I am not that mama.....you know....that mama. The one everyone loves to secretly hate but nobody actually acknowledges that they do. That one. Don't know who she is? Well here, let me describe her to you:
That mama? Her outfit, hair, make-up, and nails are perfect every time you see her. She's able to put all that together as if she has all the time in the world to get ready......like there are no screaming banshees running around her house flushing things down the toilet and coloring on the walls. No messy buns or mascaraless eyes for her. She's decked out in full face, runway ready.....even if she's just taking out the trash. And, if you were to look at her freshly laundered and pressed outfit, you wouldn't see any hint that she had children.....like, a smear of peanut butter or a drop of spilled milk. Yup, she's the one I'm talking about....have you seen her?
That mama? Her house is immaculate. At every hour of the day. Everything is clean, picked up, put away, and organized in wicker basket bins with cute little ribbons on them. She's got a living room that looks like a page someone ripped out of a Pottery Barn catalog, complete with her 3 non-rambunctious children all sitting and playing calmly and quietly on her designer area rug which is free from juice and jelly stains, and there are no cracker crumbs anywhere to be found.....and.....did I mention that it smells heavenly in there? You might think it's the Yankee Candle burning on her mantle, but really....it's the scent of the baked goods she's got in the oven that she somehow had time to make. From scratch. Yeah.
That mama? She knows what her family is having for dinner for the next three months because she's got every meal pre-planned, prepped, and in freezer bags labeled with the name of the dish and the date for preparation in accordance with the meal planning board she created from a tutorial on Pinterest. And, let's not even talk about the fact that she's such a couponing diva that she spent about 18 cents to fill her pantry with the groceries for said meals. In addition, that mama never feeds her children anything that came out of a box, can, jar, wrapper, drive-thru, or plastic bag.....unless, you know....she put it in that plastic bag herself and then threw it in the freezer. Uh-huh.
You hate her yet?
Ok....I'll keep going.
That mama? All of her children nap. Every day. At the same time. Simultaneously. For three hours. This leaves her with time to do....well.....whatever she wants! And, when the day winds down and it's time to get ready for bed, that mama bathes her children and emerges without one sprinkle of water touching her or her name brand clothing. Her children allow themselves to be shampooed and rinsed without protest, and when they're all done, the bathroom looks just a pristine as if they'd never been there. After baths, they snuggle for bedtime stories, and they're able to read several of them from beginning to end because, that mama, her children never change their minds 2 pages into a story and pick another instead. Then, they settle into their warm, cozy, IKEA beds......where they stay. All. night. long. That mama.
And if all that isn't enough, she's not only perfect where her home and family are concerned, she's perfect in all areas - even the ones you can't see but you just know they're perfect because EVERYTHING she does is perfect. She doesn't have random receipts crammed into the nooks and crannies of her purse. The junk drawer in her kitchen ( you know, the one that everybody has) is completely organized, thus making it unworthy of the title "JUNK drawer." Her spice cabinet is alphabetized. She has Sharpie markers in every color just in case.....because you never know when you'll need to label a frozen meal in chartreuse or magenta instead of just boring old black. Every towel in her linen closet is perfectly folded and stacked, and no little hands ever go in there and pull them out. She never has more than one basket of dirty laundry in her house, and all the clean laundry is folded and put away. And she's never late anywhere because her children always comply when it's time to go, and she never has a last minute mess to clean up before she runs out the door.....like....a bottle of spilled nail polish in the bathroom sink. I'm just saying.....that happened at our house. Yesterday. As I was trying to get us ready to leave for bible study. Sigh..... And that mama, not only is she not ever late, she also has time to grab a Starbucks on her way to wherever it is she's going.
There, that should do it. You hate her now......right? Well, it's okay if you do.....because that mama.....that perfect mama....she doesn't exist. And when the enemy tells you that you need to have certain things and be a certain way to be a good, perfect mama.....you can tell him to hit the bricks.
Ok.....maybe the description I gave is a little exaggerated....even though....I could swear that I DO know moms like this......BUT.....that's not the point.
Here IS the point. I'm NOT that mama. I'm me. I'm a good mama even if I'm not that mama. I am the way God made me, and I am a work in progress. I'm learning as I go. I'm taking a day at a time, and enjoying every moment - even the crazy ones (which, believe me, are in no short supply!). I know that no one is perfect.....even when they seem to be. I realize that my season of life with a 2-year-old doesn't look the same as the season of life of another mom with multiple children of different ages who's been at it longer than I have and has a few more tricks up her sleeve. Even though I see moms who seemingly have it all together, I know they have their problems too. For me, I'm happy. I love my husband. I love my son. I love my life. Do I have my problems? Sure. Who doesn't? But I have something else in my life - I have Jesus. And having him in my life means I don't have to be perfect, by any standard.
I can't tell you what a relief that is!
So, if you're a mama, and you're reading this, just know: Perfection is an illusion. It's not something you or I can attain.
But, redemption .....atonement.....victory.... those are not unattainable. They are yours, through the blood of Jesus Christ. Claim that truth today and every day. You are HIS. And he.....is perfect. Perfect enough to cover even you, and even me.
Disclaimer: This post is in no way meant to offend you if, in fact, your children do sleep in IKEA beds, and you just happen to be fond of chartreuse. And, I promise, IKEA (and Starbucks and Pottery Barn and Sharpie) did not pay me to write this post....I mean...I've never even BEEN to an IKEA!