She brought a big bag of snacks for her kids, again. Sitting in the gym all day, this seems to be a good decision. But all it does is make me feel incompetent as a mother. She seems to never forget anything, never get ruffled, always looks cute, makes school lunches, cooks breakfast, has the “Mom” shirt for everything, and brings snacks and drinks for her kids everywhere they go. She’s THAT mom. I’m sure you know her. She does a great job and though she probably doesn’t mean it, you always feel a bit unqualified around her.
Then there’s me: a perfect picture of “scattered.” I do well to remind them to take their medicine each morning. Sometimes, I have time to make sure they eat breakfast but most of the time I’m yelling from my bathroom for them to get some cereal as I finish up getting ready for work. They’re all 12 and older. They can take care of themselves sometimes. As we’re rushing out the door to go to work and school, I almost always have to run back in to get something I forgot. They eat lunch at school every day and I try to grab something for myself as I’m running out the door. They grab clothes from the dryer… there’s ALWAYS clothes in the dryer… if they have clean clothes at all. Sometimes, I’ll have several baskets of clean clothes waiting to be put up. There’s dirty dishes in the sink from the night before and as I shut the door, I put it out of my mind. There’s always tonight.
I definitely do not have it all together. I have a list a mile long for things which I’m responsible. I have long lists at work, long lists at home, long lists with kids, reminders that pop up on my phone all the time because I can’t remember anything without them and I also try to squeeze in a little “me” time. Usually, that time is best spent taking a nap! I spend a lot of time feeling like I have too much to do and can’t do anything well, including taking care of my children.
But here’s what I do make sure happens: When we are home, we sit at the table for dinner and talk, sometimes for hours. Car time and table time are both “phone free” zones so that conversation can take place. Sometimes it’s needed, sometimes it’s craved, and sometimes it’s just for fun. Other times, it may be quiet, but the option is there to talk to each other. I do my best to have a devotion with them at night and pray with them. I take the time to rub their feet and/or back most of the nights they request it. I tell them I love them every single day. I make sure they do their chores and follow through with responsibilities, but I show grace too because I don’t always follow through either. They know I make mistakes because I tell them, and apologize. I work outside of the home to help provide for their needs and I also juggle all the practices, games, tournaments, and extracurricular activities.
And I try to remember this truth: No matter what is going on or how busy we are or how many mistakes I make as a Mom, I was chosen by God to be exactly the Mom my children needed. He chose me to be their Mom because He knew they needed ME. He knew that I would struggle to remember things and be scattered. He knew that I wouldn’t be the “always put together and on top of things” Mom. He knew that I would give my very best and still not feel good enough. And He reminds me that I am. Good enough. And more.
I love my children. I do the best I can for them. And when another mom seems to handle her children better than I do, I am going to do my best to remember my value as a mom. I’m going to remind myself of the good things I do. And I will NOT allow Satan to use another Mom to make me feel less valued or important.
To the Momma who feels like me sometimes, you are more than enough for your children. God knew what He was doing when He gave you those precious treasures. Pick your head up, put your best foot forward, acknowledge your need for God in your life, and be the Mom He created you to be. You may not be perfect, but you are the perfect Mom for your children. The imperfectly perfect Mom. We all do different things well so stop comparing. Other Moms are not the enemy! Other Moms choose different paths that are best for them and their families. It will be different from yours and that is ok.
And when “that mom” walks into the gym with all her snacks and forethought, throw your snarky and bitter thoughts out the window and be happy for her. I promise you, there’s other things she struggles with in which you are amazing! They just might not be as publicly seen. Focus on Christ, yourself, and your family. You are right where you need to be. And your children have a wonderful Mom.