I am the WORST mom ever.
Sometimes I say this phrase to my kids when they are experiencing a disappointing circumstance. Truly. I can be fun but I am also tough. This combination leads to many disappointing circumstances.
When I say that I am the WORST mom ever to my kids I am only joking to add to the drama of their disappointed hearts. (When all my children are in counseling as adults they will talk to note taking men and women about how I used this phrase against them to feel guilty.)
I know I am causing damage when I joke with them about being the worst mother ever but I do find myself saying things like:
Oh, I’m sorry you didn’t get ice cream on the way home tonight but that is because I am the WORST mom ever.
Lately my oldest son has been saying something back to me and the more he responds to me the more I am taking his words seriously.
When I call myself the WORST mom ever he always says,
“Mom, why do you say you are the WORST mom ever when you are actually the BEST?”
The first time he said this I took his response lightly because this is the reaction I wanted to get out of my children. (The children crying while leaving Kings Island because I only treated them to Chick Fil A and a day filled with amusement park fun and I did not add ice cream on top of it all.)
These words from my oldest son have continued to stick with me even though it was the response I was expecting.
Even though I was expecting my son to respond in this way, I never expected his words to affect me the way they have.
How often do we all speak these words of untruth to all of our hearts when we find ourselves not measuring up to the moms whom we encounter at church, on the playground, in our schools and on social media.
How often are we speaking to our own hearts that we aren’t doing this mom thing as well as someone else?
I do this all the time.
Every time I fail throughout the day. Whether it comes down to feeling guilty over what I put on the table, the amount of activities I did or did not plan, the hours I spent away from them on a trip or on a run, the amount of minutes I fell short on a reading log or the homework folder.
However I fail, I sometimes and in someway speak this poisonous phrase to myself.
The WORST mom ever.
I think it and I really feel this phrase I speak jokingly to my children at times.
And the words of my oldest son are such a sweet gift to me:
“Mom, why do you always say you are the worst when you really are the best.”
I may not feel like I am always measuring up. But to the four kids who I feel like I am failing, currently I am the best mom ever to them. Currently, my kids see me doing this job of mom and through their lens they see me doing my best.
Why do I always say I am the worst? I don’t know. I wish I could see myself though the lenses of my children.
Maybe I wouldn’t be so hard on myself.
Maybe I would see myself the way they see me.
To our young children, we are the best. They can’t see what everyone else on social media is doing. They just see their moms waking up each day and loving them the best they can. Our kids don’t have the ability to measure us up against everyone else. They only measure us up against the happiness they find within the walls of their happy homes.
We may feel like the WORST but to the little people who matter, we are THE BEST.
I’m actually may be doing a decent job at this mom thing.
Those are the words I need to speak more kindly to my own heart.