Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Grace That Gets Me Through

One of the comments I keep hearing throughout my mothering journey is one that could be considered a compliment - but actually tends to bother me more often than not. What comment is that? This one: "You are so amazing!" Or this alternative: "You must be super woman!" Usually I just laugh and say, "No, I am not!" hoping to steer the conversation in a different direction. Unfortunately, it continues with this: "No, really, you are amazing. I mean, look at you. You have 5 kids! How do you do it?". Since when does having 5 kids set the standard for greatness? I know of some women that have not and may never birth children and are far more amazing than I am. Just because I have 5 children does not mean I am great, amazing or super. So, to set the record straight, I am going to show you the reasons why I am NOT an amazing woman!

Reason #1 - I yell at my kids! Does that surprise you? If you know me really well it shouldn't! I am not proud of the fact that yelling happens nor do I like it. As a matter of fact, it bothers me greatly. Do I yell at them every day? No. But the point is I do. Usually when I have called them at least twice and they haven't listened - yelling seems to get their attention. Then I have to apologize for yelling at them. For hurting them in that way. For belittling them in that way. Good mothers shouldn't yell. Amazing mothers don't yell. God's grace is still working on me. Maybe someday, with that same grace, I will say I don't yell at my kids. Anymore.

Reason #2 - I spank my kids when I am angry. I really want to delete that and let you all think I am an amazing mother than never loses her patience. But I do. And it shows. Yes, my kids get spankings for willful disobedience. And sometimes I spank them when I am angry. So angry, in fact, I want to throw a temper-tantrum and stomp my feet! Sometimes I get so MAD!! Now, I don't randomly hit my kids. No, I take them to the bathroom and we have a "talk". And sometimes I am angry when we "talk". And, again, I need to apologize and ask their forgiveness for hurting them like that. I know what should be done - if spankings need to happen, they should never be done when I am angry. I should wait until I have cooled down and can deal with them in a calm manner like the responsible mature parent I am supposed to be. But that doesn't always happen. And I am so sorry for that. And, once again, God's grace pours over me. Someday, with God's grace, I will say I don't spank my kids when I am angry. Anymore.

Reason #3 - I feed my kids macaroni and cheese. A lot. Probably more than is good for them. Amazing mothers should make home cooked meals from scratch. Everyday. In fact, they should spend all day in the kitchen. (The unfortunate part about a blog is that you cannot see when my tongue is firmly planted in my cheek, like it is now!). ☺

Reason #4 - We are always late. For everything. To everywhere. The famous Sunday morning question as we are pulling up to church, "Are we late?". We told them we would let them know when we are on time otherwise they should just assume we are late because we probably are. And as I am unbuckling those late kids, more than likely their faces are still covered with breakfast and I need to do the lick-and-wipe routine! Super mothers would arrive at church on time. With clean kids. Some would say that I obviously think we are more important than church because tardiness shows a lack of caring. Those people haven't been at our house on a Sunday morning. And though it may seem like a little thing to you, it really does bother me that we cannot be on time. Well, rarely on time. It happened once. I think. And we gave ourselves three cheers! Someday, with God's grace, I will say that we are never late. Anymore.

Reason #5 - At times, I would much rather ignore my kids than feed them. Or play with them. Or read to them. Or just spend time with them. Sometimes I wish it were just me. Or that I could go away to work everyday and not spend all that time with them. You don't think I am so amazing anymore, do you? But, I tear myself away from whatever it is I think is so important and feed them anyway. Or play with them. Or read. Or just snuggle. Because I really do love those little people. A whole, whole lot! With God's grace I will put aside my own agenda, my own needs and think of the needs of my children first. Someday I will say I don't ignore my children. Anymore.

Being a mother of 5 is not easy. Being a mother of one or two or three or four or however many you are blessed to have (and, yes, they are a blessing!) is not easy. Having 5 does not necessarily make mothering harder, it's just that more of my shortcomings are revealed. I remember hearing something to this effect when I was pregnant with my eldest - God gives us the children we have, in the exact order, with the exact personality, boy or girl, created exactly as they are to teach us something about God! I must not be getting what God is trying to teach me - I need 5 kids for Him to get His message through!! This life I live is a busy, noisy, crazy adventure full of grace. Grace to live out each day to its fullest potential. Grace to make mistakes and try again. So, when you see me, please don't say I am amazing. I am not amazing. I am not super. I am a sinner saved by grace doing a miserable job showing God's love to the little ones He has entrusted to me. Those little ones I love so much I miss them even when they are not gone. Those little ones who deserve better than an angry, yelling, macaroni-making mother! Thankfully those little ones were created by a God so full of grace and love and forgiveness that He holds that mother in His arms and asks her to forgive herself just as He forgives her. He will walk her through another day with His grace. And she will succeed. If only for this one day. After all, His grace is new every morning.


  1. This post is like a breath of fresh air. I feel so uncomfortable when people compliment my mothering because I know I have so many faults, and I never know what to say, either. I WANT to say, "Are you CRAZY?! Have you seen my laundry pile? Do you know that I try to stay in bed as long as I possibly can before kids start screaming at each other? Have you seen my lunch menu???" Thank you for this post and your honesty!

  2. Thankyou SO MUCH for sharing this with us!! :)

  3. mom here....I am so proud to call you my are doing a great job with God's help and your children reflect that!!! love you and them always and forever!

  4. This was very honest and something I'm sure many of us can identify with. Even if you don't think you are amazing, you are. And not because you have five kids - you just are. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

  5. Hey Chantelle! Ashlee emailed me this post after I called you a "super-mom" the other day:) Thanks for sharing your heart...I think all of us Moms feel the same way. But I am SO THANKFUL that God gives us second, third,...even hundredth chances to try again! HIS grace is sufficient...HIS power is made perfect in our weakness...and I am so grateful!!!!

  6. Thank you for your vulnerability. And here I thought I was the only one who felt this way ;)....

  7. Hi! I just came across your blog and want to say, "Thank you" for such encouraging words. I too have five children, a small home, homeschool... etc.... it is nice to read your "unpleasant" thoughts as well as the triumphs and encouragements in your life.


Related Posts with Thumbnails