2 reasons we have survived.

‘I’m an awful mom.’

I said that to a group of women this week.
Despite the fact that I love my kids wholeheartedly, despite the fact that moms tell me all the time what an awesome mom I am. Despite the fact that I’ve managed to keep these kids alive as long as I have, I think I’m an awful mom.
Mostly, because there are a lot of moments that I am so frustrated with parenting – so frustrated with myself for not living up to my own expectations, for not having endless patience that I wish I did – and I get so frustrated with my kids. And the miracle is not only that I’ve kept them alive as far as not drowning {that was a close one!} or getting hit by a car, but also that in my weakness, in my fury, in my awfulness, that I haven’t totally destroyed everything.

Because, let’s be honest. I’ve wanted to. And chances are if you’re a parent of a child who’s at least two years old, you’ve had your moments too. If you’re not a parent, borrow my kids for a day when one is teething, and both are still in diapers, and see how you feel at the end of the day. When one’s lying on top of you and the other is pulling your hair, and you’re just trying to go to sleep.

But still, I get about a dozen personal messages or emails every week asking me for parenting advice. Cloth diapering info. Gentle parenting ideas. Teething help. EC information. Natural birth. Home birth. VBAC. So. many. questions. And I love helping people grow in their knowledge and understanding – and of course I’m affirmed that other people want to make choices that I have, who wouldn’t be? I meet moms and I gauge where they are in their parenting lifestyle, whether they have support, whether they feel secure in their identities as moms, and 95% of the time I share information with them that I sense they need to know on their mom journeys… And often, still, I invite them into one of my communities – a place that I think they will find ongoing support in their journey.
Because moms MUST have support. There’s no way around that.
No man is an island.  No mom can survive as an island.
We can be it, when we have to be. But not long term. There’s no way.

I love connecting people. I love helping people find their identities and know freedom.
{{This is why I love sharing with people about Jesus… from the most simple ways I try to talk about him, to the more complicated ways of trying to live out His truth in calling us to this radical and subversive Kingdom.}}

So I love sharing with moms. And connecting them to other moms.
Because there are two reasons my kids are even alive.
1. God’s grace.
2. My community.

I would’ve given up on all the things I valued long ago, I have no idea what my mental or emotional state would be but for these amazing women who come around me at least once a week. Sometimes we’re just present, existing in the chaos of our toddlers, together. Other times, we voice it. We voice our craziness. We voice our concerns. We ask our questions. We let each other know that none of us knows it all. None of us has it down pat. We’re all just learning, growing, and sometimes only surviving.

Thank God for these moms who survive with me, helping me to grow, helping me to live, and most of all helping me learn how it is to love my kids while still existing as myself {more than “just” the booger-covered, spit-up soaked, drowning in poopy-diapers, burning dinner, stay at home mom.}

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