For several days in a row I was complaining about my kids. Actually, more to the point, I was complaining about their mother. I started to notice a theme…how much I feel like I fail as a mother each day, all the time.
Here are just a few things that rolled off the tip of my pencil within minutes…
They argue and annoy and mock each other (A lot).
We don’t do family devotions, except maybe once a month or so.
We live pretty independently (in my defense on this one, they are teenagers).
I bring a list of questions when we got out to eat to spur on conversation.
I was recently told by one of them that I make everything too serious.
I was told the next day by the other one that I don’t take things seriously enough.
I wonder if their faith is their own yet, or just mine that they carry around because I make them.
There were more. More intimate ones. Ones I’m even more embarrassed to share than the above list. Even more things that I’m not proud of.
I’ve got three years left with my daughter, four left with my son. Time is running out.
I need to be careful when I look at this list though. I need to make sure it doesn’t lead into despair, into inaction. And I need to make sure that my view is balanced. I clearly can be super hard on myself. Yes, there are some things I am not doing well. But, if I’m honest, there are some things I’m doing right. We do spend time together. I do teach them things (“pre-teach” was what one of my friends called it). I do pray for them. I am doing what I can with the circumstances that we find ourselves in. I am not failing. I am struggling, yes. But failing, no. Will my kids get through their childhoods unscathed? No. But then again, who does?
We’re doing better than we think we are, moms. There is always room for improvement. But when you list off your failures and stay there in the defeat, nobody wins. Just keep loving God. Just keep loving your kids. They will turn out alright. And remember, God loves them more than you do anyway…their faith and their future is in not in our hands, but his.
Elisabeth K. Corcoran is mom to Sara (15-1/2) and Jack (14). She loves spending time with her kids, her friends, reading and writing. She is the author of At the Corner of Broken & Love: Where God Meets Us in the Everyday; One Girl, Third World: One Woman’s Journey into Social Justice; He Is Just That Into You: Stories of a Faithful God who Pursues, Engages, and Has No Fear of Commitment; In Search of Calm: Renewal for a Mother’s Heart; and Calm in My Chaos: Encouragement for a Mom’s Weary Soul. All these books can be purchased on Amazon.com in paperback or Kindle.
You can follow her on Twitter at ekcorcoran or friend her on Facebook.
If you find yourself in a difficult marriage or have gone through a painful divorce and you’re looking for a safe place to find encouragement and hope, you may email at Elisabeth at firstname.lastname@example.org and request to be added to her private Facebook group for women like yourself.
Elisabeth is a proud Member of Redbud Writer's Guild.
Publication date: August 2, 2012