imperfect mom.

i think i’m yearning to be a kind of mother who doesn’t exist — the perfect one.  sometimes a picture or story can make me think she actually exists, and since i’m not her, i begin to feel like i must be the only one who struggles to keep her cool. you know her — the mom who is always happy and never reluctant to sacrifice, who is never weary or frustrated, who doesn’t yell at the walls when she’s overwhelmed or slam doors when she can’t take it anymore. the one who doesn’t have tantrums right alongside her three year old.  the one who can handle all the stress, crying, bad attitudes, sleeplessness, missed naps, bodily fluids, and high energy with a sparkle in her eye and a skip in her step.  i bet she exists in your mind, too, and she’s always there, a rod against which you measure all your failures.

what a lie i’m telling myself, that i must be sinless to be a good mom.  that i can never fail.  certainly, my failures are ugly.  they are sin, and sin is never good or productive.  but the thought that God won’t be able to redeem my sin, especially those that affect my children, is a lie.  as one who is easily overwhelmed by guilt and self-pity, i have recently been working on confessing when i feel guilty rather than just sitting in it and sulking.  perhaps one of the hardest things to confess is when i feel annoyed by my child — i absolutely loathe that feeling, and it makes me feel like a really baaaaaad mom.  what mom is annoyed by a little three year old? the imperfect one, i suppose — which, i’m discovering, just happens to be EVERY mom.

this job is rough.  it shows me the things deep in my heart, the things i’d rather keep hidden. O Lord, help me to love the light — in it, my sins can be exposed and i can be made clean. You are my hiding place — don’t let me hide elsewhere.

9 thoughts on “imperfect mom.

  1. Jamie, thanks so much for sharing your mommy heart. Thanks! Thanks! Thanks! I have the same feelings and thoughts. When Tabitha was a baby, I feared ever feeling like I didn’t enjoy her. And over the last year, there have been plenty of those moments. And I hate it. And I hate losing my temper and wish so badly I could take back all the not-so-holy-mommy-moments. And then it is hard when you actually see or know that seemingly perfect, June Cleaver mom. Although I am sure she too is riddled with imperfection like all of us, when you fall into the comparison game and you don’t see her 24 hours a day, it is easy to feel very very bad and unworthy. It is so easy to beat ourselves up.

    I am learning through all of this to give myself grace and take each moment as a lesson to be learned. And I then try to rectify what went wrong (often involves apologizing to Tabitha), praying for God’s help and mercy along the way. And praying with Tabitha too.

    No wonder God promises to gently lead those who have young. We need his tender guidance!! Thanks for sharing! Youare definitley not alone and helps me so much to hear that I am not alone!

  2. I read this in the Power of a Praying Woman this morning after asking God a couple of questions. I hope it ministers to you, too.
    “…when we don’t have an accurate understanding of our identity, we either strive to be like someone else or something we’re not. We compare ourselves to others and feel as though we always fall short. When we don’t become who we think we’re supposed to be, it makes us critical of ourselves and our lives. It causes us to be insecure, oversensitive, judgmental, frustrated, and unfulfilled. we become self-absorbed, constantly having to think about ourselves and what we should be. It forces us to try too hard to make life happen the way we think it is supposed to…
    …God knows where you’re supposed to be going. And he knows how to get you there. But even though you have a purpose and a destiny, you can’t get to it without being connected to the one who gave it to you in the first place.”

    Hang in there, Jamie. We all struggle with being imperfect, not just imperfect mommies.

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I know I struggle with that “perfect mom” in my mind. Or when I see my friends, who appear to have it “together” I ask the Lord what I’m missing. I’m continually realizing how much grace is needed to be a mom.

  4. hey there, found you via “view from the prairie box” and as the mama of two little boys and soon a little girl, my tendency to be overwhelmed by self-pity and guilt happens all too often.

    my husband and i have been talking about this a lot lately and how i need to remind myself every morning, noon, and night of how desperately i need to hear the gospel over and over!

    and i think it is really cool you live in japan 😉

    • kate: welcome! 🙂 i feel like i know your name, but can’t put together why. could’ve seen it in passing at prairie box or something…
      eager to check out your blog 🙂

  5. Jamie,

    I feel this way oh so often and haven’t really known what to do with my feelings. Though it’s so completely obvious to confess sins and to talk to God about what I’m feeling, it helps to be reminded because I hardly EVER do it, especially right in the “heat” of the day.

    Thank you for your post.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s