Friday, September 25, 2015


I wish I could have complete control over the choices of my children sometimes. Sometimes the effort to get them to make good choices and have them completely resist everything you are trying to ingrain into their little minds is humorous.

Most of the time it is exhausting and frustrating.

Have you ever seen a harried mother in a grocery store? I am sure you have. I am often that mother and I can tell you that it is as embarrassing and shameful as it looks. There is such an immense pressure to get your children to behave and be polite and courteous and a majority of the time your efforts are there and they just don't measure up.

I try to extend as much grace and mercy as possible to those around me that often I forget to extend it towards myself. Of course I want to raise children who are kind and good and polite, but it is a process and there will be trying moments where you will be completely humbled by your children. When your baby is climbing out of the cart because the seat buckle is always broken (ALWAYS!) and your preschooler is running in circles knocking candy bars off the rack and you haven't had a decent nights sleep in a year and you are just trying to get out of the store quickly because your preschooler also notified you that he has to pee and it is much easier to accomplish that at home than to maneuver yourself back through the aisles to the bathroom. I calmly try to keep the baby seated and calmly try to urge the energetic child to slow down and listen to my hiss to stop.

I feel insane. Once I manage to get us all back into the car safely after treading through the parking lot with a baby on one hip and the child by my side and bags on my arms, I take a breath. I breath to calm my heart and mind. To try to discern where I went wrong. What could I have done more to not be THAT mom, the one everyone side eyes with pity or contempt and sometimes even facebook posts.

I could have prepared better yes. I could have paid more attention the carts and given my toddler clearer instructions on behavior ahead of time. Given him some sort of choice to help him feel like he had control over his own will. There is a lot I could have done and that I will probably do in the future, but most of all at the end of the day, I rely on mercy.

I am one person, one imperfect person who is TRYING. Trying to raise good and kind children in a world with a lot of competing values of judgement and selfishness and contempt. Where I fall short, He steps in. There will always be things that are overlooked and mistakes made, but if I am trying with a sincere desire to do right, I KNOW He will fill in those gaps and shortcomings. I know because I have seen Him do it before in my life.

 I hope that when you see that mother in the grocery store that you will extend grace. That you do it through kind words (I once had another mother look at me and say, "You are doing great." My eyes swelled with tears from that earthly angel. Some days are HARD). You can do it by offering assistance. If you have no children and grab a cart, look at the buckles! Are there two straps? Are the buckles intact? Give it to the next mom who walks in heading towards the carts with a baby or toddler. If you don't know what else to do, smile and buy her a candy bar (trust me she WILL eat it!).


Max's laughter lights up the world.

Daniel waiting for someone to open the door.

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