You’ve heard it before: “We all make mistakes.”
Nowhere does this hit home quite as hard as it does in motherhood. When we finally, fully realize that we really are human. That we are not invincible after all. That we really don’t know everything. That, for the most part, our mothers were right about everything.
I cannot count the number of times I have collapsed, weeping, sure that I had ruined my children for life. Again. The number of times I’ve called my mother, apologizing for ever being three years old.
My mom is always quick to remind me that she didn’t live a mistake-free existence either. She just made different ones. Well, mostly different. I find myself making some of the same ones she did, and Mom is always the first to sympathize with me and point out the funny side.
We learn from our parents’ mistakes. We learn from their victories. We learn from those everyday moments we can’t quite recall, but make up the very foundation we end up standing on. We bring our own bricks to add to that foundation, both solid ones and ones that have a few chunks missing. Somehow, our kids seem to thrive and do well in spite of the gaps.
I’ve taken the opportunity to step back and take a look at that foundation as well as I can. To take it all in at once. I’ve noticed something.
There just aren’t as many gaps as I thought there were. I know for a fact that some of the bricks I’ve laid were positively crumbling apart. Yet, that’s not what I see.
By the grace of God and through the help of my own personal “village”, all those places I fall short have been filled in. The gaps are largely gone.
No, my children will not grow up to be perfect. But they’ll be pretty much okay. They have a safe place to land. A sturdy foundation to build their own families on, and a chance to see their own gaps filled in the same way mine have been. I hope they don’t make the same mistakes that I do, and I hope that their own, new mistakes are ones they can find forgiveness for easily.
I guess the point of this rambling post is this:
I have discovered that there is no shame in making the everyday mistakes of motherhood. No shame even in the bigger mistakes we often discover only through hindsight. There is only potential for continued growth and learning. Potential for others to come in and add to our good, covering over the places where our weaknesses have left holes. Potential for our children to learn from us.
Potential to do better, because we know better.
Grace & Peace,