On the sidebar of my blog, it says, "I live in the gap between the mom I want to be and the mom I really am." You see there is this perfect mom that I picture - one who is patient, who doesn't yell, who always knows the right answer, the right thing to do. I know it's unrealistic. I know I can never be perfect. I even know that attempting perfection is not healthy. But you see I really don't want my brokenness to transfer to my kids. Those things I don't like about myself, the things I'm working on, I don't want to instill in them. Is that so bad?
Then there is the mom I really am. The one who yells. The one who is less than patient. The one who doesn't know what to do half the time.
And here I am tonight, in the gap between the two, trying to find middle ground. Here's today's incident.
I had several moms and daughters over today (part of a new group I started of moms/daughters serving together once a month in our community). Today we were making cookies to take to police/fire stations to say 'thanks for serving our community.' Sarah is busy decorating cookies, then I turn around and find she has decided to NOT frost her cookies, no, she decided to frost her hands...and throw in a bunch of sprinkles, and mix them in, and then proceed to cover both sides of her hands!!!! Seriously, is she two and half? Because I thought she was nine and a half! At two and half I would have gasped, raised my voice in a crazy sounding 'no', then proceeded to explain to her that 'no, we frost the cookies, like this, not our hands.' But to my 9.5 year old? All I can yell is this "What were you thinking? What in the world made you think this would be ok? I can't believe you have done this! Seriously, Sarah?! Wash your hands now!" Oh, I zapped the joy right out of the room. Sigh. She knows better. Yet she chooses different. And I'll admit, I found it embarrassing (both her actions, and then my response).
So tonight, I try to think, how can I respond different next time? What should my response have been? And you know what? I.have.no.clue.NOT.one.tiny.clue. about how to do this different next time - ask her nicely to stop, eye rolling, laughing, ignoring...you know what. I don't have an answer. Do you? I'd love your perspective.
And here I am at the end of the day, trying to give myself grace. Why do I always find it the hardest to extend grace to myself? I did read "Jesus Calling" devotional tonight, written as if Jesus is speaking to you, and I read, " Gaze into My eyes, and you will see no condemnation, only Love and delight in the one I see." And I am once again captivated by God's grace for me. Even when I don't deserve it, he extends Love and delight to me. I am trying to rest in that truth as I straddle this gap of motherhood.