We’ve all had our share of mom fails. It’s just a part of mothering…whether small children or grown adults.
I always thought that at the age of 52 I would wear a quaint-yet-trendy apron, with a tiny flower pattern, and glide around the kitchen, providing mouth-watering comfort food and a calm, warm table around which my adult children and their children would long to sit.
Thursday family dinner was nothing like that. Matriarching (yes, I am inventing that verb) family dinners stress me out.
The Stage Gets Set
Wednesday was my daughter’s birthday and Friday was my mother-in-law’s birthday, so Thursday was the perfect evening to have a family dinner celebration. Except at 3:00, I remembered I had a 4:00 chiropractor appointment. Cancel it? No, because this 52-year-old spine twanged over the weekend, and I needed straightening out. No big deal. I could run to the chiropractor and get home in plenty of time to finish putting dinner together. Chill out.
Just before I left, I checked the rolls rising in the oven. Not rising. Oh man, I had warmed the oven, to encourage them to rise faster, and instead, I encouraged their outsides to bake. Rolls in the garbage. No time for tears or you’ll be late for your appointment.
When I went to leave for the chiropractor, I realized my daughter was parked behind my car. So, I ran into the house and asked my mother-in-law if I could borrow her car. No big deal.
Except that, as I was pulling out, my mother-in-law came out to ask if I would swing by the pharmacy on that end of town and pick up a prescription right quick (at a pharmacy that doesn’t do right quick). I said yes because isn’t that why we live with her? So we can be helpful when needed? Of course I said yes.
Chiropractor? In and out fast.
Pharmacy? A 40-minute wait. Cue high blood pressure. Meat needs to be pulled out of the fridge. Zucchini needs to be chopped. Potatoes will have to do since the rolls are now deceased. Your poor daughter-in-law came with the grandbaby and you just ditched them.
Finally, I got the prescription and preached to myself all the way home, Be cheerful when you walk in the door. Lose the stress and gladly hand the prescription to your mother-in-law. Don’t forget to say, “my pleasure” like they do at Chick-fil-A.
Mom Fails Abound
Nope. Walked in the door, and she said she hoped I hadn’t had to wait long. “Forty minutes,” I snapped, like the fresh green beans I had bought at the grocery store the day before. Where did that snap come from? Wasn’t I even listening to my own sermon?
Heading for the pantry, I pulled out the potatoes, only to find most of them rotten. There were four good potatoes and seven of us. We would have to cut them in half. Tears were brimming. “What happened to the rolls?” my daughter asked. I threw her a sharp “Don’t ask,” at which her face fell. I had to go sit by her and say I’m sorry, but it didn’t make things all better right away.
Last but not least: we finally got dinner on the table and my son and his wife still weren’t there. Oh, because I had forgotten to tell them the time to arrive. We had to start eating without them, which was so awkward.
Why am I writing you this? Because I want you to know we all find ourselves in stressful mom situations. Stress from trying to be all the things to all the people. Stress from wishing to be perfect. Stress from unexpected changes in plans. Stress from messing up dinner. Stress from having a sharp tongue and needing to make amends. Stress from miscommunication. It’s hard being a mom and wanting to love your people well but finding that you’re still human.
And what comfort is there for us after a day like this? Knowing Jesus.
Knowing Jesus Gives Us New Mercy
Jesus knows we are weak.
Jesus loves us anyway.
Jesus will have fresh, new mercy waiting for us the next morning.
So, if you’ve had a hard day (or maybe a string of them?) and you feel like a failure, I encourage you that you are most definitely not the only one!!! (Three exclamation points, sister.) Apologize to your kids and your mother-in-law. Remember not to rush the rolls next time. And lean on Jesus. He cares about your mom life.
New mercy in the morning. Count on it.
With love from Montana,
If you need encouragement that you can live a faultless life even though you’re a human mom, read Christy’s book Blameless.