Happy Friday, friends. It’s been a doozy of a week. I’m not planning to share a list of mom fails with you today, even though lists are my typical Friday content. I just wanted to share some of what my mom life looked like this week, because maybe you had a rough week, too, and we can all use a little encouragement.
I’m not making a list today because, let’s be real, I’m pretty sure my mom fails this week exceed the Friday Five count by, oh, a lot. I probably ignored my kids and/or husband by scrolling Instagram more than 5 times alone. Add that to all the times I got irritable and lashed out or chose laziness over cooking for my family, and the number of mom fails continues to grow. So, I’m not here to give you a checklist of how I messed up in this way or that. I just want to highlight that we are allowed to fail as moms, because we do whether we want to or not and it’s not the end of the world. It’s not the end of our kids’ wellbeing, either. I’m super guilty of thinking I’m damaging my kids with every mistake I make. But you know what, kids are resilient. They’re also forgiving, we just need to humble ourselves and ask for it.
Mama was wrong, and it was okay
One day this week, we we were running late for our morning drop offs at work and daycare, and literally 30 seconds after asking my daughter if she needed to potty, she peed all over the recliner. I was livid, and I said things I shouldn’t have said to her. I let into her for peeing all over the chair when she knows to use the potty, and why didn’t she say she needed to go when I asked her just seconds ago. I shamed her, my 3-year-old. I’m ashamed to think of it now.
Of course I didn’t let it go immediately, either. All throughout the commute, I just kept my mouth shut and refused to speak to anyone because I was angry and I didn’t have anything nice to say, so I wasn’t going to say anything at all. I know our darling girl continued to pick up on my mood, because she kept reaching out for attention. It finally got to me when I heard her say, “Mom, you’re mad??” Because that simple question was not asking a statement of fact. What she’s really saying is, “Mom, I know you’re mad, but I need to know that we’re okay and that you still love me even though I’ve messed up and made you mad.” Cue all the feels.
When we arrived at daycare, I turned the car off and turned to look at her and I asked her forgiveness. I told her I’d messed up and I shouldn’t have spoken to her the way I did. I told her I could never stop loving her, and I asked, “do you forgive me?” And she said yes. When I told her, “Mama was wrong,” she said, “it’s okay.” And it was okay. It wasn’t right, but it was okay.
It’s okay when we fail as moms because our kids need to know we mess up just like they do. They need us to model repentance and forgiveness for them. And they need to know about mercy and grace for our mistakes and failures.
Grace is our only hope
If I’m being honest, I feel like a failure as I look back on my parenting over the past week. Sure, I’m being hard on myself because we are all our own worst critics. But I also know I’m a messed up human being in constant need of grace, and that applies to my mothering as well. I think that’s where moms fail the most, at giving grace to ourselves when we miss the mark. I’ve been reading For the Love by Jen Hatmaker this week, and she is a champion of grace. Check out this quote from the book in her chapter on marriage:
“Every marriage includes two sinful, aggravating human beings. Grace is our only hope.”
That idea applies to motherhood as well. Every family includes x number of sinful, aggravating human beings. We are all messed up people. Not a single one of us gets it right all the time. Forgiveness and grace are our only hope.
I don’t know what mom life looked like for you this week, but if your week has been like mine, rest in knowing that there is grace for mom fails, too. Ask forgiveness if you need to, and give grace to yourself as you teach your kids about humility and forgiveness.