One phrase that often lands unsuspecting visitors in this space is “feeling inadequate as a mother”. It’s true. Blogger allows me to see the searched words and phrases from google that made me, this space, yes, my blog show up as a resolve to someone’s question. Usually the words and phrases are things like my name or the title of my blog and the top three that follow are “nativity scene” “paris in the rain” (surprise) and brushfield spots. But there are a few that show up every month faithfully, with a hit or two, and those are “wife of a musician” and “feeling inadequate as a mother” (coincidence?). And I wonder if sometimes people use google as a type of magic 8 ball. This is what I am feeling so this is what I am going to type in and see what fate (or the little men inside my computer) come up with.
Goodness knows I was tempted tonight as I exhaled at the end of a stressful day and felt completely inadequate as not only a mother, but a wife, friend and daughter. I won’t go into details but let’s just say after a hasty bedtime routine and unscrewing and disassembling the lock on my shed door because I locked the keys inside, I was feeling pretty crappy. So I did what, perhaps many do, and googled it.
“Feeling inadequate as a mother”
I wanted to know what came up. Which post? Had I really used that phrase.
It turns out I had.
It turns out, it was a pretty good post and was written on a night, similar to tonight. Bedtime gone array and Ben out at some musical rehearsal. And it turns out, that it was also on Mother’s day.
A year later and still left wanting, still not perfect. go figure.
“Moments like these are all too familiar lately. After two months of comings and goings, company, trips and the first and most important of Ben’s Cambridge exams, I have found myself, in the last week, either completely exhaustedor aching for time to read, to write and to think. I have been absent, perhaps not in body, but in mind and spirit, leaving my children sitting idle in front of The Cat In The Hat and me feeling completely inadequate. But who of us mothers, or fathers for that matter, haven’t felt that way at one time or another? Even as I reflect on my own mother: the one who is always at the other end of the line when I am up in the middle of the night with a migraine, the one who is always slipping money into my palm and the one who is always my biggest cheerleader, no matter what crazy idea I have come up with this week.
I am sure there are times….I know there were times when she, as a single mother, felt inadequate – felt that she wasn’t doing enough, providing enough or there enough. But here I am…hopefully not too screwed up. Sure, I remember the low moments but I also remember the high moments and I know that when my mother felt inadequate she prayed that God would cover us with grace. Because nobody is perfect. No matter how often we read Proverbs 31, we will never measure up. And even if we come close, ultimately, our children could still be led astray – I seen it many times. “Perfect parents” whose children make wrong choices or have mental disorders which spiral into a sinful and corrupt life and all they can do is helplessly pray.
Look at Eve. The first mother. I am sure that their banishment from the garden was discipline enough to ensure they lead their boys in the ways of the Lord. But instead, we read about the first homicide in history.
Or Rebekah, mother of Jacob and Esau. Her favouritism was no secret as she helped Jacob secure the birthright in exchange for something as petty as a bowl of soup.
And then there is Bathsheba. The temptress who seduced King David, only to birth the wisest King to ever live.
I could go on. Surely Mary, mother of Jesus, felt inadequate at times….or all the time. But this did not deter her. To borrow from Solomon, “A perfect [mother]? Who can find?” No one. After all, we are still being perfected, yes, even us mothers. But God is in the midst of it all – the sleepless nights, the spaghetti stains and the worry. Lot’s of worry. Because when you become a mother, no matter what the means, you give your child a part of your heart. You ache when they ache, you cry when they cry and you rejoice when they rejoice and this is what makes it all worthwhile.
To all the mothers out there, and especially my own: Happy Mother’s Day.
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