As I was noodling on blog post ideas, my son (the one with ADHD) was having an epiphany of his own. His chore was cleaning out under the bed, which I highly advise on a regular basis if your children’s Tazmanian-devil style of activity tends to whirl things into deep crevices beneath furniture, as mine does.
My son, however, recovered a pack of markers. So he thought of what any red-blooded boy would: What if my big toe were colored completely green?
Well, he found out. As did we all. It leaves toe-shaped green prints all over Grandma’s carpet.
So, in the vein of bringing the Gospel into our lives—where we’re honest about our failures and looking at them in light of who God is—I have decided to post for you 25 ways that it is okay to fail as a mom, inspired by real life. Mostly mine.
Even as I compiled this list, my husband looked at me. “Well, isn’t God bigger than all our failures? I mean, not like that makes them not failures, or not bad”—but that we have incredible peace as moms, knowing that our kids’ ultimate safety and well-being doesn’t end with us. If this hits a sore spot, check out a note for you on the day you blow it.
As Andree Seu so aptly writes, “I started out wanting to be my children’s savior, and ended up pleading for forgiveness.”
That said: a list of it’s-okay-failures.
- Your kid poops in the closet, then blames it on the dog.
- Your kid hops out of the shower, then hops on his bike outside without stopping to access clothing.
- You make an entire week of burned, over-spiced, disgusting, Alpo-like, and/or mediocre dinners.
- Every now and then you let the kids eat a dinner primarily taken from the top level of the food pyramid (you know, the one labeled “FATS, OILS, AND SWEETS: USE SPARINGLY”).
- Your kid breaks something in your mother’s house, but forgets to tell anyone. Oops.
- Your kid thoughtfully recommends to someone they should stop smoking.
- Your kid complains, “This milk tastes yucky!” You chastise them for their stubborn nature. You discover said milk is spoiled. Oops.
- Your kid breaks wind at a family dinner. Repeatedly. It smells as if he has been dining on sardines and French fries.
- Your kid pokes Grandma’s arm-dangle with wide-eyed fascination.
- You discipline your child with unrequited volume, and then find out someone was at the door.
- A friend stops by for an unannounced visit. Your house looks like, as Jerry Seinfeld so aptly puts it, you have a blender, but not the lid.
- Your kid melts down in the middle of the grocery store. Then you do, too.
- Your kid flushes all of the Tupperware lids down the toilet. Daddy has to dig up the septic system.
- Your kid wears pants that show his ankles.
- Your daughter holds her dress up during the entire Christmas performance.
- Your kid sneezes on someone’s food.
- Your kid licks the top of the Parmesan cheese at Pizza Hut.
- Your son’s stick figure illustration of you has hands on (delightfully slender) stick-hips, because, “Well, you’re angry a lot.”
- Your kid picks his nose and then shakes someone’s hand with gusto.
- Your kid hides behind your skirt during an entire wedding reception.
- You forget her lunch for school. Again.
- You kill Captain Nemo, the class goldfish, on his weekend home.
- Your homeschooled child replies that the ancient Greek poet who authored the Iliad and the Odyssey is named, of course (“it’s on the tip of my tongue!”) Alvin Poover. (Alvin who?) This is in the same week he replies that a five-sided polygon is called–wait for it–a hoxagon.
- You find your son urinating in someone else’s bushes, or in full view of your pleasant suburban street.
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
C’mon, dish! What’s one of your favorite all-time mom fails?