Some days I suck at parenting.
Actually, a lot of days I suck at parenting.
And it makes me cry.
It makes me hurt.
I want to crawl in bed and come out when I know what I’m doing, when I stop making mistakes, both private and public. A small part of me believes that a million other people could be doing this job so much better than I am doing it. Surely I was not meant to be the mother of these children. Surely my voice will be the one that leads the wrong way, becomes the fodder for their disrupted maturity and happiness, becomes the record playing in their head as they make their own big dumb mistakes later in life. There’s no way I should be raising these people.
Surely I am not the one.
Someone else would do this SO MUCH BETTER.
I feel this way more often than I could ever admit.
I felt this way when I was struggling to write plays and musicals. I am not the one.
I felt this way when I was running a summer camp. I am not the one.
I felt this way whenever I spoke too soon or too passionately or too foolishly in school or church or to my friends. Someone must be better at this than I am, I thought. Surely I am not the one.
But I am.
I am the one.
I am the one who wanted these babies. I am the one whose body was their home for so long, and I am the one who gave birth to their warm, beating hearts. I am the one they call Mama.
I am so bad at this sometimes. Painfully unaware of my mistakes until they grip me with an ache in the middle of the night, I sit up and panic over the things I’ve said, haven’t said, haven’t disciplined, haven’t fixed, have done and regretted or not done and regretted and my LORD it’s exhausting inside the head of a parent.
But God gave these babies to me.
Clara and Sammy are mine to hold, mine to screw up, mine to raise and love and celebrate. So beyond a good nights sleep and perhaps an ice cold beer, that truth from the Lord is most what I need in my life.
To know that no matter what, no matter the foolish words and the anger and the frustration, the needless worries and the ignorance (but honestly, I cannot remember what a 6 month old should be doing. Should he be sitting up on his own by now? I need to buy one of those development books), these kids were always meant to be mine. Meant to be ours, you know, mine and Sam’s. I’m just refraining from writing on Sam’s behalf because he is actually a lot better at this than I am.
We are the ones. The imperfect parents.
They are the ones. The children we prayed and longed for.
This is our growing family and it was always supposed to be like this. God knew that when He lent us these little lives to watch over. He knew that I would hit Clara in the head with hand weight (ON ACCIDENT settle down). He knew that I would forget about Sammy’s immunization appointment last month. He knew that we would be really good at having family dinners every night and really bad at not watching Beyonce music videos with Clara. And still, still, He sent these people to us.
Thank you, Lord. Thank you for them. Thank you for being bigger than my everlasting mistakes. Thank you for not asking me to be a perfect mother: just a faithful one.
Who gets out of bed.
Who tries again.
Who loves and loves and loves because I have been
loved and loved and loved and because
for goodness sakes,
sometimes my kids suck just as much as I do.
You never asked me to be a perfect mother. Or even a great one. Or even an ok one.
Just a faithful one.
I can get out of bed again tomorrow.
And faithfully, together with the rest of all the parents of all the world,
try to suck a little bit less,
and laugh a little bit more.
‘Cause that’s a good day for anybody, yes and yes.
My children, on their way to Burning Man and Sturgis, respectively.