A few weeks ago, the whole family was at Target, and Jeff watched the kids as I looked at some clothes. They were doing some remodeling, so there was a huge open space that the kids took advantage of. Graham and Lucy were running around, tackling each other, and laughing hysterically. They were a little loud, but they were cute.
Finally one young woman said, "It so nice to see a family with two kids who aren't about to kill each other. They are so cute. My son looks a lot like your son, and I'm expecting my second." I replied with something like, "Oh thank, you. They're pretty fun." And then I went on my way with my head held a little higher. She thought my family was cute and sweet. Brownie points for me!
Just imagine if the very next day, I happened to be at a book store during story time. And just try to picture my one year old throwing tantrums and my 3 year old refusing to share (This is all hypothetical of course). And then imagine me saying, "Graham, if you don't share, we are going to leave." And then picture me actually following through with this threat and my 3 year old screaming hysterically as I drug him and his sister out of the store. It was embarrassing. I had never had an experience quite that intense as far as tantrums go. And of course I wondered what the other parents thought of me and both of my kids. Brownie points deducted.
So don't judge me and my family if you see us being all cute and sweet to each other. If you run into me at the grocery store and see me telling my kids about every fruit and vegetable and what letter it starts with and what country it comes from, please don't judge me. I'm not always like that. And if you see me out at a restaurant and my kids are throwing food on the floor, screaming at the top of their lungs, and you see me scolding them or maybe ignoring them...don't judge me. I'm not always like that either.
You see, sometimes I look like I'm the good mom and I'm always attentive and always teaching and always gently rebuking my kids when they mess up. And sometimes I'm the bad mom telling my kids they can have a cookie after they're good at the grocery store and then stuffing one in their mouth at the beginning of the trip just to keep them from crying. In any given day, hour, or even minute I might do something that the world thinks as good and something that the world thinks as bad. And sometimes I'm confused about what really is the good mom thing to do and what really is the bad mom thing to do. And when I feel so overwhelmed, that I might not survive the little years, I rest on Jesus and trust that through my good mom moments and through my bad mom moments, He reigns supreme. Nothing...absolutely nothing can thwart his plans for me and my kids. To think otherwise would be giving myself or someone else too much credit. If you do feel the need to judge, may I direct you to my Savior who is perfect, blameless, and abounding in steadfast love. If I'm going to be judged, I'd like to be judged in light of my Jesus on whom all my hope is fixed. My bad mom days and even my good mom days are covered by his grace and his grace alone.