You can tell if you are a horrible mother by comparing yourself to other moms. You know, the moms who have no struggles with their kids. The moms who keep a tidy house, a ship-shape schedule, and plan totally nutritious meals, usually made from scratch. The moms who never raise their voice, who always take time to listen to their child, and whose kids love them unconditionally. Because, after all, that’s how we decide if we’re a horrible mom or a good mom – by comparing ourselves with other moms.
You know you are a horrible mother if you fit into the category of moms who never run out of energy, never become impatient, and never, ever are unfair. You know you are an unfit mom if you make mistakes or fail to notice that one of your offspring is sick, or lonely, or depressed.
You know you’re a horrible mom when you forget to give your kid his medicine or ignore a complaint of a sore throat and later find out it’s strep; you’re a horrible mom when you refuse to rock a kid because you’re too busy or too tired because after all, moms should never be that busy or that tired.
Good moms, after all, always have time to be a real mom; they manage to keep the laundry caught up, the house tidy, and well-balanced, nutritious meals on the table for three meals a day. They help with homework and their kids are never, ever late for an assignment because they have such good moms who make certain their children have plenty of time for homework, even if it means mom has to do their chores herself.
You know you’re a horrible mother if you’re not a super-mom like those other moms. You know, that mom who shows up for church with all her kids dressed neatly, hair combed, and every inch of every tooth completely brushed and no bad breath shooting out the mouth. The one who has her tithe money ready to put into the hands of her kids so they get the concept of giving in the offering every Sunday morning.
You know you’re a horrible mother if one or more of your kids looks you in the eye one day and says, “I don’t like you!” when you have forced their hand. Horrible mothers don’t force their kids hands, you know. They are always their child’s best friend and believe everything they are told, even if it seems unlikely to be the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.
On the other hand, you know you’re a real mother when you recognize that you can’t be all things to all kids all of the time. You’re a real mom when you are in your kid’s world and present even when your mind is wandering with all the things you have yet to do. You know you’re a real mom when you choose an outlook based on the outcome you want down the road instead of bailing a kid out today.
You’re a real mom when you decide it’s more important to win the war than to stake claim on every single battle in the house. You’re a real mom when you can’t get it all done because a sick child or another need takes precedence. You’re a real mom when you get up every morning to start the day, even when you’ve been up half the night before, cleaning up vomit or diarrhea that is spreading throughout the family. You’re a real mom when you’re so tired you wonder how you’ll ever get it all done or if there will ever be a time when you won’t be tired, ever, ever again. You’re a real mom when you wish you could just hole up by yourself for half a day; but you can’t, so you just keep on keeping on, trying to remember that “this too shall pass.”
You’re a real mom when you look at past family photos and wonder how you could look so alive and refreshed that day because all you remember was corralling your kids and herding them out the door to just get ‘er done this year; when what you would rather have been doing was taking a nap.
You’re a real mom when you check on your kids when they’re asleep, all hunkered down under the covers, breathing deeply and soundly with nary a care in the world; and you wonder how you could have felt so impatient earlier in the day. You’re a real mom when you wonder and worry about how the changes in life are affecting your kids; when you wonder if you’re really doing all you can to help your kids face their hurdles in life; when you pray for their souls and do your best, again, to trust them to God.
You know you’re a real mom when you would give your life to save your child; when you sacrifice what you’d like to do to be there because a child needs you. You’re a good mom when you persevere when parenting is hard; when you get on your knees to beg for the soul of your child; when you keep believing and hoping, and never give up. You’re a good mom when you want what is the absolute best for your child, even when life hurts.
You know you’re a real mom when you recognize that there is only one you; that you can’t be like other moms because you’re not them. You’re a real mom when you just keep plugging away, being the best mom you can be to the kids God has given to you. Some day, you will hear your kids rise up and call you blessed, ’cause you’re a real mom.