For the Ordinary Mom

My little girl threw up last night.

We were cuddled up having family movie night, watching The Grinch, when she said, “Mom, can I go to bed early?”

“Sure, honey. Are you okay?”

“I don’t feel good.”

I got up with her and we walked together up to her bedroom. I got her bed ready, and just as I was getting a trashcan to put by her bed, she went to the bathroom and threw up.

I held her hair.

I cleaned her up.

And I tucked her into bed with lullabies playing on her CD player.

“Mom, you don’t have to stay, I don’t want you to get sick.”

“It’s okay, God make moms to take care of their babies, and to comfort them.”

She smiled wearily.

I snuggled up to her and rubbed her head. Soon, she feel asleep.

I came downstairs and, after tucking the other little ones into bed, and I got into my own bed. I leaned over to my husband and told him how glad I was to be able to comfort our children.

I told him how I have no memories of a mama cuddling up to me, rubbing my head, and nurturing me, sick or otherwise. But no matter, because I can do that for my babies. And it occurred to me how often I think of myself as a failure as a mom. I don’t teach them scripture enough, read to them enough, do enough. Sometimes I let them watch too much T.V., and I wonder, “Am I just a big failure as a mom?”

You know what? No! I’m not a failure as a mom, and neither are you.

I’m deciding right now not to focus on my weaknesses, or my failings, but rather on the fact that I love my children and they are taken care of, nurtured, prayed over, snuggled into, and invested in.

Not perfectly, but lovingly, by the grace of God.

I do a ton of things wrong, but God gave me these children, and He knew my personality, my weaknesses, and my strengths. And He made me a mama.

I think the enemy wants us so focused on our weaknesses so that we can forget about all the good things we bring to our children.

I especially think that if you’re concerned if you’re doing a good job or not, you probably are a great parent.

So here’s the bottom line: Keep on loving your babes with what you’ve got and who you are. Focus on the good things; parent through your strengths. Don’t compare. And when you’re really struggling with thoughts of failure, remember Paul’s words in Romans 7:15-23:

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.

Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.

You are not alone in your feelings of failure. But you are not a failure. You are a good mom. So you friend, you keep on.

Keep on.

Sarah Mae

Sarah Mae

Sarah Mae spends her days home-making, home-educating, writing, reading, and drinking salted caramel mochas. Her family embraces life in the beautiful Amish country-side of Pennsylvania. She is the owner of the community site Allume and the co-host of the national Christian women’s social media conference.