The strangest thing happened to me the other day. I happened to call a good friend of mine who I hadn't heard from for a while. (It was a bit more than 'just happened'. I really felt that I needed to get a hold of her.) When I was finally able to get her on the phone she told me that I was exactly the person she needed to talk to because she was going through a rough time. Through all her trials she was trying to be a good mother to her children. She felt overwhelmed and embarrassed. And why didn't she call me earlier? Because I send out a mass e mail to friends and family about my life and kids. Since this e mail goes to family members who are not always (or never) supportive of us I always make them upbeat. I didn't write them in that way to make us appear glorious. It wasn't for vanity. It was a form of self-preservation from cranky relatives who claim that their kids were potty trained, sleeping through the night and reading the newspaper by their first birthday. But my poor friend mistakenly believed that I had something that she lacked. In a way I do: a propensity to make sins of omission in my mass e mails.
So let me be honest.
I have been known to swear at my babies (obviously not my son now that he can talk) when they wake me up for the fifth time in one night.
I have turned off the baby monitor and let my daughter cry herself to sleep when she was tired and overstimulated and I couldn't sooth her.
My husband has found me curled up on the floor in the middle of the night crying out of frustration and sleep deprivation.
I am about to despair of feeding my son anything but cheerios and crackers.
My son is three and a half and is still not fully potty-trained. He does not read the newspaper. My daughter is almost a year old and will eat the newspaper.
I'm saying this because we moms get so much criticism that we tend to hold back instead of being honest and helping each other. I may be Theology Mom and my children are a gift from God but some days the only proof of the Holy Spirit is working in my life is that I haven't eaten my young. They are good kids. I love them. But being a mom is hard work.
Maybe it's our brokenness, our weakness and imperfections that make us shine.
So next time you see a mom heading out to the street with a baseball bat because some motorist woke up her babies by idling his car in front of her apartment and playing loud rap music don't be so quick to judge. It's probably me.
To my Dear Friend: If you read this - you are normal and you are an AMAZING mom. You don't have to be perfect. You just have to let God work in your life.
On a totally unrelated note you, the reader, should now be able to post comments. It would be nice to see is anybody is reading this. :)