I’ll never forget the flood of emotion that washed over me when a friend told me that I was a great Mom. I was surprised by the tears that welled up in my eyes. I didn’t feel like a great Mom. I felt like a failure.
I was going through possibly the worst time of my life. I was very sick with chronic Lyme and other tick-borne diseases and my children were also sick with them. Each day was incredibly difficult to get through and I felt like God and some of my friends had abandoned us. I couldn’t see any hope of escaping the nightmare we were living.
Why I Felt Like a Failure
I believed I had failed to protect my girls from this devastating illness as if that was really in my control. At the time, I didn’t know anything about Lyme disease but yet I put this guilt upon myself.
Not only was I completely terrified about my own health and whether or not I would ever get well, I then watched as my 3 daughter’s health deteriorated before my eyes. I struggled each time I had to explain to well-meaning friends and family why all of my kids were sick. I had to work up the courage to argue with their pediatrician about their health especially when all their lab work looked fine but deep down I knew they had what I had. I was even accused of being that Mom who wants her children to be sick.
Their doctors didn’t believe Lyme could be anything other than a bulls-eye rash, flu-like symptoms, and joint pain and at the time I didn’t know any different. They wanted me to stop pursuing a Lyme diagnosis and gave me a list of parenting books to read.
When my third daughter began to have crippling anxiety, OCD, and rage I struggled to remain calm, to remember she wasn’t a bad kid but that she had an overload of bacteria in her brain. Sometimes I got angry because I couldn’t change our circumstances, I couldn’t control her outbursts, I didn’t know what to do, I had little energy and I kept on feeling like a failure.
Giving Yourself Grace
I mentally beat myself up every time I was impatient or said anything unkind. It was hard to be patient and kind when I was exhausted all the time. I was always in pain and I was very sick but I worked hard to take care of everyone else and I didn’t know how to get any of us better. I needed to heal too but felt selfish when I needed to rest or care for myself.
I didn’t understand how my friend thought I was a great Mom?
Probably the same way I can now look at other moms who are going through similar circumstances and tell them they’re a great Mom. Now that I’m on the other side of this trial I can see things so differently. I have empathy for those who are suffering and I can look at Moms who are working hard to do their best with what they have and see that they are doing a great job. I can see the hearts of those Moms who cling to Jesus for every ounce of hope. Like my friend, I can see their character and the strength that they have in Christ Jesus and like I once was, they may not see it right now, but one day they will.When chronic illness is a factor, great moms persevere during trials, trust God completely… Click To Tweet
Being a great Mom doesn’t mean we’re perfect and have it all together, quite the contrary! It means we pray each day for our children. We seek God for direction, healing, and provision. We trust that He is in control and never allows anything to touch his children without first being sifted through His loving hands.
The Effectual fervant prayers of a righteous man, avails much. James 5:16
It’s when we choose to get up each morning and do the best we can and when we stay up all night long calming our anxious child even though we know that our schedule is full the next day. We trust that the Holy Spirit will lead us and give us the strength we need because we’re too weak and tired to push through.
Being a great Mom means we advocate for our child with doctors, teachers, family, friends. It means helping their friends understand how to be a friend like Jesus when they no longer want to come around because they can’t handle the changes and don’t understand how to love someone who is sick all the time.
Being a great Mom means we’re willing to practice self-care because our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. We understand that we can’t possibly give what we do not possess and that while serving is an important aspect of Motherhood and Christianity, even Jesus rested and set that example for us.
It means we lay our fears and requests out before the Lord and trust Him even when we don’t see Him working and that we look hard for every possible thing that we can continue to praise Him for. It means that we recognize that our faith only needs to be the size of a mustard seed in order to move mountains.
Being a great Mom means we show love to our child even though we don’t feel it because they continually spew their rage and tantrums all over us, but we love with Christ’s love which is not based on feelings.
It’s when we’re there with them, we’re present with our attention, we’re walking in the Spirit and we don’t quit!
If you’re struggling or you’re feeling like you want to give up, go back and reread this post! Grab your Bible and read through the scriptures below. Stand in front of the mirror and remind yourself, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” Philippians 4:13
God called you to this and He is faithful to bring you through it! He cares for the sparrows, how much more will He care for you?
For more encouragement:
1 Thessalonians 5:24
1 Peter 4:12
2 Timothy 1:7
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Keep being a great Mom!