06 Jul 2016

Real Mom Confessions

My friend Anna is currently in the most intense season of motherhood. Babies and toddlers. When she writes sometimes I have newborn PTSD remembering. But I also remember how intense the closeness of the Holy Spirit was in those years. How fine the line between heaven and earth seems when you’re holding tiny humans still fresh from the passing of God’s hands into yours. It’s terrible and terribly wonderful at the same time. So listening to Anna’s writings about that stage – it’s wildly comforting and profoundly affirming. I’m so thrilled to introduce her to you all!

Anna and Kids

I’ve been a mom for almost five years now. My son turned four last winter, my daughter is two, and my littlest girl is seven whole months old. About a year ago, I wrote a little post on Facebook and shared a few confessions about my recent mothering. My confessions from that week were along the lines of:

  • Not only did I let Josie eat crackers off the floor, I put them there for her in the first place because the bowls were in the dishwasher.
  • The pile of dishes in my sink is so high that I honestly couldn’t see my kids on the other side of them.
  • My kids no longer play ‘kitchen’ with their play kitchen. They play ‘Caribou Coffee drive-thru’, offering lattes and coffee through the little window.

I pressed ‘post’ and went on my way, back into diapers and laundry and work and being up to my elbows in children. Hours later after bedtime, I cracked my laptop and was floored to see dozens of comments from other moms sharing their real confessions too.

Continuing to share my confessions was a no-brainer, and together we’ve shared hundreds of real moments from mothering. Every Wednesday, I laugh and cry while reading what everyone brings to the table. Moms have shared the number of days there’ve been between baths for their kids. They’ve shared how many meals from the drive-thru were eaten that week in the van. They’ve shared how frustrated and exhausted they were. They’ve shared their laundry mountains. They’ve asked for prayer as they announced a separation from their husband, returned to work from maternity leave, and made terrifying & difficult decisions for their children. They’ve shared their loneliness for friendship. They’ve shared their victorious and cheerful and funny stories.

They’ve shared their real confessions of mothering, and they’ve changed me.

Because of this little weekly series on my Facebook and Instagram pages, I am a less judge-y woman. My first reactions have changed – they’re more full of grace and love than I ever could’ve mustered on my own. God has used these confessions to keep me humble (because y’all. I found out that I am in the showering frequency minority. Related: all of you who shower more than twice a week? I bow down in awe.) and to keep me plugged in to the needs of those around me.

Real moms are the best kind. The kind of mom who doesn’t hide behind the façade of perfection but instead embraces her imperfections? The kind of mom who knows she has but a moment to pray, so she grabs hold of just the right prayer to offer earnestly? The kind of mom whose kids know she – and they – can laugh at mistakes and welcome grace from each other and make things right with a sincere apology and the promise of new mercy in the morning? That’s my kind of mom.

Sharing the real moments of mothering with other moms has changed me, it’s changed how I see you, and it’s changed how I see my failures. In sharing our confessions, God redeems that which we’ve deemed failure.

When a mom confesses her shame at going through the Chick-fil-a drive-thru again, and another mom chimes in her support and love of a big CFA sweet tea? Redemption.

When a mom confesses her fear of returning to work after maternity leave, worried about juggling work and kids and new baby and laundry and all the things, and another mom tells her to breathe. That it will be ok. That she will make it. That she can – even should – ask for help? Redemption.

When a mom confesses and others support, it’s glory in mess. Jesus, birthed in a dirt and straw-filled barn to a teen mom? He gets glory in mess. God is all about the glory in the mess and I’m convinced that He kind of loves it. And mamas? We live there, in that space where glorious ordinary meets extraordinary everyday.

And when we come together to share in that place, in the goldfish crumbs and trembling fear of messing up our kids and overwhelmed hearts at the thought of another day and sticky fingers all up in our faces? That’s when we know there can be – there’s has to be – real community in mothering. When we know that we need to come together. We need to cling to the idea of loving each other well.

What a world it would be if we not only gave another mom the benefit of the doubt, but erased the doubt in the first place.

So that thing you’d confess if you only could? Friend, God’s already there, and He’s already redeemed it. Let go of any shame, embarrassment, or doubt about it – you are a good mom and He is making you even better.

I’d be honored if you’d share your real mom confessions right here, in the comments. I promise we’ll laugh and cry with you, judging not and loving wholly.

Anna Rendell Girl with BlogMeet Anna: She blogs over at Girl with Blog and says, being a mom is the hardest job I’ve ever had. I prayed to hold this position. I begged God to change my name to mom. I fought as my own body betrayed me twice, giving me children I will only hold in heaven. I praised through tears each time it gave me one of my three kids to raise here. I clawed my way to motherhood, and some days I am convinced I will claw my way, all kinds of scrappy and survival mode, to bedtime. But sharing the real moments of mothering with other moms has changed me.

