When Mom Fails


My younger daughter is having a tough time adjusting to the new school year. We've had more tears and drama from her in the past two weeks than we've had in all the previous school years put together. We've had very few afternoons without shedding tears over homework. There's a host of reasons for all the drama -- from being tired to being frustrated to having her head stuffed up with allergies.

While my younger daughter tends to be my more dramatic one, I didn't plan for this. She's not my kid that generally has trouble adjusting to new situations. My older daughter hates change. I planned my schedule for the fall around her. I set aside time in the afternoon to make sure that I had time to talk with her about her day. I made sure she felt confident about her middle school schedule. We talked through everything numerous times before school started.

But I didn't do that with my younger one. Not because I'm a terrible mom, but because I didn't think she needed it. And after one particularly frustrating day last week, I realized that I was wrong. She does need me to plan for her. She does need me to set aside some time after school to sit down just with her and break down the day. She does need me to be her support. She does need me to love her unconditionally.

So after our particularly frustrating day last week, I took a new tack. Before tackling her homework, we sat down and unpacked her day. We laid down on her bed, and I listened while she talked. We didn't talk about homework or grades. We just worked through the day -- the funny, the frustrating, the happy and the sad. And, you know what? We didn't have any tears over homework. We just got it done.

Because the tears weren't about the homework. The tears were about not feeling loved and valued. The tears were about having a tough day at school and not having anyone listen when you got home. And that was a failing on my part. It was my failure to recognize what she needed from me that led to much of our frustration with each other.

Which is why I'm so glad that every morning, I get a new chance to do it right. My failings from yesterday don't have to be my failings from today.

We all have days -- and even weeks -- when we're not the best moms in the world. We have moments when we yelled when we should have listened. We have days when we made the wrong decision and caused hurt instead of healing. We have hours when we'd rather have silence and solitude than grubby hands and crying children.

And that's OK. Because when we screw up, when we make the wrong choice, when we hurt instead of heal, God offers us forgiveness and gives us another chance to get it right. He wipes the slate clean. Psalm 103:12 says "As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us."

So, if you're having a bad mommy day or if it's 8 a.m. and you already feel like a mommy failure, remember that God is the God of second chances. Lay your failures at God's feet and watch Him wipe them away. Then ask Him for the wisdom and the strength to get it right the next time.

Because you are not the sum of your failures. God chose you to be the mom of your child because He knew that you would be a perfect fit. And He's willing to give you as many chances as you need to prove Him right.

Linking up today with Time-Warp Wife.