Probably the hardest thing about being a mom, besides total lack of sleep, is always doubting yourself. I can only speak for myself when I say that I have spent many nights lying awake wondering if I was doing all that I should. I spend the majority of my prayer time asking for patience, charity, perseverance, and wisdom in my parenting. This parenting thing is not for the faint of heart; especially if you want to raise your children to follow Christ and not the world.
There are plenty of things I do well, but there is so much more that I know I need to improve upon. How, I wonder, do I continue to fall into the same frustrations? How do I continue to allow myself to lose my cool when I know better? How much do I hurt God by not behaving as I know so well that I ought?
If I allowed myself to sit in these thoughts, I would quickly fall into despair and throw up my hands. I would think, it is not possible to be the mother I want to be. It is too hard, and I am too ill equipped.
It is just these moments of rock bottom when I must turn my eyes back to the Lord. Yes, I need to take a good look at myself in the mirror and know my shortcomings and faults - but then I must turn my gaze to the only one who can help me; Christ. If I continue to focus on myself, I will find myself making little to no progress. Only by the grace of God can I be a patient and charitable mother. Only by the grace of God can I accomplish all my tasks in a day. Only by the grace of God can I do all things with love and a thankful heart.
I have been in a bit of a rut as of late, and it’s no fun when you find yourself there. But God’s timing is perfect, and here I find Lent beginning today. I hope to use these forty days to cast away some of the doubts and work on those shortcomings I have as a mother. (Believe me there are many!) This is going to require time and effort on my part. It is not going to be easy. But anything worth doing requires sacrifice.
If I keep my eyes on Christ and turn to him in moments of weakness, I will fall less often and less far. If I unite my will to his, I won’t have to doubt so much. If I can persevere and remain firm in my Lenten efforts, I will find myself transformed come Easter Sunday.
Having the babies is the easy part, raising these children into Catholic responsible adults is the challenge. God, open my heart to receive the graces necessary to be the mother I desire to be. JMJ