Next to marriage, motherhood is one of the longest things we will work at. Some days everything will go wrong. Some days everything will go great. Neither of these days defines us. When we have a day where everything goes wrong, or seems to go wrong, it is tempting to tell ourselves this day defines us as moms. We base our success on a day when we have a lifetime of work stretched out before us. We have endless opportunities to work at motherhood again and again and again.
Our perseverence through our days has a greater impact on our kids than a snapshot of how any particular day is going. How we learn and grow. How we pick up the next day and try again because our kids are worth it. How we take a break when we need one. How we give our all to them, even in the wake of discouragement. How we seek answers when we aren't sure how to solve a problem. How we ask for help when we need it. How we love when its difficult. How we laugh because we all need to take ourselves less seriously and just have fun with our kids.
Our kids do not need mothers who are perfect. They need moms who persevere.
Inherent in perseverance is relationship. If I blow it at everything today I can return tomorrow, apologize, ask for forgiveness and tell my kids we will work at it again today. We model the working out of grace and redemption in relationships. We model our humanity and the power of God at work in us and through us. We communicate with our words and actions our kids matter, even in the wake of our biggest falls. We model the working out of salvation in the lives and hearts of ourselves and our kids. And there is grace and redemption in abundance. There is trust built and rebuilt. They experience love. They see the abundance of grace pouring out on our lives. Even on our worst days, there is always opportunity for relationship to be made right.
Our kids will remember how we persevered through our days, not that we mothered perfectly every day.
Perfection is an illusion that trips us up, telling us we blew it and we better not try again because we will fail. We would never tell our 1 year old they had failed when on their first day of trying to walk they fell down. We know it takes hours and hours of practice to walk.
Every day we are presented with new challenges as moms. We are not failures if we fall down. We will learn to walk when we fall and get up and try again and again and again. It is not the perfection of getting every day right, but the sum total of days we return to our work of motherhood that defines us as moms.
So, dear mom, whatever today looks like in your home – it does not define you. You are learning, just as your child is learning. There is grace in abundance. Let’s keep at this. Let's leave behind perfection and move forward in perseverence.