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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Good mom or bad mom?

This morning I took Kaylee out to do some errands. I had a list of 7 stores I wanted to stop at and an additional 3 to squeeze in if there was extra time. (yeah right) We moved along though Home Depot, Bed Bath and Beyond, AC Moore, Ulta and then went to the grocery store. I got everything in record time. Life was good. I started to load things up in the car in order of importance. Kaylee first. My purse second. I heard a BEEP, but the sound didn't register. I popped the truck and shut her door. I realized a minute later that the trunk was open, but all the doors were locked. When I threw my purse on the floor, something pushed on the keys and locked all the doors. That BEEP was the only warning I got.

The next half hour was spent watching her bawl through the window as I borrowed stranger's cell phones to try to reach Brian and later to call 911. There was nothing I could do to comfort her behind the glass and it broke my heart. If only I could take her place! If only I could touch her or give her a cracker. I felt like such a bad mom.

Brian had trouble starting our other car, but he dumped some fuel injector into the gas and managed to arrive seconds before the police and fire truck. I picked her up and held her tight as she waved to the fire men. I'm sure she recovered from the drama more quickly than I did.

Now that I'm at work with some quite time, I remembered a post that Lysa wrote a while back about balancing the good mom moments and the bad moments. I dug around until I found the article. I needed to read that "A few bad moments does not define me as a bad mom. God's grace is there to cover me."

My kids are much younger than Lysa's, so my good moments look more like reading books, playing games, picking up the foam blocks for the 4th time with a happy heart, and my bad moments look more like swearing under my breath when changing the pee soaked bedding once again, forgetting to wipe dirty faces before going out in public or locking a baby in the car.

Here's the article if you are interested in reading it.

Good mom?
Bad Mom?
Good Mom?
Bad Mom?
Do you ever feel as though you are the ping pong ball in a heated match bouncing from feeling like a good mom to a bad mom constantly.
One minute I have a great discussion where my child finally gets it... GOOD MOM!
The next I get an e-mail from a teacher that lists the three parents who have yet to turn in that permission slip and I am on the list for all the world to see... BAD MOM!
I calmly handle the stresses of the morning routine... GOOD MOM!
But then during the afternoon homework session, my child's irresponsibility over a last minute project just about sends me over the edge. I find my neck muscles tensing and my voice rising... BAD MOM!
I make sure they pack something healthy for lunch... GOOD MOM!
The schedule falls apart in the late after noon and I wind up feeding them sugar cereal for dinner... BAD MOM!

Sometimes I feel like that ping pong ball mom bouncing from feeling good to bad to good to bad.
Yesterday morning I sat down at the kitchen table after getting everyone where they needed to be and cried. Yup, right there in the shadow of my flowers, big ol' tears flowed.
Sometimes having kids is the greatest thing that has ever happened in my life. Other days I feel like the task of parenting little people is driving me to the brink of craziness.

Not that we are on the edge of a breakdown, but we live in a place of utter dependence on God. I know as a mom, I live in constant need of His love, encouragement, wisdom, perspective, strength, patience, and grace.
Anything I do right as a mom, is because of my constant dialogs with God.
Anything I do wrong as a mom, is because of trying to do things in my own strength and slap wearing myself out.
That's were Grace steps in. And I need lots of grace. God's grace steps in says, "Lysa, you are doing better than you think. Stop bouncing from feeling good to bad to good to bad. In the good times, rejoice and thank me. In the not so good times, call out to me quickly."
And suddenly it occurred to me, with God I'm never a bad mom. I might be having a bad moment... or two... or seventeen. But a few bad moments does not define me as a bad mom.
God's grace is there to cover me. Teach me. And even in the middle of a bad moment, interrupt me, redirect me, and change me.
Forgiveness is there.
Love is there.
A second chance for this minute... this interaction with my child... this temper that started to flare... is there.
Psalm 73: 26, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
You are a good mom my friend...even if like me you've had a few bad moments... you are still a good mom. Let's live in that truth today.



Melissa said...

I'm sure that happens to many many moms! It happened to Jesse one day (Jennifer's sister) when I was with her. Tamia was just over a year old. Jesse was able to convince her to get the door unlocked. Luckily.

Neabear said...

I never locked the kids in the car, but I was close one time. It was at night. I had opened the house, got the stuff in, got the older kid in the house. Then I set my keys on the seat and got out my daughter who was an infant at the time. Then it was bam and I shut the car door with my keys still on the seat. I was fortunate, because I had everything out and the house was unlocked. So I just had to call my husband and tell him to get the keys out when he got home from work. He was working the closing shift at a retail business at the time. That was a close call for me. Whew! I am glad everything is okay for you now. After that I always tried to make sure I knew where my keys were. I almost always have them in my pocket. I can't stand it if I am wearing something with no pockets.

Anonymous said...

I have yet to lock the kids in the car but on several occasions I have locked us out of the house and the recent as a few weeks ago I locked E and myself out of the house and the car just when we were leaving to pick up from school...and do you think I have yet to leave a spare not yet ! She has forgotten it already...and hey it's not like you were leaving her in the car to go shopping like so many seem to do!

Lisa said...

Did I write that article? Nooooo. It would have had a lot of grammatical errors. I think the same stuff, though. I'm sure God gave me the two boys I have to remind me to rely on him. He knows I have cried some tears over the stuff they do.

Thanks for sharing (Good mom!)

Ronda said...

I actually sat here and read this with tears in my eyes. Kaylee is close to Gia's age and I couldn't help but think of her in that situation. You must have been out of your mind with fear.
I can vouch that you are a FANTASTIC mom, probably the best I know. You are entitled to an "oops" once in a while. Kaylee won't remember this, not it's up to you to put it past you.
Take care.

Kristin said...

This post just broke my heart as I imagined your little one on one side of the glass and you --helpless -- on the other. I was aching for you!!! What an awful experience, but one that I am sure many a mom has experienced! I am positive I would have done that before if not for my car key which has the lock and unlock buttons right on it. And I may not know you personally, but I do know that you are most definitely a good mom.

beth at aunties said...

Oh my heart! Those are moments you never want to live through again. I am so glad everyone is okay!
You seem like you are a wonderful mom, from all the posts and pictures I have seen and enjoyed. Sometimes we beat our selves up to much when plain old life happens!


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