Being the "Best" Mom

My older daughter wrapped her arms around me in a hug and quietly said, "Mom, you're the best."

It was 7:30 p.m., and I was in my pajamas, ready for bed. I didn't feel like the best.

A to-do list sat half-done on the end table. Laundry sat in a pile unfolded at the foot of my bed. Dishes were piled on the counter. A pile of clothes sat in my daughter's room, waiting to be sorted for the fall. I hadn't played with or really listened to either of my kids since thy had come home from school. I had fussed at my younger daughter for singing too loudly.

Now, I had a pretty good excuse. A ridiculously awful migraine had laid me flat for most of the afternoon. But as my daughter quietly said those words to me, "Mom, you're the best," I didn't feel like the best. I felt like going to bed and never getting up again.

Yet those words reminded me that my kids love me even when I'm not at my best. To them, I am the best. They don't always need me to be creative and fun. They are quick to forgive when I'm short-tempered and wrong. They love me because I'm their mom, and they know I love them -- even when I'm not the best.

Too often, I think we have unrealistic expectations of what we should be as moms. We compare ourselves to the moms we see on TV or in movies who have it all together. They look gorgeous, they hold down a job and have a perfect family, they always have something witty to say. Or we compare ourselves to other moms we know. We see the mom in the carpool line who always has perfectly coiffed hair, perfectly done make-up and never seems to be yelling at her kids.

And we forget that our kids think we're the best, simply because they know that we love them -- unconditionally and without restraint. Even on our worst days, our kids know that they are loved. You can give your kids no greater gift than that because that's the gift that Jesus gave us. 1 John 3:16 says, "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters."

Moms are the best at laying down their lives for their kids. Even when we're tired, sick, hungry or just plain fed up with it all, we're still looking after our family's needs. And that's the same kind of love Jesus had for us -- a sacrificial love. Your kids may never walk up to you and tell you "You're the best," but deep in their hearts they know it. They know that you love them with the kind of love that perseveres, the kind of love that encourages, the kind of love that sacrifices.

So, today, even if piles of laundry sit on your bed, even if you yell at your kids, even if you're ready for bed at 7 p.m., if you love your kids unconditionally, if you love them whole-heartedly, then remember you are "the best."

Linking up today with Time-Warp Wife.