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!
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.
Meet 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