Chapter 4: Perfect Schmerfect

Happy Easter!! He Is Risen! 

                                                               

I remember when I was pregnant with my first child, so many emotions flooded my body, but the desire to be the perfect mother was the strongest. I read book after book trying to prepare myself to be the perfect mother. God blessed me with an 8 lbs 1 oz baby boy who would turn my world upside down. He was not the easiest baby in the world. He was just 9 days old when 9/11 happened. I felt so vulnerable and wondered what the world would be like for my child. At 2 1/2 weeks old I discovered his inguinal hernia. He wouldn’t have surgery until 8 weeks of age and I had to keep him from crying too hard for almost 6 weeks (a tall order for the easiest baby). Then after his surgery, he got extreme eczema and never slept. I tried so hard to eliminate all foods that were possibly causing his outbreaks. He wasn’t gaining a lot of weight so I offered him the breast non-stop. He scratched and cried all day long. I was frustrated because I couldn’t make him happy or satisfied. I was failing at being the perfect mom. The worst part is that I wasn’t enjoying being a mother. I was angry most days because I was so frustrated. I just wanted to run away all day long and escape. If I hadn’t been so exhausted or proud I would have asked for help and a long nap, but I had to be the perfect mother. I forced the smiles out in public and cried alone at home.  There was a time when I looked at my son and didn’t feel the love that I thought I should feel for him. I was far from the perfect mother. I was so nervous that someone would find me out and discover that I was the worst mom on the face of the planet. I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown and I cried out to the Lord for help, ” Why had he given me this child? I am a terrible mother. I never do anything right. I can’t do this anymore. My best is not good enough.” I don’t know how to describe it, but suddenly I felt God’s presence. It was this warm feeling that washed over me and a voice spoke loud and clear to me without any sound. God said, “He is mine. I am His father. I will take care of him. No matter what you do, I will make everything “right” in his life. You don’t have to be perfect because I am perfect.” I just exhaled and knew I could give up being perfect. I knew God was here with me and most importantly with my son. No matter how tired I was. No matter how angry I was, He would fill in the gaps where I failed. Yes, I still have to be the best version of myself, but I don’t have to be perfect. Parenting from that moment forward was different for me. I no longer carried the weight of the world on my shoulders. It was that moment that I started loving my job as mother instead of being overwhelmed by the task. 

Of course I still have my ups and downs. I often look at other moms who have it together and think, “Why can’t I be like that?” That is normal and actually it is great to get ideas from other moms on how to do things. Heck, we need community. It is when we compare ourselves to others and feel that we are lacking that it becomes dangerous. I am blessed and relieved to know that God entrusted me with 4 beautiful children and I am the mother He chose for them. I am worthy and capable because God makes me worthy and capable.

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