Sometimes, being a mom is amazing. Other times, it's a hard, lonely, miserable mess. All the time, it's a jumble of emotions all tangled together, each one fighting for dominance. It's humbling and heartbreaking and awe inspiring and incredible.
There are days when I think I'm doing a good job, days when the laundry is caught up, everybody likes what's for supper (with 7 of us, that's quite a thing), and people are smiling and laughing and having fun together. Those days make me feel like I know what I'm doing, which is nice since I'm 14 years into this "mom" thing. The good ones are the ones when I get glimpses of who my kids are growing up to be, when I think that maybe I'm not doing too bad at this whole motherhood business.
Other days, there are piles of laundry overflowing the baskets or a load that gets forgotten in the washing machine and somehow smells like a wet dog. Those days are usually the ones when the brothers are fighting and threatening each other within an inch of their lives. They are somehow also the ones when the girls decide I can't possibly know anything I'm talking about because I'm obviously out of touch with everything and gosh, there's no way I was ever a teenage girl. Those are the days when nobody wants to eat what's been cooked (it, of course, is somebody's least favorite food even though they ate it without complaint the last time). They're typically the days when reminding my kids that they need clean underwear after taking a shower is obviously the worst thing I can possibly do.
Sometimes, all I want to do is hide away. I feel like I'm failing at everything important, like I'm letting my kids down and I'll never have the wisdom or strength or patience to get my kids grown up.
What gets to me the most, though, is the thought that I'm letting God down. After all, these kids are His. They belong to Him, and I'm just borrowing them for a while. I feel utterly inadequate to raise them to be who He wants them to be, so ill-equipped to be their mom, like maybe God should have chosen someone else so that I couldn't mess them up. Because my goodness, there are days when I think I've messed them up beyond repair.
It's in those hard times, though, in the middle of my gut-wrenching cries to God for His help, when I'm on my knees with tears brimming, telling Him that I'm not enough and I can't possibly do this and He must have made some mistake because these kids He gave me need someone better, someone with more patience and better homemaking skills and who loves cuddling and who never loses her ever-loving mind... it's in those times that I hear Him say,
“My grace is enough to cover and sustain you.
My power is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9
I'm not enough--I never will be. I don't have what it takes to get myself through this life, let alone the kids who have been entrusted to my care. But that's the amazing thing about being a servant of the Most High. "For He understands how we are made, He remembers that we are dust." (Psalm 103:14) He knows I can't do the things He's asked of me on my own. If I could, I wouldn't need Him.
And that's one thing being a mom has shown me--how much I desperately need Him.