You should follow her on Instagram over here.

Check out her 31 Days of Mom Prayers over here.

Pick up her ebook A Moment of Quiet: 25 Two-Minute Prayers for Moms


{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    what a fun idea to share real mom stories. can’t think of one right now, too tired :)

  2. 4

    Yelled at my (almost) 2yo in the car coming home from trader joes and my tone scared me…we were in traffic, baby was crying and he was screaming. Not my best moment.

    • 5

      Done it!

    • 6

      Oh Emily, those are the HARDEST moments. When they’re just screaming and you can’t do a blessed THING to help or stop them… man. Hang in there, lady. Here’s to an early bedtime for everyone.

  3. 7
    Christy says:

    Haha! Love the crackers on the floor! My 1 year old eats off the floor so often that my 2 year old is constantly putting her half of the snack on the floor and saying “here you go sister, here’s yours!” And I’ve pretty much given up on it and just let her eat off the floor daily.

  4. 10

    We discovered on Monday that our deep freezer died. I spent hours cooking meat. So. Much. Meat. Then, the same day, we discovered we have fleas in the house – in addition to the ants we can’t get rid of. I took the kids to the beach and didn’t think about anything – I decided nothing terrible would happen if I didn’t deal with it all immediately!!!

    • 11

      It absolutely won’t. You made the right choice to get outta dodge! That is a LOT. I have zero patience for bugs in my house. Prayers that they all go marching out – soon!!

  5. 12
    Laura G says:

    It is rare that laundry gets folded in our house unless Nana comes over… the amount of dirt on the floor by our back door gives me anxiety daily but every time I stop to clean it it gets worse 10 minutes later and I feel like I wasted the time when I could have loaded the dishwasher instead.

    I yell more than I want to… why is it that small people just don’t listen?

    • 13

      children are proof that selective hearing is alive and well. *shudder* My four are now ages 4-9 and it’s finally getting better. Not easy, but better, because they can do chores and clean up their crap (I mean, beloved toys). They don’t WANT to clean up, but they do. Confession- telling my kids to make their own lunches and letting them dig in the fridge for yogurt, cheese slices, fruit, etc. While I sit on the couch and stare at “Downton Abbey” because honestly if I don’t I might end up on the news. But I’m teaching the kids to be self-sufficient, right?!?! :)

      • 14

        “children are proof that selective hearing is alive and well.” <– YES. I've threatened to take my 4yo to the doctor to get his ears checked when he won't listen. Works like a charm.

  6. 15

    We have a pile of laundry in the laundry room that is up to my waist. It’s all clean, but it rarely makes it out. The stuff on top is the current season, right now, shorts and t-shirts. If you want a long sleeve shirt, you have to dig down in the pile. Please don’t knock anything in the floor because there’s barely enough room to get through to the washer. There are 3 bags of clothes that the boys have outgrown underneath the pile that I fully plan to donate, but they are keeping the clean cloths off the floor. If something makes it out, it comes right back again after it’s been washed. At some point I fully expect the pile to gain intelligence and pull itself together into some giant laundry monster, but at least it will be clean.

  7. 17

    I served my two year old daughter packaged (and fully processed) powdered donuts for two of her three meals yesterday. Because some days mama don’t have the energy to fight over a stinkin green bean.

  8. 23

    Uhm I think if get this off my chest I’ll feel better… How about letting your 3 yr old watch almost an entire season of Octaonauts in one day? And the 3mo old spent way too much time in his swing today…still not feeling better!

    • 24

      Feel better, Sarah. Take a word from our girl Elsa and let. it. go. When I was pregnant with my third, my oldest (3 at the time) watched a LOT of Daniel Tiger because they were much better parents than I was right then. No guilt in survival!

      • 25
        Lisa-Jo says:

        “Because they were much better parents than I was right then” LAUGHING SO HARD. Been there. Daniel Tiger, Tro Tro, Bob the Builder, Dora, Shimmer and Shine, Barbie, you name it, they’ve parented my kids.

      • 26

        Yes! That was me when I was pregnant! And they just came out with a new study saying Daniel Tiger helps kids be more empathetic. So we are winning, right? :)

  9. 27

    Letting my 2 year old eat only Goldfish yesterday because I didn’t want to cook. That would mean adding more dishes to the already full kitchen sink. Gave up on potty training so I just let him wet his pull ups. I’m fast running put of the expensive things. All 6 laundry baskets are full of clean clothes plus the crib my 2 year old spent his first 6 months in.
    I’ve never required my 14 year old to have chores. So I do everything myself. Or rather don’t do anything with everybody else in this house. I feel guilty every day but have zero motivation to do anything about it.

