Sunday, May 10, 2015

Good Mom/Bad Mom/RAD Mom

Today is Mother's Day.


It's a good day, unless it's not. And there are too many that I know or think of who struggle with parts of motherhood--being one, not being one, living in the shadow of a mother. As our pastor said this morning, "Motherhood is complicated." Amen.

All this week I've been thinking about Mothers. So has everyone else.

Earlier in the week, the local Christian radio station was asking listeners which TV mom they most loved. And in the few minutes I listened, the answers were predicable. Caroline Engalls. Mrs. Walton. June Cleaver. Claire Huxtable. Even Jill Taylor from Home Improvement.

Each of those women were characters who exemplified the best of being a being a mother: patient, grace-filled, providing, strong yet weak, good humor, God-fearing.

I wondered where the mention of Roseanne was.

Come one, you remember Roseanne, don't you? I can picture her sitting on her couch calling Becky to bring her something from the kitchen. I can see the plaid shirts of the mid-90's.

Of course no one mentioned Roseanne. Because although she was doing the best that she could with the tools available to her, she still yelled, her kids were fallen, her marriage was rocky. No one aspires to be Roseanne. (Quietly, we might even say she was a bad mom. Or at least that she isn't the mom you ever wanted.)

That is what has made me most sad this week. Why? Because I am Roseanne.

See, as a mom of a traumatized kid from a super-hard place, I am not the mom I want to be. I want to have the humor of Jill Taylor, the grace and hard work of Caroline Engalls, and the immaculate life of June Cleaver. But I'm not.

Yesterday, I read a post be a RAD dad who summed it up well. It be best if you went to read it (here), because this is how I feel about myself. That I am hard and mean and a great big "B". Rigid. Without laughter. Much too stern and serious. All. The. Time.

This isn't the mom I EVER wanted to be. I don't want to yell or be stern or controlling. I never wanted to have to fight to love my child. I never knew another's brokenness could so break me (or that I was that fragile.)

But it is the mom that I am. This is the life God has gifted me. My four littles are some of the tools of his grace and his sanctification in my life.  He is using it to refine me.

And for that I am trying to be thankful.

To all the moms out there that I know: working moms, homeschool moms, stay-at-home moms, toddler moms, longing moms, grieving moms, adoptive & foster moms, to all of you who wear your heart on your sleeve but shield it with armor, to you who work tirelessly for your children or to achieve your dreams, to you who wipe away tears and kiss boo-boos and let too-big kids sit on your lap, I salute and honor you. You are an excellent woman! One of Valor and Worth. Happy Mother's Day.