Encouragement for moms who feel like failures (When my parenting was graded)

Hope for the weary mom and encouragement over failure

This story of surprise affirmation from an unexpected source may be hope for the weary mom who feels like a failure. Check it out and see!

“Mom, I need help remembering some descriptive details.”
“About what?”
“That time at Allie’s birthday party when she didn’t like my towel.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Why are you trying to remember it anyway?”
“It’s for a personal narrative essay for College English.”

My daughter was dredging up a memory from another decade and needed help with some of the specifics.
She’d put a lot of thought into choosing which story from her childhood she would tell.
It had to be pivotal. A defining moment. A perspective shift.

This is the one she chose: “Rocks and Rubber Duckies.

Take five minutes and enter the world of a 17-year-old pondering a story from when she was seven and then meet me back here. I’ll wait.

Rocks and Rubber Duckies by Makenna Gee found on JustMakenna.com -- Hope for the weary mom

 

Hope for the Weary Mom

Did you read it? Good.
Now here’s a Paul Harvey “Rest of the Story.”

I have absolutely no memory of that event.

Furthermore, the mom she writes about in that essay would have just crossed over from battling fibromyalgia and lyme disease for years leading up to that moment in time.

Living in a mental fog with unexplained pain and exhaustion.
Faking being “ok” more days than not.
Juggling work, marriage, and mothering and feeling like a failure at all three.

The mom she writes about in that essay sounds wise and put together.
Available. Present.
A mom in tune with her baby’s heart and quick with just the right amount of wisdom and compassion.

If you ask me, I don’t recognize that mom. I didn’t know she existed. But my baby did. My teen does.

Graded by my daughter

When my daughter asked me about the event, it opened the door to hear more of her viewpoint on life at that age.

I couldn’t help her with details — and really she didn’t need my help — but she let me be her cheerleader and read each draft. And then she acquiesced when I declared it had to become a blog post once she was ready.

She wanted to wait until her teacher graded it. She was unsure of her writing and thought the professor might have significant input about what to change.

She nonchalantly brought me the graded paper one day, devoid of many red marks. And on the last page, I saw this.

Essay Grade was 99 and comment said, "Wise mother!" (Hope for the weary mom)

 

I celebrated her success and then joked about how I needed to frame a picture of the “wise mother” comment, as if the grade was on my mothering.

The truth is it was a grade on my mothering, but it didn’t come from the teacher.

Through the process of hearing my baby’s recollection of childhood memories, I realized she had a far different perspective than I did.

And I like hers SO much better.
Whether she realized it or not, all that she told me and the picture she painted of who I was in her eyes was like giving me an “A.”
I’ll take it.

Offer hope to weary moms and dads

As parents, we want more than anything to get this job right.

We read. We listen. We pray. We trust.
But there’s rarely someone to say, “Good job, mom,” or “Way to go, dad.”

We just keep stepping through each stage, making it up as we go and hoping we get more right than wrong.

I wrote about those feelings in a post titled, “Parenting with Grace: 5 things I wish another mom had said to me.” It has been shared more times than I can count.

As it is shared, moms reach out to let me know how it impacted them. Names vary and circumstances differ but the crux of each message is the same. They are weary moms who are worried they are “messing up their kids.”

They are desperate for hope.

I don’t think the answer to all of this is a report card for parents. But it does underscore the need for affirmation.

If you are in the regrouping and releasing phase, look around for those still in the rearing phase.¹

Seek out young moms and dads at church, in the store, or in a restaurant. Smile. Make eye contact and comment on something good.

I’ve started doing this when appropriate, mentioning how patient the mom is or how happy the child seems. I can’t know if it matters in this moment and neither can you. But I know it would have mattered to me as a young mom.

And if you are one of those in the middle of parenting, take heart.
Those who are concerned about doing it right are the ones who probably are most of the time. And what’s more: You don’t have to get it perfect and it’s not all up to you.

God uses imperfect people,
failed attempts,
and outright disobedience
to develop character in His people.

You’ve seen this in your children.
Remember it applies to your parenting.

And please believe me when I tell you that in the end, it’s the good stuff that remains. I wouldn’t have believed myself ten years ago, but I DO hope that you’ll trust me on this now.

Grace will prevail
so hold off on that final exam
until you’ve finished all the lessons.


