I always wanted to be a good mom.
My version of a good mom was somewhere between Carol Brady and Caroline Ingalls. For the sake of consistency, we should call this good mom Carol. My version of Carol woke up every morning with a smile on her face. She whipped up a magnificent healthy breakfast for her growing brood while her whites were soaking in Clorax in the washing machined. She sparkled with grace and quite frankly her favorite part of the day was when the kids would come downstairs for breakfast. She clearly had a good handle on this mommy thing. At night, Carol was tired but not exhausted. She slept with her makeup perfectly and a smile on her lips. Life was good. She was good.
And she was enough.
The trouble is, Carol makes reminds me I will never measure up. She is no longer a graceful and sparkly role model. She is my phantom. And most days, I can’t seem to get her out of my kitchen or my heart.
As my kids have gotten older, my fear of failure as a mom has little to do with my dirty dishes or my kids misbehaving in the checkout aisle. Instead, my phantom mom tosses her judgment at me in the form of, “Oh, girl, you should totally know how to do this by now. Why are you still weary after all these years?”
What I’ve learned though, is to recognize my weariness as a sign to run to Jesus. I know after all these years Jesus has never given me a reason not to trust him in my moment of weariness.
I’ve learned how deep that pit is and how much better it is if I remember that according to 1 Peter 5:7, Jesus—the hope of all the world—wants to carry all my burdens. Not Just some of them. Not only the ones I can’t handle.
He wants them all.
The good news is that when I look up to him, I am reminded that I wasn’t made to be a mom who does it all. Being far from fine isn’t failure. It just means that the emptiness I feel when I am weary is made to be filled up with Jesus. Motherhood has simply highlighted that need and brought me to the end of my rope.
I am made to need him.
This is not defeat, it is sweet release.