This is gonna be one of those "so help me..." kind of discussions. M'kay? Because y'all, I feel a lecture comin' on. I'm fixin' to get all up and crazy.
Let's start with this: My sister can be a wacko. For serious. There are times (OK, lots of times) I just want to shake her silly. I have raised her to be a better mother than she lets on sometimes. Good grief, popsicles are a fine food for breakfast. A majority of the time, she's a better mother than I ever will be (which I take all credit for), but then there are days where she just ruins my mothering mojo. Sheesh! And knock it off!
Here's the heart of the problem...She, like so many other mothers out there, are reading the stupid, stupid articles that always pop up at this time of year. "Did you hug your children enough?", "Did you do all that you could before Kindergarten?", "Did you teach them everything they ever, in the history of ever, need to know before the age of 5?"
Let me tell you something. I screamed at my sister yesterday. In my nasty, outside, ugly voice. And I'm going to yell at you too if you start reading any of those articles or even worse, you believe them. No, no, no and no!
We are mothers. That says it all. Those 3 words. All. Of. It.
We are always on-call. This job never, ever stops. We worry and fret and work and work some more. We fine tune what we can, where we can. And we try. For the love, we try so hard. And we lay in bed every single night and worry we aren't doing it right or doing enough. This mothering thing is hard core. Every. Single. Day.
So, don't you dare doubt yourself. I'm not kidding. Don't make me pull out my screaming voice. Don't you spend one solitary minute worrying that you haven't done enough. Because guess what? You've done enough and more. It may not look like the mother next door or the mother who posts beautiful pictures on her blog. Your children are alive at the end of the day. That gives you the awesome mom award. That's just how this gig works.
We have to band together. Us mothers. It's the only way we'll make it. Because this right here, this day and moment and right now? It's the hardest thing we are ever gonna do. So you do your best. Just like you've been doing all along. Every day, without notice or fanfare.
And guess what? That's enough. It's more than enough. Even if your kids, your house, your life isn't perfect. It's not supposed to be. That's where your mother's love kicks in the strongest and coats it all around. In every crevice and shadow and ridge. Your love covers it all. And you have to let it silence the doubt and the worry and even the regret. Let love just work it's magic. It can't fix everything, but it sure can make it right enough.
So, here's your job. Believe in yourself. Starting now. No more doubting. No more wondering about your level of goodness. No gauging your success as a mother. That kind of a scale doesn't even exist.
Know that you are right where you were always meant to be. With the children and the life the Lord hand-picked just for you. Don't waste your time with all the ways your doing it wrong. Open your eyes and take stock of all the ways you are doing it right. Because this is the real deal. Don't wish any of it away.
Believe. And hope. And love.
And open your arms high and wide for these beautiful, imperfect people you mother. They're your gifts. Don't ever doubt it.