Confession: There was a day I was the worst mom ever.
At least that’s what I told myself. It all started with an unmatched pair of socks. For whatever reason, I couldn’t find a pair of socks that matched for the kids. (This was before I bought the mega size packages of plain white socks. Or several packages. All white. You get the picture.) I had little white socks with pink hearts, or little pink socks with white hearts. There were rainbow socks and lace socks, but NONE of them had a match. Yes… I was THAT behind on laundry. All the matched socks were dirty. (This was also before any of my kids had ever re-worn a pair socks.) In a moment of frustration, I told myself what a horrible mom I was. “Bad Mom” is all I could think. In everything I tried to do, I found something negative about myself. The mantra in my head became “You are the worst mom ever!”
The negativity spiraled into a vortex of one angry mom quickly loosing her patience with the kids. The kids would then loose their patience with each other and everyone would walk around grumpy. For days, all I did was focus on what a failure I was. I spent so much time brooding, I didn’t get other important things done. The list of my faults and failures was really adding up.
Knowing my life at that time, the list probably included items such as:
- forgetting to sweep
- not picking up cherrios off the unswept floor before my husband got home and realized the kids were eating them
- forgetting to switch the clothes to the dryer and having to rewash them- again
- burning toast
- forgetting an ingredient for dinner
- yelling at the kids until someone cried
- speaking mean words to my husband
All, in all, the list is not ideal, but also not worthy of total failure. It was a sad, negative cycle that left me feeling like the worst mom ever. That phrase is exactly what I spoke over myself until I believed it, and in believing it I lived it.
One day I decided the only way to stop living like that was to – just stop. Start speaking words of truth – even if I didn’t believe it. So where do you find that truth? When your mantra is negative and thoughts of yourself are lower than low, where do you find the encouraging, positive words? The Creator of all the positive words. The Creator of You.
12 Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for
I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
I didn’t stop thinking those thoughts overnight, it took years before I actually believed I wasn’t a failure. (I can be stubborn that way!) But it happened. I woke up one day and the thought of me being the worst mom ever made me laugh. I realize it was easier to stay stuck in “I’m the worst” so I didn’t have to strive to be the best. I could be lazy because that’s what bad moms did. Once I started to believe I was WORTH being the best mom, I started to live it. Laziness and mistakes did not equal unworthiness. I began to look at the things I messed up as just that – mess ups. Now, instead of brooding over mess ups, I put them behind me and allow them to teach me how to improve.
What about you? What is YOUR mantra?