I have a recurring, nasty thought that I’m really a lousy Mamma. I know it is a bit depressive and probably isn’t true, but it has recurred persistently over the last 17 years.
Why today? The baby wouldn’t be quiet for a two-minute silence for Remberance Day, the four-year-old had lost her enthusiasm for Duplo adding, the ten-year-old didn’t want to do music, the house needed a declutter, and I had this horrid thought that when I stop work then I will stop the only thing I can do properly.
Is it true? Well, the facts are, at least, partly true. The baby wasn’t quiet, but why should he be? We are training him to be quiet for church and family worship but not to be quiet suddenly in the middle of an apparently normal morning, at home. The ten-year-old didn’t want to do music but had just looked at an old family photograph of a military hospital from 1917 and discussed the likely fate of the soldiers and the generation of unmarried women left. He had even listened to and discussed a poem without complaint, probably a first.
17 years ago and for many years after, I thought that my children had a better deal when left with their, admittedly very good, childminder and then nanny rather than me. Slowly, I’ve realised that God has given these children to me to mother. I might not be very good at all sorts of things, but they are my responsibility.
So what can a lousy mamma do?
Not compare with others. I find it so easy to compare myself with others. Other people have different gifts, given by God. It isn’t helpful to compare. We have to use our talents, not worry that others have more.
Pray. I love the verse “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12 v9.
Try to be the best I can using Biblical–not any other–criteria. Titus 2v4 and 5 are a great start. Yes, I am a sinner and I come short of the glory of God but–praise Him!–there is forgiveness for all our sin and inadequacy.
I love the words in Psalm 126:
“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bearing his sheaves with him.”
May God grant this to me, and to any other mothers, out there who feel that they aren’t sufficient for the task.