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The Mom I Am
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We had planned to have another baby. We wanted another baby. But when the pregnancy test came back positive, I went into a bit of a tailspin. I remember sitting on my living room couch, looking around with disbelief at the general chaos surrounding me: the basket full of clean yet unfolded clothes, the empty yogurt cup on the coffee table, the sprinkling of Legos on every conceivable surface, the stack of unopened mail, and the spread of photos and papers from the scrapbooking project I’d started three weeks ago. How in the world did I think I could handle having a third baby when I obviously couldn’t even manage a home with two??
I spent the next few days on a rollercoaster – highs of imagining another beautiful baby in my arms, and lows of wondering how I would function since I wouldn’t have enough hands to hold all of my children. Luckily, I was smart enough to call a friend. Sarah was a wonderful Christian woman I’d come to know and respect, farther along at raising four wonderful children, and I knew she would listen to my heart with empathy.
We met the next day over hot chocolates and I poured out my I’m-a-terrible-mother rant that culminated with the cry, “And I’ve never even made playdough!!!!” She laughed and asked why that was important. I explained that I remember very clearly my own mother making playdough for us that we loved molding and pounding at our kitchen table. I ranted again that I never did crafts with the kids and I wasn’t a good housekeeper and they never remembered to say thank you and… and… and…

Stopped Me Mid-sentence
She stopped me mid-sentence and slowly said a few words that I hope I will never forget:
“Joelle, this is the mom that you are.”
She went on to point out that I seemed to be spending a lot of time comparing myself to some ideal mother in my head, instead of focusing on the gifts and talents that I actually have as a woman. She made me list the activities and routines that I do with the kids. Things I love and they enjoy. Things that are enriching their lives. And she showed me that though I may not be doing things like the mom next door, or like my own mother, that I was doing them my way. I was loving and caring for and raising my children the way God had created me to do.
God chose me to be Mother to each of these children. He did not choose the mom next door or someone down the street. He chose me because I am the perfect mom for these children.
Several years have passed since the day Sarah shared her wisdom with me. And I’ll admit that when we left the house this morning to go hiking with our preschool nature class, there were still unfolded clean clothes in the basket down the hall.  But I can say that I am learning to be more proud that this is the mom that I am.

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By Joelle Yamada. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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