As I sit here, thinking about the prompt "I am that Mom", there are a hundred things that run through my mind: I am the mom who has chosen to stay home with my children. I am the mom who cloth diapers. I am the mom who sleep trains her kids. I am the mom who refuses to buy a single piece of kids' clothing brand new. I am the mom who makes all of my kids' baby food. I am the mom who has chosen to home school. I am the mom who put my children on a modified vaccine schedule.
And while I could write book-length blog posts on each one of those topics, that's not really who I am as a mom.
When it comes right down to it, when I get down to the nitty gritty of motherhood, I am the mom who relies entirely on the grace of Jesus Christ and seeks His glory alone. I am the mom who can do nothing apart from His strength and His mercy.
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 1 Corinthians 15:10
Let's face it, stay at home motherhood sucks sometimes. It's hard. It's exhausting. It's impossible.
There are days when things go almost perfect. The TV stays off except for the 2 shows my toddler is allowed to watch. He is engaged in his morning lessons. We paint a beautiful picture to hang on the fridge. He devours his healthy lunch. The baby naps right on schedule. And all of his diapers get washed. I get a shower and a nap (okay, those two never happen in the same day). Dinner prep is done by 5 and I actually have something in the oven before my husband walks in the door. Neither child is neglected or crying.
Those days are very rare.
Because truly, there are many more days that I spend too much time doing laundry. There are piles of toys in every room that haven't been put away in days. There is crayon on the wall. My toddler has dried ketchup on his face from the previous night's dinner, which, shouldn't really count as a dinner because it was almost entirely made up of "snack" food. I haven't put a bra on all day. And I can't remember if I brushed my teeth. My toddler goes through 4 pairs of underwear because he refuses to stop what he's doing long enough to tell me he needs to use the potty. There's poop on the floor because during naked time, my 2 month old wiggled his way off of his blanket. I'm rushing to get something, anything on the stove for dinner while one runs around eating chocolate and the other sits in his bouncy seat crying.
And it's those days, actually it's all days, that I am incredibly thankful and grateful for the grace of God. Because, I am far from the mother I want to be for my children. But there is grace for me. I don't do the things for them that I want to. But there is grace for me. They don't receive the attention from me on a daily basis that they deserve. But there is grace for me.
Everything I do for my kids needs to be out of the strength of the Lord. And all the while trusting that He is using me to mold them and disciple them. I have no competence as a mother apart from God. By my own strength I am an absolute failure as a mom. I can strive and work as hard as I know how, and I will never be a perfect mother. On my own, I'll never be half the mother I wish to be. But that is okay, because it serves as a reminder that I need to be relying on Him, on His strength, on His provision, on His competence, on His grace.
Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 2 Corinthians 3:5
It's all there. He's offered it all to us as His children. And I should be partaking of it all daily for the sake of my own children.