 800 miles, bought a fixer upper, adopted a special needs 4yo child from another country, and then got pregnant. The tumultuous pregnancy (can I say FINALLY???) ended with a beautiful, strong-willed miracle child in January of 2011. I still carry the weight of it all… “are we bonding OK?” “Should we have moved?” “Will or are they behind in school?” “Have we warped them already?!?!” “Will our sn child ever ‘get it’ or be normal?” It’s hard to remind myself, to just BE good enough. Believe I’m good enough. God didn’t give my kids to someone else. For whatever reason, He gifted me. eek! If it’s good enough for Him, it’s good enough for me. ;)

    Thank you for showing me how being ‘good enough’ is not a silver or bronze. After reading this, it’s gold, because when Mom is good, everyone is good. When my toddler grabs my neck and says, “I yuh you,” that’s gold, and I need to remember that. day by day, minute by minute.

    Thanks for that.

  5. 9

    Natalie says

    Amen sister!!! God’s grace covers all our imperfections. HE gave me the most beautiful funny little girl and another little princess on the way. I am so blessed grateful and yes overwhelmed. With God all things are possible from crayon on the wall to a 4:30 am wake up call. Thank you

  6. 10

    Mary says

    Your words were perfect. Thank you for sharing for it gave me exactly what I needed today – justification. :)

  7. 11

    Ashley says

    So very very true. This came at a time where I was certain I must be the most horrible mom on the planet. Even though you know these words are true sometimes it takes seeing them from someone else to help it sink in. Thanks :)

  8. 13

    Mrs. R. says

    Awwwwww…..thank you so much! This really hit the spot today!!!

    I was just thinking yesterday that I’ve ruined our preschoolers for life because I’m letting them watch too much TV and too many videos right now—-but it’s because we have two very sick family members with new and probably chronic illnesses.

    And, as our buddy Hermie the Caterpillar often reminds us, God isn’t finished with us all yet! LOO-jah! (as our precious son used to say!!) :-)

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