Monday, August 13, 2012

Am I looking at the right list?

I do this every summer.   

Pull out the “magical” list.  Because I’m pretty sure summer is supposed to be magical, and a mom is supposed to make it happen somehow. 

The only problem is, I didn’t get a fair sprinkling of whatever enchanting dust “all the other moms” got. 

At the end of every summer I feel like a failure.   

Summer came to a close a few years ago, and I knew I hadn’t checked off the make-it-magical list.  So in anxiety I said, Okay kids, I don’t have any work today, so what do you want to do?  Anything you want to do we’ll do.  (A brave offer from a mom who hates to be wet or hot or athletic or idle.)   

I was working up the internal motivation to take them hiking or to the lake or something on that last beautiful day of summer.  And my daughter said, Let’s do a craft. 

We spent the sunshiny day indoors with canvas and paints.  That was a good day.   

Anyway, here I am again at the end of summer knowing how much I have lacked the ability to make fun happen.   

This morning I ask myself, Who makes the list?
·        Who decides what makes a rockin’ mom or a boring one?
·        Who decides, at the end of summer, whether a mom has been successful or has failed?
·        Who decides if a mom has done what it takes to feel good about how she has cared for her family? 

If I get to the end of the day and my kids have had clean underwear, a healthy dinner, and a hug –but they were bored –do I take a red pen to THE LIST and write a big, red F across the top? 

The lists in the Bible look way different than mine:  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.”  (Galatians 5:22-23  NIV) 

Maybe, after 18 years of parenting, I need to crumple up and throw away the superhero mom standard and strive for something different.   

Do you have posted in your mind some impossible “amazing mom of the entire universe” list?   

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