It stinks when I lose my patience with my little people and raise my voice unnecessarily.
It stinks when I lose my temper and react poorly instead of walking away for a count to ten.
It stinks when laziness prevails instead of a willingness to toss the baseball one more time.
It stinks when I allow selfishness to guide my decision-making instead of self-less-ness.
It stinks when my children-- my blessed gifts from God above-- are adversely effected by my poor choices.
It stinks when I take my very excited four-year old son to the dentist for the very first time and learn he has a small cavity in his upper right molar. Why?? Because his momma didn't take better care of his teeth.
And I know better! That's what hurts so badly. My parents have instilled in me from Day 1 the need to take extra special care of my pearly whites. Back in the day, both my brother and I had layers of sealant applied to our molars (for extra protection), and already both my older boys have undergone a similar application to prevent this very thing from happening. And so far, so good. But when it comes to Big Man's teeth, which have surely developed in a like manner (with those super deep crevices) and which will surely require extra protection, I dropped the ball...
You know, consequences are tough. They're just no fun. But oftentimes, we deserve what we get. As I tearfully explained the situation to my two oldest, I used this example-- if they slack off at swim practice for days on end and then bomb their next meet, who's to blame?? They are, of course. They didn't work hard; they didn't adequately prepare. They pay the price.
In this scenario, however, my Big Man is not to blame. It's not his fault that next Thursday, bright and early, he'll return to the dentist's office to face a needle and a drill so that Dr. T can fix what I broke. And that. just. stinks.
Being a mom is so hard. It's hard under the best of circumstances. But it's even harder when I mess up. It's heart-breaking for me to consider-- the fact that my mistakes, my poor choices... my sins... affect my littles in ways I'd never choose. That my childern should suffer because of me. Well... that's a hard pill to swallow.
As for Big Man-- yes, they're just baby teeth. And yes, they'll eventually fall out anyway. But that's not the point. Because of my negligence, because of my neglect, my four-year old tyke is going to suffer the consequences. He'll struggle under the discomfort of the process, and that kills me. Four years old... I screwed up.
And that stinks. Big time.
It's hard being a mom.
But you know what I'm finally coming to realize?? You know what I've known all this time, but am just now beginning to accept?? You know what makes this ugly blot of a day a little bit brighter?? The fact that I'm forgiven. And free. And tomorrow I get to try again. The blood of Christ covers a multitude of sins... and grace abounds all the more.
"So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.
He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom
with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.
He has showered his kindness on us,
along with all wisdom and understanding."
Yes, being a mom is tough-- it's the toughest job I'll ever do. But even when I screw up, even when I fall short of my calling, four little faces still love me. And my God loves me all the more. Now that's something to celebrate.