I traded perfect for a house full of real.
I'd seen The Tired Mother's Creed floating around before. I skimmed it, liked it, and moved on. But then I woke to multiple texts from Jon. He knows I've been struggling with feelings of inadequacy lately. Why is my house always trashed? Why can't I tackle that laundry room that's constantly mocking me with the 8 loads of laundry I haven't folded yet? How am I failing the Littles? What am I forgetting? What could I be doing better? The list goes on and on.
So to wake up to texts from Jon with bits and pieces of The Tired Mother's Creed, it was encouraging to say the least. That man... he gets me. I love that I have a partner who knows and understands this is a phase of life. Who encourages me in my strengths, and holds me up in my weaknesses.
And because this so spoke to me on this Monday morning, I need it written here. In this space. And from one tired mother to another, there is solidarity in admitting we don't have it all together.
1. I shall not judge my house, my kid’s summer activities or my crafting skills by Pinterest’s standards.
2. I shall not measure what I’ve accomplished today by the loads of unfolded laundry but by the assurance of deep love I’ve tickled into my kids.
3. I shall say “yes” to blanket forts and see past the chaos to the memories we’re building.
4. I shall surprise my kids with trips to get ice cream when they’re already in their pajamas.
5. I shall not compare myself to other mothers, but find my identity in the God who trusted me with these kids in the first place.
6. I shall remember that a messy house at peace is better than an immaculate house tied up in knots.
7. I shall play music loudly and teach my kids the joy of wildly uncoordinated dance.
8. I shall remind myself that perfect is simply a street sign at the intersection of impossible and frustration in Never Never land.
9. I shall embrace the fact that in becoming a mom I traded perfect for a house full of real.
10. I shall promise to love this body that bore these three children –out loud, especially in front of my daughter.
11. I shall give my other mother friends the gift of guilt-free friendship.
12. I shall do my best to admit to my people my “unfine” moments.
13. I shall say “sorry” when sorry is necessary.
14. I pray God I shall never be too proud, angry or stubborn to ask for my children’s forgiveness.
15. I shall make space in my grown up world for goofball moments with my kids.
16. I shall love their father and make sure they know I love him.
17. I shall model kind words – to kids and grown-ups alike.
18. I shall not be intimidated by the inside of my minivan – this season of chip bags, goldfish crackers and discarded socks too shall pass.
19. I shall always make time to encourage new moms.
20. I shall not resent that last call for kisses and cups of water but remember instead that when I blink they’ll all be in college.
Thank you for this, Lisa Joy Baker.