Sunday mornings have always been a challenging around here. Since my husband gets paid to go to church (he’s a pastor), he leaves much earlier than the rest of us.
This means that I am the shuffle-kids-out-the-door Mama which we all know is a lovely role to do flying solo.
But since this morning was Mother’s Day I knew all would be well. Because children are naturally angels on this sacred holiday. And how hard should it be to get angels to church on time?
My sister innocently called at the height of the chaos and asked me to weigh in on a decision. I told her I was having trouble concentrating since the morning had been a wee bit chaotic.
Her: You sound a bit stressed – you okay?
Me: Yep. We are supposed to leave in one minute and one kid is half-dressed. Another one almost flooded the bathroom because he forgot to pull the shower curtain into the tub. Another one JUST realized he forgot to have breakfast. And Landon wants to dress like a ninja.
Her: Oh boy.
Me: Yep. A ninja for Mother’s Day. He is about to rage because I am asking him to dress like a ninja any other day but please not to church on Mother’s Day. I’m mean.
Her: Oh boy.
Me: We compromised – he is bringing his entire ninja costume in a bucket to show his friends instead.
Me: And my hair dryer stopped working after I had only dried half of my hair.
Her: That’s okay – no one looks at the back of your hair anyways.
Me: Yes, but I only dried the left half of my hair.
Her: I think I should let you go.
Before you feel too badly for me, we weren’t even late. Naked Boy got dressed. Bathroom Soaker and I mopped the floor. Hungry Boy decided he could just eat later. I embraced the half-coiffed look and we were out the door ON TIME.
A modern Mother’s Day miracle.
Even Ninja-in-a-Bucket was happy until he realized he urgently had to poop while we were still on the highway. I don’t mean to brag, but even that had a happy ending.
I learned years ago that Mother’s Day is a strange holiday. If we go into it with
any high expectations we will probably be disappointed. We can’t really articulate what it is that we want, although we suspect it may be a gift-wrapped nap.
We want our little ones to shower us with affection. To suddenly beam gratitude and wax eloquent in our mere presence. Which can be disappointing if they are grunty teens or egocentric toddlers or other little humans who can’t live up to such lofty expectations.
We want to be cherished and we also kind of want to be alone, which feels wrong somehow.
I realized today that maybe what we really want is a mothering win.
A moment where the story shifts and we receive our happy ending. This is mine.
My half-styled self sat in the front row listening to the church announcements. We learned that a sweet senior in our congregation had just lost her brother that week, and her sister two weeks before. Her season of loss was simply too much to bear. My eleven-year-old leaned over and whispered, “Mom? Are they talking about the woman behind us?” When I nodded, he quietly slid out of his seat and filled the empty spot beside her.
Through tears, she later told me she would never forget his kind face. She could not believe he would sit by her even though he didn’t even know her.
His simple presence helped to fill her empty heart.
She said his heartfelt gesture meant more to her than anyone’s words ever could. She told him sincerely he would greatly impact his world. Even in her brokenness, she spoke life to my boy who had taken a risk for her.
Update: These two continue to share a special bond since their first time connecting
This was my mothering win today.
And I promise it was better than a nap.
Moms deserve parenting wins, no matter how small
Parenting wins fill us with hope. Hope that despite our brokenness and impatience, God is creating kindness in our children. That despite their stumbling, our precious kids are experiencing their own victories – separate from ourselves.
My prayer for all Moms is that you would get one mothering win today. Or for sure by next Friday, because wins don’t always arrive on our schedule.
May you receive a simple reminder that your behind-the-scenes parenting is working. That the character you are instilling in your children is starting to take hold. May you have a quick peek into who your children are becoming in raw, sparkly, messy goodness.
And may your hair always be symmetrical because it really is the little things that mean a lot.
From my heart.
I love this! Thank you for sharing. I can just see kid number 3 going to sit with someone to bring comfort – such a gentle soul.
Thanks Angela. It really felt like sacred ground to see a tween go beyond himself like this. Celebrating the wins!
Jennie Asquith says
Thank you, Karen. Your Mother’s Day message really touched my heart <3
Thanks, Jennie. Mothering is an incredible blend of mundane and sacred and you deserve to be honoured.
Great Mother’s Day post! I was perplexed and excited for a moment that there was a way to get paid to go to church, but then I had to chuckle when I realized it was his job 🙂
My Mother’s Day was great, my in-laws came to visit and we did brunch, a nap, then dinner later. Good times.