Keep Reading: More Posts Like This Encouragement for moms in the parenting journey

Encouragement for moms can be hard to find.
You’ll be reminded why everything you do matters for God and for your family.

.

Christi

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Author | Occasional Speaker | Marketing professional ~ · ~ I write and speak so others know they aren't alone and are encouraged to grow in survival-grade faith. ~ · ~ Books: Behold: A Christmas Advent Journey and  Revival: 6 Steps to Reviving Your Heart and Rebuilding Your Prayer Life

Making Life & Words Count!


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34 Comments on “Encouragement for moms who feel like failures (When my parenting was graded)”

  1. Christi, I LOVE both your post and your daughter’s assignment post…so good I sent both links to my own 35 year-old daughter who has two sons, and a dear friend with a teenage daughter now…you and your daughter have encouraged man heart today! Many blessings to you both!

  2. A beautiful post. We may never fully know the effect of our parenting until later on. I am also so grateful God covers our mistakes in His grace :) So glad to have stopped here from Tell My Story this morning & I’m glad you told yours! Blessings to you both!

  3. What a great post, Christi!

    I love this one and Makenna’s story! Y’all make quite a team!

    I will really look forward to sharing this one this week.

    One of my greatest prayers and passions at this stage is to encourage younger moms. Thanks for the reminder to keep this goal on the front burner.

    Hope you are having a blessed day today~
    Melanie

    1. Thank you. I can tell you that prayer and passion of yours is being fulfilled. You have such a beautiful ministry to so many. Thankful to be part of that!

  4. Christi! An absolutely beautiful and inspiring story from both you and your daughter! You’re so right. Parents (like me) need that affirmation. We need confirmation that we’re doing the right thing, that we’re not going to mess our children up. So thank you, for sharing this, and for providing some kind of relief to those young parents when you compliment them, in however way you can. I only wish there were more of you out there–to spread the joy and the relief. To say “it’s ok…you’re doing fine”

    You’ve inspired me to do the same to any parent–mother, father, young or old–who may need that confirmation. My daughter is only 2, but if I can impart half the knowledge that you’ve granted your daughter by the time she’s 17, I would consider myself successful. Rocks and rubber duckies will be something I discuss with my daughter as well, when the time comes. Thank you for your words :) So glad I found you on Shine Blog Hop.

    1. Maria, I pray I never get so far along on this blogging journey that I stop reacting to comments like yours with tears and a need to fall to my knees.

      That is exactly what reading your sweet words did to me just now. My heart is to help and offer hope, but I rarely know for certain that I did what I intended :) So, thank you for the affirmation.

      More importantly, how exciting to have at least one more comrade-mama out there spreading sweet relief and “It’s ok” messages!

      We need each other. This parenting journey is rough. I needed YOU today. Thankful for you precious spirit and priceless words!

      Hugs across the bits and bytes.

  5. Priceless story from Makenna!! I just read it to my Mr. and he’s also now pondering the rubber duckies and rocks in his world….we have a wonderful visual here—& I am pondering how very wise you are in challenging us all to encourage others on the trail behind us in parenting. Amazing how far a kind word of encouragement can go! Thank you for reminding us all!

    1. You both touch me deeply with these words. Thank you for such tender transparent encouragement. Blessed to have done so much of figuring out this parenting thing alongside you both.

  6. Well, I needed today to be reminded of your wise words to your sweet daughter whether you remember them or not! in my book you get an A+ in parenting and she is following after her older sister … Beautiful, smart, and godly!

  7. I just adored this story and I’m so glad I read it!

    I struggle with rejection at times too. I will totally remember the rocks or rubber duckies and may use it with my own children one day.

    Isn’t it interesting that you struggled to recall this event. It just goes to show you how amazing you are all the time ;)

    Thanks again for sharing.
    xoxo

      1. My pleasure Christi! I loved this post (I even shared your daughter’s post on my Facebook page a few days ago)… both posts were a delight to read.

        Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).
        xoxo

  8. Why do you always get the parenting win and all Blake remembers from his childhood is that I poured hot coffee down his back (because I TRIPPED and BUMPED INTO HIM, but don’t bother trying to convince him of that) and that when he was just about to start kindergarten I spanked him for making his “S” backward on his writing sheet that I made him do? (in my defense, that was clearly an act of defiance. He certainly knew how to make a proper “S.” We learned it on Sesame Street.). No pixie dust magic at my house, apparently. :)

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