When the nurse first placed my firstborn in my arms 18 years ago, I began my reign as the Queen of Mothering Perfection.
Sadly, I never did get fitted for my crown. My regal title was quickly stripped from me moments later when I couldn’t figure out how to work the tabs on her diapers. And again, when I struggled to unravel the mystery of that complicated car seat contraption. No big deal. It’s not as if her life depended on it.
… lost my temper — again and again, and again. Oh, yeah, and again.
… given my kids too much freedom.
… failed to give my kids enough freedom.
… set my expectations too high.
… set my expectations too low.
The list could go on and on … You don’t have to hold the title of Mother for long before you feel like you’re screwing up — royally.
But if there’s one thing I’ve learned over these past 18 years as Mom, it’s this: New motherhood starts today. This moment, even.
That’s right. No matter how long you’ve been a mother — 15 minutes or 15 years — today is the first day of the rest of your mothering journey.
No matter how badly you feel you’ve blown it, in the next moment, you can make the choice to do things differently.
Each day gives us the renewed opportunity to rewrite our mothering recipe. To add different, sometimes sweeter, ingredients and remove some of the bitter ones.
As a mom, I’ve spent many a sleepless night wondering if I’ve completely ruined my children’s lives (after all, they’ve told me so more than once.) I can assure you, that’s a lie.
I’ve learned to believe the truth of Lamentations 3:23 that promises me, “Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”
More times than I can count I’ve prayed for God to redeem my mistakes and inadequacies. I’ve claimed Joel 2:25 where He promises to restore ” the years the locusts have eaten.”
But sometimes when I worry that all is lost, I receive an unexpected gem from one of my children. During a rocky patch in adolescence, someone asked my daughter to name a few people she admired. She gave some noble answers, then shocked me when she said, “And I admire my mom. She might make mistakes, but she always tries to make things better.”
In those moments, I feel like a Queen again — at least for a day.
… He said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
In what areas do you feel like you need God’s mercy to be a “new” mom right now?
Our new book Mothering From Scratch: Finding The Best Parenting Style for You and Your Family is available now on Amazon and releases in bookstores January 20th!