Happy Late Mother’s Day to you!
Thanks Dawn. I wondered how many people would start googling `How to get paid to go to church?’ 😉 Glad you felt celebrated today.
Thanks Karen, this totally Blessed me. Have a Blessed day!
Love the post..I also wonder what I really want on Mother’s Day and realize I already have it..My three amigos are happy and doing well in the world and that’s all I need..
Great perspective, Carrie.
Lisa V in BC says
Thank you Lisa.
Anne Marie says
Beautiful post! I always admire people who can write about their kids with such humor – I bet your boys are a fun bunch!
We marvel at how very different 4 boys can be. When they are not sitting on each other’s heads they are a lot of fun to be around! 😉 Really enjoying this next phase as we move into teen and tween years. Most days…..
Beautiful, Karen! By the way, raising kind, empathetic children is not a small win. To me, it’s everything. Good job, mama!
You are so right, April – it was probably the biggest win this Mama has had (or will have) in a while. Even a winsome smile from our child at the right moment can be a win, right? We have to celebrate them all!
Well I just teared up! I pray that my children will learn empathy and to be kind hearted. It’s a big job God gave us as mothers, but I’m thankful we don’t do it alone!
So true, Amanda. It is easy to become overwhelmed at the magnitude of our role. I’m thankful to not have to do it alone too!
What a sweet eleven year old you have there ?
Thanks Reena – pretty sure we’ll keep him. 🙂
Loved reading this. Hard to see the screen with eyes all wet when I read about your sweet comforter. God’s touch on our children is so amazing. They do the greatest things.
Appreciate your tender hearted response Michael. Some seasons we sure need wins to keep us fueled, right?
Erin E says
That is not a small win!!! That is HUGE! It’s maybe everything!!! What a sweet heart Rylan has! You are doing good, Mama! (poor grammar intentional!) ; )
Thanks Erin. It was a huge win for sure. I guess I wanted every Mom to know that we all deserve wins – big, small, short, round….just glimpses of hope that we are getting through – that we are making a difference – that our Momming is impactful. Love when the kids outshine us. LOVE it.
Wow! Great post! – My first thought was “How can I get my kid to do things like that!!” but it really is a display of their heart right? What a beautiful testimony. The child must of seen someone else display such kind behaviour too… 🙂 You’re doing well!
My other thought? Did Ninja poo in the bucket?!?! ha ha ha!
Thanks for sharing…. xKelly
Thanks Kelly – this son of ours has been hardwired for gratitude and sweetness since he was young. Moms need to know that we are all doing well and that the wins we experience can come unexpectedly in the midst of chaos. And, thankfully, Ninja made it to the church bathroom on time! Happy endings all round. 😉
Michele Tripple says
Yes! Being a mom is hard work, but when we see those little ones take initiative and implement those lessons we have taught them it is so rewarding!
Thanks for joining #WanderingWednesday #linkup with Confessions of Parenting! 🙂
wrae sanders says
Parenting wins are important- they keep us going.
So true Wrae – and boy do we need that fuel to keep us going! Especially on the tough days.
Love the heart of your son! That’s a big parenting win! I was already snorting/laughing through tears (because I can so relate). When I got to that part, the tears actually fell. Mama, high-5s!
Isn’t it amazing how a single win can really carry us?
Mama high-5 back at ya!
Lori | Choosing Wisdom says
There is so much we moms tend to hate about Mother’s Day. For years I felt the guilt of where I was falling short and how I wasn’t measuring up to my own expectations. But right there is exactly where we are wrong. Like you said: If we go into it with any high expectations we will probably be disappointed. It isn’t about our expectations, but looking for the wins. Seeking the tender mercies of the Lord in showing us we are doing okay. We are trying and he will make up the rest. Beautifully touching post!
Thanks for joining #WanderingWednesday!
You are so right, Lori. He will make up the rest. Thank goodness for that.
Danita Jenae says
Fellow hope*writer here. I love this! Beautifully said! But girl… what’s the happy ending to the poop story?!? Loved this snd happy to have found your blog today! 😉
Hey Danita – thanks for popping over from Hope*Writers. Ah yes, the poop story. The happy ending was that I managed to pull right up to the church in the nick of time. And the sweet boy made it! Happy endings all ’round. Looking forward to connecting with you!