Unequipped for Motherhood

There are days when I feel like I am totally unequipped to be a mother. Who’s idea was it to trust me with these little people? My choices may scar them for the rest of their lives! What I say or do might replay in their heads for the next 30 years!

I still remember when I was trying to help my sister with her violin practice (we both played). I must have been being a snot because I remember my mom telling me that she hoped I would never be a teacher. For years and years I thought I was horrible at being a leader and teaching others. It was just something my mom said out of frustration … she didn’t really mean it. In fact, if you ask her, she doesn’t even remember saying anything like that! But it’s stuck with me. What is going to slip out of my mouth and haunt my children for the next 30 years?

I find myself most lost when it comes to discipline or when the triplets are acting wildly out of control. I find myself tuning it out rather than dealing with it. It’s like when a baby has too much stimulation they just fall asleep. When I’m too overwhelmed with chaos, I just tuned it all out. I look at my three year olds throwing temper tantrums and kicking their legs at me when going for a time out and I ask myself, “What have you done wrong to have such naughty little dudes? If I were a better mom, my kids would be better behaved.”

I often find myself speechless – totally clueless on the consequence to offer and lost at how to correct some behaviors. I secretly love when my kids misbehave around my sister, an incredibly talented teacher, because I study what ninja teacher move she makes so I can use it at home. But I’m mom, I’m supposed to know things. I’m supposed to have the right thing to say and the perfect chocolate chip recipe. Reality is I have neither. I usually say the wrong thing, and I just use the recipe on the back of the bag of chocolate chips.

There are many days when I really think God made his first mistake when he chose to bless me with four of his souls. Think about it – God gifts us moms with souls … someone’s heart and voice. He places them on our laps and says “do your best.” No instruction manual. No toll free support phone number. God sure has more faith in me than I do.

I just want so much more for my kids. I want their lives to be overflowing with joy and contentment. I want them to feel loved always – even when I’m really ticked off at them. I want them to be confident that their mom was always in their corner. I might not be whispering what they want to hear – but I’ve got their back. I’m going to tell them when they mess up – but I’m going to love them enough to believe that they can fix they went wrong.

Being a mother is hard. Really hard. I think all moms struggle – even the ones who always seem to be dressed, make up on and a Starbucks in their hand. They feel lost too.

I think when I started to open up to other moms, I realized that my feeling of incompetency in motherhood wasn’t abnormal. All of my mom friends have felt like they aren’t right for the job at some point. Whether they feel like the job is too hard or their child is hurting and they don’t know how to help – we’ve all felt like we came up short. I felt relief when I learned that I wasn’t alone.

I have slowly been building my group of mom friends – my support beams in my life house. They hold me up when I’m tired. They cheer me on and encourage me when I feel like I want to give up. My girlfriends share in my successes (working on potty training right now oye). They love and cuddle my children when we are together – proving to me that I am raising loveable young men.

To the mother reading this that feels she is not enough – you are wrong. You are enough with what you have. In your child’s eyes, you are a superhero. Be careful with your words – they will come back to haunt you. Nothing you can do about that one. Don’t be afraid to tell a friend you are struggling – be honest about where you are. Stay tuned into your children’s lives. Mom radar is a real thing – trust your gut. But most of all, be forgiving with yourself and be gentle with each other. Motherhood is like walking into a boxing ring without gloves on. It hurts like hell and is one of the hardest things you’ll have to do in your life. But remember,God trusted you with his souls. He’s counting on you to do your best – so keep showing up. Keep carrying on mama warriors!

Love, Mama Mel

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