Oh, no. . . that kind of stuff only happens to me.
I still can't figure out exactly what happened. I must have forgotten to latch his seat belt. I choose to blame malfunctioning seat belt latches. (I should sue Jeep strollers.) All I do know is that two (kind) strangers were picking my baby up when I turned to peek at him mid-order.
Eli thought the whole thing was funny, because all he did was slide out and into a sitting position, with his swaddle still wrapped around him, happily smiling around at all of the Chick-fil-A customers.
But I didn't think it was funny. It was one of those moments when I wanted to shout "Hey, I'm actually a good mom, guys! I take good care of my kids! Really! I don't let them watch TV and they have fresh ground wheat in their pancakes and I'm not a bad mom!"
So did you want the 4 piece or 6 piece chicken?
Right, I'm still mid order. No time to defend myself.
Why do I need to defend myself?
Because women are their own worst critics.
If I had observed another stroller escaping child, my first thought would not have been grace. My first thought would not have been she's probably a good mom. No, it would have been an almost unconscious self righteous I would never let that happen to my baby.
All of the pressure that we pile on others, isn't that really just a cry to prove our own worth and value? At the very root, a desire to defend myself? A desire to be recognized for the often thankless job of caring for all of these little people?
These words, these phone calls, these opinions, these facebook statements. . .
Oh, so you had a C-section. (*eyebrow raise*)
Oh I'm cloth diapering.
My children are schooled at ____________________ (insert educational pressure point)
Weekly shopping and menu planning! (so organized). And we have a fresh green salad every night at dinner.
Bedtime is at seven-thirty over here! (organized parents) Bedtime is at ten after tickle fights and reading! (fun parents)
Because we need (desperately) a method that works for us, often jumping on our whole wheat bandwagon is something that, while beneficial for our kids, is pushed upon other moms in an attempt to . . . what? Get their kids to eat whole wheat? Really? Or is it deeper than that?
What if it's an attempt to prove that I'm a good mom because I'm intimidated by your amazing ability to balance your children and husband and life? And I look for something that you don't do so that I can feel better about my mommy-dom.
Ahh, whole wheat. That's it. Ya'll eat white bread over there, I knew there was some chink in your organized armor.
*commence monologue on the benefits of whole grains*
And we live this way when our strength could come from being honest about our own weaknesses and learning from the strengths of others.
I'm guilty of covering my own inadequacies up with finger pointing and tsk-ing.
I'm guilty of pleading for grace (I'm a good mom!) while passing judgement (and she's not a good mom!)
I'm guilty of masking my insecurities by pointing out yours.
But no mom has it all together. No one is perfect. No one mom ever wins the best mom award - - except from her own kids.
What if I took seriously some of these phrases from God's Word and applied them (in no particular order) to motherhood and other moms?
Love. . . does not seek its own.
Love. . .is kind.
Love. . .rejoices in the truth.
Jesus said. . . Come to Me, all you who are weary. . . and I will give you rest.
Serve one another. . .humbly. . . in love.
If you bite and devour one another, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
Finding my security in the knowledge that I am a child of God takes away the competition, the proving, the desire to be esteemed and honored.
Finding my fulfillment in doing His will takes away the pressure to follow the frenzy of current good mommy trends.
And when I'm not trying to prove that I'm a good mom, my vision is clarified and I am given the freedom to see what a good mom you are.
Because you would never let your baby sit on the floor of the food court.
* * *
*I typed this with no makeup, wet hair, wearing a City Employee sweatshirt on Jacob's couch in his bedroom while telling Cambria piece by piece what to clean in her room. At 10:30 in the morning. (just being real)
*Inspiration this week: Your Children Want YOU (read it!!)
*More inspiration: Almond Joy Coffee Creamer. (buy some! I even let my kids pour it on their oatmeal)
Happy Friday. . . you're a good mom.