I used to treat motherhood like a test. Every night I’d think over my day and evaluate myself. If the kids were relatively happy, I didn’t blow up too often, and if the house ended up fairly clean, then I’d give myself a passing grade.
But then there were those days when I didn’t seem to measure up to the picture in my mind:
The kids fought with each other. Failure.
I had drive-through fast-food again. Failure.
When was the last time I actually read them a Bible story? Failure.
The only time I was happy today was when they went to bed. Big failure!
I not only spent years asking myself, “Am I doing this right?” but also I spent years giving myself below-passing grades for being certain I wasn’t doing any of it right.
Motherhood is not a test.
So how do you give yourself a hall pass?
Be the mom your kids need in the moment. A test is a marker, but being a mom is more fluid than that. A test tells you what you “know” in the moment. Being a mom is enjoying the moments even though you don’t understand them completely. It’s finding joy in the moment, instead of grading yourself.
View your day through the lens of thankfulness. A test is a black-and-white evaluation, but our world is harsh when we view it in black and white. Instead of seeing where you don’t measure up, starting giving thanks for what you do have: healthy children, a warm home, food, beauty in the moments.
Remember that love covers a multitude of sins. A test grader uses a red pen to point out the wrongs. Love, poured down from Jesus uses red blood to cover the wrongs. You’ll never be a perfect mom, but love covers a multitude of sins.
Don’t try to measure up. Just do your best as a mom. I love what Galatians 6:4 says, “Let everyone be sure to do his very best, for then he will have the personal satisfaction of work done well and won’t need to compare himself with someone else.” A test compares you with others.