The Ridiculous Lie I Believed About Motherhood

While my children were growing up, I believed a lie.

I thought if I could be a Perfect Mother, I could raise Perfect Children.

Have you ever heard of such nonsense?

On my first day at home with baby Jamie (our first child), my mother stopped by.

Jamie started screaming. I couldn’t do anything to make her happy.

She’s less than a week old and I’m already failing!

Crazy, I know.

I thought it was my job to make sure she never cried.

Or got sick. Or dirty. Or hurt. Or sad. Or lonely.

Or misbehaved when she got older.

While we ate supper, I laid her on the sofa. Somehow she wiggled toward the back of the sofa.

What kind of Perfect Mother does things like this?

Before Mother left, we snapped a few happy pictures.

 

I’m smiling (a Perfect Mother always smiles) but on the inside,

I was a Nervous Nellie.

Two and a half years later Katie was born, 30 years ago today, April 30th. 🙂

Happy birthday, Katie!

What pressure! Now I had two little girls to make Perfect.

I tried so hard to be a Perfect Mother.

Which was exhausting.

Cheery notes in lunchboxes, ribbons in hair, matching outfits, plus I never screamed (on the outside).

Then something happened that began to change me.

Our third child Robbie was born with anencephaly.

He lived twenty minutes.

Life and death can rearrange our thinking. Shift priorities.

We had another son two years later.

Slowly but surely, (and definitely while raising teenagers!) I discovered how wrong I was.

It was never my job to be a Perfect Mother.

And something else.

The root of my desire for perfection was control.

I wasn’t in control then.

I’m not in control now.

God is.

He’s my Perfect Father. And my children’s Perfect Father too.

Did you believe any crazy lies about motherhood?

Wishing you a happy and relaxed Mother’s Day.

Love,

Julie

 

Only Seven Cookies…Or So I Thought

Wednesday morning, I stood in the kitchen staring at the plate of homemade cookies I’d baked. A gentle thought came to me. I came up with logical reasons to push the idea aside. For one thing, I’d made the cookies for a brunch.

The voice inside whispered to take a few cookies to a certain friend I’d met at the YMCA and tell her Merry Christmas. She deals with health issues. I’m drawn to her because of her radiance.

But…

I don’t know her that well.

A few cookies aren’t a real gift.

I won’t have time to make more cookies before I see her.

I should buy her something instead.

Save some cookies for her.

Just stick them in a Ziploc baggie with a bow?

Use a pretty Christmas bag and a card.

Wednesday afternoon, I almost chickened out. What difference could seven cookies make?

Handing her the small red bag, something supernatural happened.

I can’t explain it.

Joy exploded inside me. “Merry Christmas. These are homemade cookies.”

Her shiny eyes met mine. She hugged me. “I don’t have any food in the house. I’ve been too busy to go to the grocery store. I’ll eat them tonight. Yummy! I can’t believe you did this.”

I almost didn’t. Thank you, Lord.

Shift gears with me.

This morning, I read Stephanie Shott’s post at The Mom Initiative. She’s requesting readers to write short prayers for those affected by the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. This time I didn’t argue with the Still Small Voice. I quickly added a prayer in the comment section with the others. My friend Robin wrote a beautiful post about carrying one another’s burdens. She shares a link to donate to the families.

I’m learning something so sweet.  Blessings follow obedience.  Even in the seemingly small things.

Love,

Julie

P.S. Robin’s cookie recipe. They’re GF. White chocolate cranberry walnut oatmeal.