Before I got married and had a child of my own I had this vision in my head of the kind of wife and mom I thought I’d be. I’d have a tastefully decorated house that I kept spic and span. I’d go grocery shopping and make delicious home-made meals. I’d do all of these fun extracurricular activities with my children and I’d have it all together! HA! Yeah right.
Obviously, I quickly learned that that would not be the case AT ALL! Shortly after we got married I got pregnant and had terrible morning sickness, to where I could not even step in the kitchen without having to run to the bathroom to throw up, let alone actually cook a meal! And then came the exhaustion. I’d come home from work and it was all I could do to just tidy up around the house before my feet started to hurt.
And then I actually had a baby. We won’t get into how difficult that is but any mom who has had a couple kids knows. You come home from the hospital in more pain than you’ve ever been in, more tired than you’ve ever been before and to top it off you now have more responsibility than you’ve ever had at any other point in your life. To say you’re a little stressed would be biggest understatement of all time probably.
So the months passed and I thought I’d get my act together. I thought I’d get my baby on a schedule, and while he slept I would clean and do laundry and wash the dishes. And then when he was awake I’d sing songs with him and read books and it would just fine and dandy. Except that’s not exactly what happened. Sure, some days I do get tons of stuff done and have bonding time with my little man but nine times out of ten that’s definitely not the case.
It seems like I have this never ending to-do list in my head. Vacuum the carpet, make the bed, do the dishes, fold the laundry, sweep the kitchen and then mop the kitchen, go buy groceries etc, etc, etc… The list never ends. Really. It never seems to end. For every one thing I check off, two more get added. It’s like Hydra. So when I look around my house and it looks like a crazy tornado swept through I feel like a complete and total failure.
And when this happens I begin to question my worth as a wife and a mom. I start saying things to myself like, “Wow, Levi and Alton deserve way better than me” or “Why is it so hard to simply do the dishes? I must be a bad mom.” The voices in my head are never kind. Never uplifting. Always dragging me down further and further. Telling me I’m not good enough, and I never will be. All because my house is messy.
Yeah. I think I’m a bad wife and mom because I have dirty dishes.
Somehow, I truly believed this. And it really wasn’t until recently that I realized just how messed up and destructive this mentality is. And I know that I’m definitely not the only mom who has had these thoughts before. Crazy as it sounds it seems like we as women have taken it on ourselves to be Wonder Woman. We think we need to have a perfectly clean house, we need to be super involved in our kids lives and school activities, we need to be cooking and cleaning and working out and don’t forget to make sure you go to Whole Foods to get the healthiest food for your little ones otherwise you’re a "bad mom".
But it’s simply not true. These are the lies we as women have been fed most of our lives. Lies coming from our society, our families, and even sometimes the devil himself. But that’s just it. They’re LIES.
When I finally put this together I realized that I was finding my value and my worth in what I DO. And what I didn’t do. When I ran errands and cleaned the house and played with my son and worked out and put on cute clothes AND makeup and got a billion things done during the day I felt awesome. I did it. I've finally got the hang out of this mom thing. I’m so amazing.
And then the next day I wore the clothes that I slept in. I didn’t take a shower or brush my teeth. I spent half the day on the couch feeding my son and binge watching Netflix and not a single thing on my to-do list got done. And I felt awful. I’m definitely the worst mom on the planet. I can’t get it together. What’s wrong with me!?
And then my husband came home. Of course I apologized. I do every time.
“I’m so sorry! Nothing got done!”
“It’s okay. It will get done eventually.” He said.
It took awhile for it to really click. My husband still loves me. He’s not just gonna get rid of me just because our house is a little messy. He doesn’t have that old fashioned mentality. Instead, he says, “I love you. You’re a good wife and mom.” And then after a long day at work he gets up and helps clean the house.
If that’s not a beautiful picture of how Christ loves us then I don’t know what is. How often do we get worn down by life, attempting to do it all on our own, trying desperately to get our act together, only to fail. Time after time. And then Jesus comes alongside us and says, “I love you. I’ve got this. Lay your burden at my feet so that I may carry it.”
You see our value rests in not what we can do but what Christ has done through us. I think we tend to forget this and we set the standards for ourselves SO high. And we will NEVER be good enough on our own. Because when we try to be good enough, we find ourselves absolutely exhausted and staring into the face of failure. But thank the Lord our value does not rest in how clean our house is or whether or not we’re making healthy, homemade meals. I’d have been out of the running a LOOONG time ago.
Now I’m not saying you should never clean your house or even that you shouldn’t strive for a clean house, those are actually really good things. But that is not what makes you a good wife and mom.
Being a good wife and mom is not about keeping a spotless house. It’s not about spending hours in the kitchen slaving over homemade meals. It’s not about getting a million things done and desperately trying to be Super Mom. If that's your definition of a "good" mom then you will NEVER be a good enough mom. It won't happen. I will never be a good enough mom in that sense. But I do love my family, and that's worth more than anything.