*Spoiler: This is not a “Mother’s Day reminder for young moms to cherish these brief days” blog post!
Why not? Because you can look at photos of your babies and see how quickly time is flying and because I remember what it was like being a young mom, and some of those days were brutal.
There was the “Everybody-Is-Sick Day” and mom is the only one left standing to clean up the puke. The “Will-These-Kids-Ever-Stop-Fighting-Day” and mom gets to be referee, judge, and warden. The “Throw-A-Fit-In-The-Check-Out-Line-Day” and mom is the embarrassed recipient of glares and eye-rolls from every single person in the store.
Let’s not forget the “Solo-Parenting-Because-Dad-is-Away-Again-Day” and mom gets to pull double duty all day – and all night – because one child has an ear infection and can’t sleep and the other one isn’t about to sleep in his own room if brother gets to sleep with mom so no one sleeps which means everyone is exhausted and irritable.
And how about the “We-Have-To-Make-Just-One-Quick-Stop-On-The-Way-Home-Day” which also means we get to experience the biggest melt-down of all time in a room filled with judgmental strangers while you force a smile, pick up a thirty-five pound flailing wet noodle off the floor with one arm, balance a crying baby, a diaper bag, a purse, and whatever it was you needed to make that quick stop for with the other, and try to get back to your car before you burst into tears.
Oh, and let’s not forget the “I’m-Too-Pooped-To-Care-Day” when toys are strewn everywhere and laundry is lucky to make it to the top of the washer and dryer let alone actually into the dresser drawers and closets and a neighbor happens to stop by for a visit.
And, just about the time you decide that you are the worst mom in the world, that you are the only one who is failing, and you’ll never get it right, you read a book or a blog that confirms it! Everyone is a better mom than you! And everybody is offering you advice that you just don’t have the time or the energy to implement.
Been there. Done that. More than once I felt like a failure as a mom. The struggle is real. We don’t know if our parenting will cause irreparable harm (our worst fear!) or if it just might produce healthy, successful, and independent adults who are capable of contributing to society (our greatest hope!).
In all of our difficulty, there is one thing that we can be certain of, one thing that brings assurance, rest, and comfort – and that is God. Oh, the comfort in knowing that even when we feel like a failure, God is at work in our circumstances for good.
Imagine that – God is using everything: temper tantrums, messy toy rooms, lost taggies, melt-downs, throw-ups, wet beds, diaper rashes, laundry piles, sinks full of dirty dishes, impatient strangers in the check-out line, and yes, even absentee parents for good! For our good and for our children’s good.
For we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son – Romans 8:28-29a NIV
Could it be that our failures are God’s successes? Seriously? There is great comfort in knowing that God is using everything, every minute, and every struggle of our parenting to mold us into the image of Christ Jesus. Not only is he changing us, he is about the business of changing our children also.
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus – Philippians 1:6 NIV
Not every day is a day to forget. There are precious days that you will want to recall, and moments that you will beg God to burn into your memory.
Sibling fights will fade into distant memories and you will laugh at the way you used to insist they hug and make up. You will be hard pressed to recall a time when they weren’t best friends.
You’ll forget the number of laundry loads that came with the stomach virus but you will cherish the memory of cuddling with your sweet freshly-bathed little one who just wants to lay in your arms until the illness passes.
You’ll become the lady in the grocery store who doesn’t glare, but offers a helping hand and a kind word to a stressed out mommy trying to juggle life with an unhappy toddler.
And you will praise God for overcoming all of your short-comings and rewarding your attempts to teach your children that the most important thing in their life is to love the Lord their God with all their hearts and souls and minds, and to surrender to Jesus.
Parenting is hard work, but your parents made it, you made it, and unbelievably one day, your children will have children just like them – and they will make it! With God’s help, we will one day hold our great-grandchildren and pray over them, just as we pray for their mommies and daddies.
The days may sometimes be long,
but the years are so very short.
Enjoy every one of them.
Looking for a great gift for mom for Mother’s Day?
Purchase Marcia’s devotional here