Oh sweet goodness.  This spunky little thing might just be the end of me.

Like the Hokies jersey/multiple unnecessary bandaid get-up?  That, my friends, is the look of a child whose mother is carefully choosing battles these days.  Because when it takes fifteen minutes (and the help of my four year old) to wrestle a pull-up on the girl at night, some other things just aren’t worth it.


After a failed attempt of bringing the kids (sans Matt) to a beautiful engagement party last night (what in the heck was I thinking??), I felt completely defeated as I loaded two crying kids into the minivan.  Almost instinctively, I called my mom and soon found myself sobbing as I narrated the difficulties of the past few weeks.  I reminded her of Mary Grace’s boundless energy and unbelievably strong will.  How her voice has been hoarse for the past week from her sheer volume.  I acknowledged my embarrassment over her meltdown at the party.  And my mom listened.


She then reassured me that, despite what I was feeling in that moment, I was not a complete failure as a mom.  That an unfortunate string of fussiness and disobedience was not a reflection on my mothering.  That this too shall pass.


Later that evening, as the Bedtime War raged on, I found myself sitting outside of Mary Grace’s door crying out to the Lord for wisdom and help.  And, let’s be real… begging for rest.  As I prayed, I was hit hard with my own sin here.  So much of my frustration that evening had revolved around me.  On my identity as a mother.  Which is exactly why I was so shaken up by an hour of my kids’ misbehavior on display for an entire party of well-groomed adults to see.  So much of my identity has been wrapped up in how well I performed as a mother.  How pristine my kids looked.  How well-mannered they were.  How impeccable their behavior.


This is old hat to me.  Identity has been something I have wrestled with for quite some time.  I wrote about it here and here and here.  You see?  I’m as hard headed and slow to learn as they come.  As I did last night, I have fallen hard so many times for the lie that my worth flows from my accomplishments and accolades. I am just grateful that I have a Father who loves me and accepts me unconditionally, despite my own tantrums and screw-ups.  That, at the end of the day, I can rest in my identity as His beloved daughter.


I did finally get a good night sleep last night in case you were wondering… until Carson woke us with his screams of, “mommmy!! I threw up all over my bed!”  But, hey, that’s motherhood I suppose.


I’m still learning, y’all.  Bear with me…

2 Comments on on identity and motherhood

  1. Isn’t funny how we, as moms, base so much of what we think or how we value ourselves from what flows from our children? I mean, why do I allow my own self worth or my own emotions to emit from the flesh of a child who chews gum out of foreign play places & eats his own scabs? What happened to my brain? Thank you for being so honest here~ really, thank you~
    And btw, we’ve all been there. And it does get better, with time. My two are 19 mo. apart and its a killer for about 4 or 5 years….then the dust begins to settle and you “can” have and do again. Best wishes.

  2. I gave up on the impeccably dressed, well-mannered children years ago. I feel your pain-having an extremely energetic and strong-willed daughter myself. I just pray that I make it to the other side of the teenage years without one of us needing therapy.

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