    • 28

      Oh my goodness! I so get the guilt accompanied by lack of motivation. Ugh! MY son is almost 13 and I desperately want him to be responsible and do ANYTHING around the house, but it is SO hard.

  10. 29
    Susan J. says:

    Just today I told my husband I feel like I am failing as a mom because the only vegetable all 3 of my kids will eat on a consistent basis is canned green beans. So we have canned green beans at least 3x a week. One will eat broccoli, one will eat fluffy carrots (cooked), one will eat raw carrots, but not fluffy…I could go on with all the other inconsistencies of this one will eat cucumbers but only with no skin and ranch, etc. But I refuse to make individual dinners so we end up with canned green beans…again. At least I get low sodium and heat them up, right?

  11. 30

    A spur of the moment trip out for frozen yogurt with all the good stuff in it at 4:00pm today because even though we’ve had a treat filled week this mama needed something, anything to break up the crazy of the afternoon which had a baby poop himself awake way before he should have been and a 4 year old wobbly ankled on princess heels scraping up the hardwoods. It has been gloriously exhausting because oh yeah getting home from an exhausting long weekend is never my favorite and realizing we’re leaving again in 2 days…OY! Recovery from being away is seriously the worst. THE WORST. Seriously, I love you. Confess on my sisters! Because even in the cracks of it all there is such light and goodness and glory be frozen yogurt. Pass the sprinkles, Amen?

  12. 31

    It’s been really quiet around here with two out of three kids visiting their grandparents … so just the 13 month old at home – the 13 month old who loves to climb on everything. Today was climbing on the tub in our bathroom (didn’t stop him since he’ll just be back at it but won’t help him either) … finally got his leg up on the edge and then fell into the tub on his head. Needless to say … it was into the crib for him while Momma took a shower to prevent that from happening while in said shower. Oh – and he routinely eats food from the floor (often stuff he dropped at an earlier meal).

  13. 32

    Well, we’ve been battling lice at our house. For a month. Mom and daughter mostly. A little bit with our three sons. Thankfully, Dad and baby have not been infected. I’m not sure which is more stressful – the insanity of combing through hair day after day looking for nits that are smaller than the size of a pin head, or the mom guilt over what others might think when they learn we have this plague. And what if we spread it to others at church?! And why does everyone treat it like it means you’re a dirty family? Someone told me, after knowing we had it, that another mother she knew was mortified when her daughter had lice….does that mean I should be mortified as well? But then the Lord sends an angel. That friend of mine who’s a mother who’s been there, and she offers to come and help check heads and pick nits. God bless her.

  14. 33

    My almost 2 year old doesn’t want to eat anything except “chechup” so I cover all her food in ketchup just to get her to eat something.

  15. 34
    Jennifer F says:

    You guys! My only turned 18 this year and is going to college in the fall! (Proud mom moment) I so wish this online community of “real” moms existed when I was in your parenting stages. I did pretty much all of the above, wrestled with guilt, and feared I was a terrible mom/housekeeper/you-name-it. You are all going to make it through, I promise! Just keep on being real and sharing your confessions and supporting each other. There’s power in numbers and in giving each other grace.
    Love to you all!!

  16. 35

    Great idea!
    I have two beautiful kids full of energy, one of them was diagnosed with ADHD. It’s been hard, school been hard, play dates been hard, daily living been hard. I recognize that I yell at my kids often, and then asked for forgiveness , and yell again….repeat. Every night I go to bed feeling guilty, thinking I’m not giving enough to my kids. God knows I love them with all my heart, but it’s hard. Without His GRACE I really don’t know where would I be.

  17. 36

    I’m terrible about teaching my kids basic skills. I realized this when my oldest was 14 and didn’t know how to cut an apple. Or crack an egg. there are many skills he will need in a few short years that I have yet to teach him.

    I don’t make my kids make up their beds. I don’t make up mine; why should I make them do something I don’t?

    Then there’s the repairman. He came to fix our dryer. He stopped at the top of our stairs and said, “I’ve been in this house before. I remember all the Legos!” The last time our dryer broke down had been at least 4 years prior. Legos are always everywhere. Always.

  18. 37

    Raised my son to 12, and he knows how to do so many things, but along the way I forgot to teach him proper phone etiquette. So there we were practicing the other day. But Anna is right. Don’t wallow in the Mommy guilt and shame, because it does more harm than good. Instead just pick yourself up, laugh at life and yourself, learn and grow, and extend to yourself grace and forgiveness, just like you do your girlfriends. When we do this, our children will learn how to meet and deal with their own defeats and mistakes.

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