My beautiful children,
This might come as a shock to you, but it’s time you knew the truth. Your mother is not perfect.
Okay, quit laughing. I know you know this already, on a surface level. Like when I throw kitchen towels because I’m mad, holler when I’m frustrated, and cry when I’m upset with your dad. I’m especially sorry you had to see that last one. Clearly I’m not so good at hiding my feelings from you, even when it would be better for you if I did.
You know how I sometimes (okay, fine, often . . . aack, usually) forget to give you your juice when you ask for it the first time, and how I burn the grilled cheese because I get distracted by texting.
You see me trip over sidewalk cracks and leave the car door open overnight.
And there was that day I backed out of the driveway and ran into Miss Debbie’s car.
Mistakes are part of my charm. And you’ve heard me apologize for them again and again and again.
You always forgive me. You are so much like Jesus.
But what I’m talking about here is something more than those mistakes—something deeper, on the inside of me that you can’t see.
You know how sometimes you have meltdowns and you can’t explain why you’re crying? So I tell you to go to your bed and talk to Jesus until your heart is happy again, or I hug you so, so, so tight until you stop kicking?
Well, grown-ups have fits like that, too, only we don’t always show them with tantrums. Sometimes they just brew inside of us and make us a little kooky, and we might not be able to explain why. That’s the kind of not-perfect I’m talking about. It’s the mistakes inside my soul called my “sin nature.” You have it, too. We all have it. It’s why God sent Jesus, to help us break free. But that can take a long time—our whole lives, really. God saves us once—that’s a big word called salvation. Then we spend the rest of our lives figuring out how to be more like Jesus—that’s another big word called sanctification.
Another way to say “sanctification” is being not-perfect. And that’s okay, as long as we are always praying for God’s help and letting him change us little by little.
Sometimes your mom is sad or mad or stressed out in ways that you won’t see or understand. And sometimes that makes me less than a great mom. I am sorry. But you know what? It also makes me normal. Please know that through all my grouchiness and distractions and impatience, I love you. I love you higher than the moon and wider than the entire sky. I love you to infinity and back again one hundred times! One thousand million trillion gazillion times! That never changes, no matter what kind of mood I’m in or mistakes I make. You are my special gift from God, and I thank him for you every single day.
Plus I’m not grouchy all the time, right? We have a lot of fun and hugs and smiles together. You are a part of my best memories and my biggest hopes for the future.
Which brings me to my next point. I want to talk to you about this book you watched me write. I know you’re excited about it, and I love that you brought it to show-and-share at school. You deserve to celebrate Mom’s book since you paid for it in your own way. It’s the reason you spent Fridays last winter with your favorite babysitter and Saturdays running errands with Dad so I could hide at my desk typing like a crazy lady, with papers and Bibles and books-about-the-Bible spread out everywhere (they’re called commentaries, another big word). I know you got some candy bars out of the deal, but still I want to thank you. For giving me the time and space I needed to do a job God asked me to do.
The book was never more important than you. It never will be.
You’ve been hearing lots of ladies at church and school talk to me about how they become the Grouch and the Maid and the Calendar Queen and all these names that mean nothing to you but everything to us, the moms. These ladies are reading stories about you and me and your dad—about my mistakes, mostly. You asked if you could read the book, and my answer is no, not yet. Not until you’re older and can understand its purpose.
This book is much more about me—and thousands of other moms like me—than it is about you. You have shown me how much I need Jesus, and that is a gift. Because of you, God has taught me a lot about who I am and who he wants me to be. And I wrote the book so other moms could discover the kind of moms he wants them to be as well.
So you see? You make me a better person. You help me with my sanctification. And hopefully by reading my book, other moms will also look up and see the same Jesus you show me day after day.
That is why I wrote about that time you put too many gummy worms in your frozen yogurt, and the day Dad let you wear the blue socks with the camouflage overalls, and that miserable season in kindergarten when you cried every morning at lunch. Remember when you threw up all over the table at Culver’s? Yeah, well, I wrote about that, too. But all for a really good reason, my lovely ones. Not to embarrass you or to reveal your secrets. I will never reveal your secrets. You are safe with me.
I wrote about you because of what your stories taught me—and can teach other moms as well.
You know what this means? You kind of wrote the book, too. So you are both published authors now. How does that feel? A little scary, I know. I feel the same way. It’s kind of like hanging our underwear on the laundry line—in the front yard—with all the neighbors marching by. Wearing binoculars. Yikes.
But sometimes God asks us to do scary things in order to bless others. And when he does that, we can be sure he will guide the way—I’m counting on that. And I’m so glad I get to ride this adventure with you and your dad. You are my favorite people. I love you forever.
The SuperMom Myth: Conquering the Dirty Villains of Motherhood releases today in bookstores far and wide. I hope you will read it and be blessed by it. Thank you sincerely for your support. We’re in this mom thing together.
Erica Layne says
I am so so thrilled for you, and I honestly just feel so proud of you for writing this and for giving your all to sharing it with the world! Congratulations, friend!
Thank you so much, Erica! You’ve been with me from the start!
shelia worthey says
I am 66 now and my disabled son who has a brain injury is almost 42, He’s all there now and I thrill to be able to spend time with him, of which my goal is to make sure I am and do before we slip away.
Anyway, some time back, I just asked him, “You think your Mom can do anything don’t you?” He just looked at me with the biggest eyes and slowly shook his head as if the alternative thought never crossed his mind!! So I think he realized a truth that day about his dear ol’ mom.
Becky, thank you for your willingness to be vulnerable as you help all moms realize the (sometimes ugly but mostly wonderful) truths of motherhood! I am a grandmother to 4 precious, beautiful, loud and at times challenging gifts! I am learning how to be the Nana I want to be through your funny and encouraging words. I am so glad my own daughter found you so she can learn from your amazing mother-wisdom and not wait til she’s a grandma like me! 🙂
Bless you, Jenny! How wonderful to be a Nana! Thank you so much for your kind words. You’ve lifted my spirits today!
Micah Maddox says
Love this, Becky!
Hi, Micah! So fun to see you here. Thanks for reading!