Once my coffee is ready, we all plop in front of the tv with the pop tarts I’ve tossed at the kiddos until I’ve had at least two cups of coffee. However, since this time is always interrupted with, “I need help wiping!” Or “I need more milk!” Or “She took the toy I was playing with!” I hardly ever get to enjoy my coffee while it’s hot, extending our wake-up routine until 2pm some days.
The rest of the day is spent simply surviving. I attempt to catch up on writing, correspondence, and phone appointments as my spawn tear apart my house, demand food periodically, and fight over toys.
Before evening rolls around, I’m eyeing the bottle of wine and wondering if it’s too early for a glass.
… Or three.
Today, with three kids pulling me in three different directions, I crawled back into bed and drew the blankets up over my head, hoping they wouldn’t find me. But find me they did.
As challenging as I find the mundane duties of motherhood, and as insane as my children regularly make me, I would never choose to give up this stay-at-home-mom gig. There’s no one else I’d rather have kiss my kids’ skinned knees, or teach them to count, or keep them from killing themselves in the variety of creative ways that they come up with. While it’s not possible for every family, adjusting our budget and lifestyle so that I can stay at home is a “sacrifice” my husband and I are happy to make, for the trade off of having these little ones home with me, hearing every word, and watching my every move.
I wish it didn’t completely drain me of emotional energy to keep up with the mountain range of laundry that’s taken up residence in the basement, or the collection of science experiments that are living in the dirty dishes that have taken over the sink and the surrounding areas, but I want my kids to see my imperfections. Certainly not as something to aspire to, but so they can see me as a human being, just like they are.
My kids see me ruin dinner.
They see me lose my temper.
They’ve seen me go through spiritual deserts where I’m unable to pray.
They know that some days I don’t get a shower until after dinner.
They know that mommy and daddy aren’t perfect. And they know that Jesus was perfect so that we don’t have to be.
That’s when we get to tell them that we suck at this parenting gig, because we’re fallen creatures living in a fallen world. But that they have a perfect Daddy who will never disappoint them, when their hearts are set on His will.
They have a perfect Daddy who is so loving and trustworthy that He set aside His glory, came to earth, took their punishment that they rightly deserved, killed death for them, and then sent His Spirit to be with, empower, and comfort them until He comes back to wipe away every tear, and to be with them forever.
“We’re not perfect, and I’m so thankful to have a God who is.” -Evie West, 12
Our kids know that their earthly parents deserve to suffer and die and spend an eternity apart from God. We are descendants of Adam, who followed Satan, making us children of wrath.
But because of who God is and what He’s done through Christ, we are now beloved children of God, able to love, forgive, and obey. If I pretended to have all my crap together, I’d be robbing my kids of discipleship opportunities to point them to Christ.
Kaylie, 4: “I’m sorry, Mommy.”
Me: “You’re forgiven, baby.”
Kaylie: “Because Jesus died for me?”
So our kids know that we suck. But they also know that through Christ, we are totally forgiven, and more than conquerors. Our kids also know that they’re deserving of death. But that through Christ they are also totally forgiven.
I figure that’s the best gift I could possibly give them, even if I’m not Suzy Homemaker!
Feeling like a failure at this parenting gig? In what ways are you overcoming or still trying to figure everything out?