• Ainsley Dungan, Spiritual Advisor

The struggle we all have, but don't talk about...

Often, I wonder if I am doing a good job as a mom. Doubt creeps in like a bad toothache; it does not seem to subside. For the moms out there reading this; I know I am captain obvious when I say that motherhood is not easy; at all. This whole quarantine thing has taken it to a whole new meaning. The days feel longer, less time for yourself, if you even miraculously had privacy before well it is definitely gone now. You are exhausted and I don’t know about you, but I am running out of creativity!

Here is a confession, if I do not feel like I am doing a stellar job at something, I am talking about knocking it out of the park stellar, then I am apt to doubt my significance with it. Sadly because of this I find that my identity is left up to what others think and/or what I do. Being the Type A personality that I am, striving to be perfect and get things “right” qualifies me to feel significant and valid. There is a twisted pleasure coming from checking off the boxes for my day, everything falling into place, feeling like I am legitimate enough to call myself qualified for this life.

Often times I will wake up defeated before I even get out of bed. I will unknowingly let thoughts into my head like

“I don’t know if I can do this today.”

“I am not a good mom.”

“Am I even doing a good job?”

“I am messing my kids up.”

“This child is on my ever-loving last nerve.”

This is where the battle starts. In the mind. The battle is for your thought life, so if that is taken over, then the war has been won for that day. The mantra and thoughts in my head set the tone for my day. In a way I have given myself no shot of success. I have already stacked the deck against myself.

If I cannot love myself how can I love my child?

The thing is, I was focusing too much on fixing myself that I missed the process of who I was becoming. Whatever you feed will grow. My focus was only on the negative and not on what I lacked. For example, I thought that I had a frustration problem with my daughter. Instead of focusing on the problem which grew and got worse, I started focusing on what I lacked, which was patience. I thought I had an anger problem, but I actually lacked kindness. I started to shift my focus into what I lacked instead of my struggle.

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies afresh each morning” Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT

Even if I missed it the day before, there is new grace for me, EVERY morning. It’s like a reset button that is only for you. What I have come to realize during this time of being home nearly 24/7 is that maybe some of what my inner dialogue is saying IS true…I am not worthy or good enough to be this child’s mom. I am going to mess up. I will make a mistake. This is because I am human, and I was giving myself no grace. I am never going to be worthy and be good enough to be my kiddo's momma, but God says I am. I am the mom that my kiddo needs me to be. I will mess up. I will say hurtful things. I will yell. But knowing that there is new grace, a fresh start every morning, gives myself the much-needed mental break I crave, and it sets the tone for the day.

That is the only validation I need.

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