Busting the Myths of Motherhood

bedtime I have a confession to make. I hate bedtime. Oh, I love my own bedtime. There's nothing like falling into my own bed after a long day. It's putting my girls to bed that I dislike -- a lot.

I tell you this because it's one of those things that as a mom, the rest of the world tells you you're supposed to love. Tucking your kids in. Telling them bedtime stories. Sharing the last precious moments of the day. According to the TV commercials and movies, bedtime is a glorious time of the day.

Except it's not. Bedtime around here means everyone (including mom) is tired. Bedtime means someone is going to ask for "just five more minutes." Bedtime means stalling and thinking of new ways to stay up. Bedtime is when someone is going to remember something they just have to have ready for school tomorrow that they forgot about until just now.

When it's time for my girls to go to bed, I just want them to go to bed. I don't want to read a book or have a deep discussion. I want to put them in their beds, pray with them and have them go to sleep. If they want to have a deep discussion or have me read to them, let's do it in the morning when everyone is awake and rested. Especially me.

I tell you all this because too often we buy into the myth that motherhood is supposed to be a bed of roses. We look at the portrayal of families on TV, in movies, in books, in the faces our friends and neighbors show to the world, and we wonder why our own families aren't like that. We wonder why we don't love the precious moments of bedtime, why mealtime is a struggle, and why getting our kids out the door is a herculean task. We wonder why we don't always love the things the world tells us we're supposed to love.

We can so easily buy into the myths about motherhood that we miss the truth. Motherhood is a messy business filled with tasks that aren't easy and things that we may not love. But it is the best job in the world. Despite the fact that we may not love all of it, we do love our kids. We love who they are and who they are becoming. And it's that love that keeps us getting up in the middle of the night, answering the same question for the 20th time, and cleaning up the messes.

What I want you to know today is if you hate bedtime or bathtime or mealtime or any other time of your day that doesn't look like a Norman Rockwell painting, it's OK. We don't have to believe the myth that the world is feeding us. God never intended for our homes to be perfect places filled with perfect people. God knew that motherhood would be messy. He knew that there would be days we wanted to throw in the towel. He knew there would be parts of this calling that we really wouldn't like.

But He also knew that our kids need us. He knew that the kids He placed in our lives need our special mix of talents and love. He knew that our kids would be precious to us -- even if some of the moments of everyday life are not.

Don't feel bad if your family doesn't look like the ones you see in the media. It's not supposed to, and we only drive ourselves crazy when we try to make it look like them. There's only one thing we should model our families after -- and that's how God loves us.

If we're seeking God, loving our kids the best way we know how, and teaching them about God, then it doesn't matter if bedtime is chaos, mealtime is pizza on the floor in front of a movie, or someone leaves the house without a shoe. We aren't perfect, and God doesn't expect us to be.

So today I'm asking you to stop comparing yourself to the myths the world is feeding us. Trust God and love your families. You don't have to love every minute of your day. You just have to love your kids.