Saturday, September 16, 2017

Are You A Good Mom | How To Know

Home. The night light sent a warm glow across our sleepy room. We looked down at her tiny form, overwhelmed with gratitude for our first baby. His hand slipped around my waist as relief and thanksgiving washed over my tired, aching body. Our baby. 

I was so excited about being a mother when I first brought my little girl from the hospital. I wanted to be her everything; the comforter, the fixer-upper, the all-knowing, all-providing thing that I always thought “Mommy” was. I had held her under my heart for eight long months, brought her into this world, felt all the pain and emotion that the experience of new life brings… I was her mother.  Or at least, that’s what I thought. 

All of a sudden I realized that everyone from the grocer to the 7 year old at Piano lessons had an opinion on how my baby should be brought up.

I thought nobody trusted me. 

Further down the road, I’ve seen women with their kids all grown and gone turn solemn and slowly shake their heads, thinking of everything that they weren’t able to do for their kids when they were young. “We never really took vacations…” “I spoiled them. I know it.” “I was the worst homeschool mom ever…” “I wish I would’ve taken time to play with my kids more…” All dripping with discouraged failure - the same atmosphere that us new moms feel after somebody has raised an eyebrow over ‘the forgotten blankie.’

At some point we all ask the question: “Am I a good mom?”

Washing up a pile of dishes in the sink during nap time one afternoon, an answer came creeping warmly, kindly over my racing mind. The harder I thought and the longer I prayed, the more I realized that it was true. Undeniably, but unpopularly true. 

It was then that I finally understood that it’s not what you buy them for their birthday; or if you bottle fed or nursed them. It’s not if people agree with everything you decide; or whether you do white bread or whole grain. L O V E is what makes you a good mom. L O V E  I S. Not brand names, or perfectly packed diaper bags, or pats on the back from other moms. 

You’re not a good mom, because you’re perfect. You’re a good Mom because of that overwhelming care that aches for the pinched finger and cries out to God for wisdom at night when they’re sleeping. It’s that deep, deep love that holds the sick baby close and falls asleep nursing. That’s what makes you a good Mom. The finger pointers aren’t looking at the selfless love in your heart - but your child feels it, and God is pleased in it. 

Now don’t get me wrong! Today’s view of love is way-off compared to real Father-God love. It’s not an every-once-in-a-while emotion (when the kid isn’t embarrassing or a bother). God’s love is corrective, and careful, but also easy to be entreated. It’s an unselfish thing that doesn’t beg for “me time” or push the kids off in front of a screen to get a break. God’s love is there on the hard days; the humiliating days; the days when your last nerve is twitching, and there’s been no sleep. Even on the days they don’t deserve it - it’s still there; seeking the best for your family - not what’s best for you. 

Look hard inside yourself. What do you see there?

Whether you’re still in the trenches, or your baby is grown up with babies of her own, there will always be days when you don’t feel like enough - often because people want you to feel that way. But remember what God sees. Never forget how He loves you - or the love that makes you Mom.

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