I'm not sure how his little brother stayed asleep through the multiple bed changes that night. It was clear that we would not be going to church the following day. Needless to say, I was exhausted when the sun rose on Sunday morning.
My boy was feeling okay by the time the afternoon rolled around, but we didn't think it would be wise for him to go out in the snow with his other siblings. Instead, he played Minecraft with Daddy. This helped with the disappointment he felt as his sister and brother put on their snow gear and headed outside.
This was the point in the day when the mom guilt started to set in. As I took pictures of Lindsay and Gibson from the comfort of my home, I started to feel awful for not being outside with them. I was exhausted, but the dishes were piled up on the counter in the kitchen and Lindsay had requested hot chocolate and Gibson kept coming inside to get snow out of his boots or his gloves.
One of my distinct memories from when I was a girl is when my mom helped me to build a snowman. No one else in my family wanted to be outside and my mom became my hero that day.
And so, I couldn't help feeling- are my kids going to grow up feeling like I wasn't there? Like I didn't want to be with them? As my mind wrestled with these questions, I knew that I was probably feeling this way because I was desperately tired.
But Lindsay needed a carrot for her snowman and items for his eyes and a scarf and a hat and I was off to find all that she needed. It proved unsuccessful (besides the carrot and a scarf) and as I watched my daughter struggling to get the carrot to stick in her snowman's head, more guilt seeped in. I should be out there helping her! She needs to know that I want to be there for her!
And then the head fell off. She looked at me through the window and burst into tears. I felt so helpless- and then I felt my tears coming. I sat down on the couch and sobbed.
As I let out the tears, it dawned on me that these frustrations were the result of many times in the past 6 months that I have not been able to be the mama that I want to be. And it became crystal clear- I needed a nap.
I headed to my bed, still crying, knowing that my daughter was outside with her own tears. But the reality was there was nothing that I could do in that moment. And I had to trust that her Daddy would be there for her and that her Heavenly Father was always with her.
So, I slept. When I woke up about 2 hours later, I wondered what my family had been doing so quietly. And the guilt came back as I groggily got out of my bed. This is what I found...
"Why my soul are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise Him,
my Savior and my God."
I will not always be the mom that I want to be. I won't always get it right. There will be times when I will need to take breaks (and being pregnant is a constant reminder of this!).
But it is just like my Father to sweetly remind me that even when I fail or don't do all that I want to do, my kids are loved by Him. He cares about them even more than I do.
I will fail... but He will never fail.
I will not always be there for my kids when I want to be... but He promises to never leave them or forsake them.
I will not always have the strength that I need... but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength (Is. 40:31).
I'm sure that I will feel guilty plenty more times in my life. I will never be a perfect mom. But I have the perfect God. And that is more than enough!