When my kids were really little and I was new at “mommy’ing”, I would spend many nights lying awake beating myself up or feeling guilty about how my day went. I would replay the events of the day over and over in my head. I’d be mad at myself for yelling or losing my temper, for not feeding them more vegetables, or for staying home in my PJs when I felt all the good moms probably had their kids at the park. I would feel like such a failure based on what seems so trivial in hindsight.
Then one day, I came across the quote “Bad moments don’t make bad mamas” by Lysa TerKeurst – a Christian writer and speaker. Friends, let me tell you. Those words were a healing balm to my beat up soul. I began to walk in that truth – that just because I may have had a bad moment, it didn’t mean that I was a bad mom. I felt hope and the beauty of a second chance, a third chance, a fourth, or more.
Then several years later, when my reasons for staying up late worrying extended beyond the baby/toddler stage, God used those same words to comfort me again. It was during a season when my kid was making choices that embarrassed me and broke my heart simultaneously. I took these actions personally. I wracked my brain with what I could or should be doing differently. How did I allow this to happen? Why is this happening? What will others think of my kid? Of me?
Then the Lord sweetly reminded me of those same words I found comfort in several years before. Bad moments don’t make bad mamas. But this time, it meant something a little bit different.
This time, it applied in the sense that when our kids have “bad moments” it doesn’t mean that I’m a bad mom. It’s not a reflection of my parenting. Notice I said when and not if. Our kids are going to act up, misbehave and make bad choices. The things they may choose to say or do may upset us, shock us, or threaten to destroy us. This is all a part of growing up.
When they have a bad moment, remember, that does not mean that they are a bad kid, or that you are a bad mom.
Doesn’t that feel like a big ol’ sigh of relief? Sweet grace. What would it be like if we could extend that same grace to others? When their child has a bad moment, to stop any judgment and realize it doesn’t make her a bad mom, either? It just means our kids are growing up.
The most important, impactful thing we can do, in the good moments and the bad, is pray. We can’t control our kids. We can only lead by example and trust the promise that God loves them even more than we do. Find strength in knowing that HE is hearing our prayers. Resolve within yourself that “because HE bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath” (Psalm 116:2).
Keep praying Mama. Bad moments: ours or theirs, should bring us to the best place we can be – raising our children on our knees.
“From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2).
Pray Psalm 139:17-18 for your children: Lord, I thank you that Your thoughts of my children are precious! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When they awake, they are still with You.