It's 2am. I'm on my phone with a newborn resting on my chest after a nighttime feeding and I can't seem to shut my mind off.
I survived today with almost little regrets. Almost.
I had always imagined motherhood to be full of moments where I picked up my child each morning from bed and swing her around and sang big band songs as the sun beamed in. I imagined breakfast to be made each morning and aprons being a part of my everyday attire. I imagined a day full of baking with my children and moments of quiet time to myself as they self played perfectly in their room.
But there is a reality...
She wakes up and calls for me and I beg her to find her way to me on the couch as I just can't find the energy to get up yet again after a long night of feedings and diaper changes.
In the business of getting us ready for our errands I forgot to feed breakfast so I promised I'd make it up to her with a McDonalds visit that included the play place.
I had to turn on the tv just to keep me laughing so I wouldn't break down and lose it making much of our free time being spent on the couch.
I didn't get to sit on the floor and play imagination with her today. I didn't get to shower, for that matter. I didn't get the laundry done, let alone even attempt to tackle the dishes.
But I did manage to do something right, something that started the minute I realized I was a broken mom...
I prayed with my daughter... For me.
After having my second child, I internalized a secret I was afraid would blacklist me as a mother. A secret I feared would set me apart.
I had always believed that when the second child is born, my ability to love would grow so much and I would have this abundance of love that would just naturally appear. But when it didn't for me and each morning I would have to muster up my ability to cuddle my first born when all I wanted to do was stare at my second and take in each piece of her, I hid away a guilt too afraid to even think about. I was a terrible mom. Did I just replace my child with a new one? Where was this over abundance of love everyone talks about? I was lucky of I only yelled at Joss a few times, let alone tell her I love her and carress her cheeks like I used to.
I remember going to bed at night crying wanting so badly to take back each day knowing I failed her at what she needed from me, but even though I knew I had done her wrong, the next day I would do it again. A cycle I was afraid would never break until I decided to reach out to someone.
I realized something about myself when I finally allowed my secret out. I was not alone.
There is so much freedom when you realize you aren't the only one to mess up, and that freedom does something amazing. It opens your eyes and heart to a better reality.
As time went on, things got better. But I was still broken. And I never realized just how broken till my daughter would follow up a "mommy I have to go potty" with a "and you aren't frustrated with me" statement. Broken. Or when she would say "mommy, why are you always mad at me". Broken.
But freedom was still working. And it hit me while reading a book another mom shared with me... My daughter doesn't need me. My daughter needs Jesus through me. I couldn't muster up the love, gentleness, kindness, and patience on my own. I needed Jesus. She needed Jesus. We needed Jesus. So I did something. I admitted I was broken. Then I committed to starting each morning with my daughter praying for me.
I wanted her to see that mommy doesn't got it, but Jesus does and through Him mommy could do right unto her. So I sat at the edge of her bed and reminded her how cranky mommy gets and that I needed Jesus to help mommy not be so cranky then asked of we could pray. And we did. We prayed for Jesus to help mommy be a better mommy to Joss and Joleen and not be so cranky.
Jesus showed up, pulled through, and beyond my own ability made it happen.
My day wasn't perfect. Remember, no breakfast and tv watching, but we cuddled. We giggled. And something happened. I desired my first born again the way I hadn't in a while. I desired her heart and I desired to give her all of mine. My temper was gone and I could find peace in time with her again.
See, as much as I had wished I was a super mom, I like being a broken mom that allows Jesus to be the one to shine.