To all the Terrible Mama’s

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Welcome to the terrible Mama club! So, you’re a terrible Mama too, huh?

Yeah, I get you. We were married 6 years before we had our first child, Alex Elizabeth. She came out looking just like her daddy. Uggh. Can I be honest? I was SUPER frustrated that this child looked nothing like me. I carried her for 9 months, 6 of which I threw up half the day. It was kinda nice when our second born Averee Grace looked just like me, and believe me, I totally stuck my tongue out at John that day:-) Thank you Lord.

But that’s not what this is about. I was a terrible Mama, and I just wanted to make all the other terrible Mama’s feel better.

I nursed both my babies past 12 months.

Exclusively. {gasp}

Not that I didn’t try to introduce Alex to baby food at the appropriate age; I did. She just wouldn’t have any of it. Alex is a stubborn one, that girl. She hated veggies and fruits of all kinds. And come to think of it, right after she was born I struggled even getting her to nurse…I remember being laid up in the fetal position in my bed for several days afraid to death that my first-born was going to starve, and the Dr telling me that she would eat eventually, and that she would be fine, (how could she be fine?!?! she wouldn’t eat!!!)and I remember my Mother consoling me telling me that she would be fine. Stubborn much, Alex Elizabeth?

The struggle was real y’all.

By the time she was 2 1/2 Averee Grace had entered the family. Averee was different in that she would eat fruits and veggies. How crazy is that two kids from the same parents can be so different!?

Having two babies under the age of 3 isn’t a walk in the park. I hear you, Mama of 4. I get it. 2 is easy peasy, right? Well, tell that to the young mama of 2 who feels like she’s at her wit’s end. Whether you have 2 kids or 5, being a Mama can be hard. Especially if you take it seriously, which I did, and I bet you do, too.

We’d go to Chick-file and I’d let both my girls run around in the play area barefoot because I forgot to put socks in their bags on the day they wore sandals. YesI was that Mama. 

I never really made either of my girls stick to a regular “chore” schedule. It just wasn’t something that was important for me to teach them, and if I were honest I’d say that I’m a bit obsessive-compulsive. I wanted the house cleaned a certain way, ok? Yeah, huge fault of mine, I get it. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t the Mama who let my girls do whatever they wanted. They had rules and boundaries that they had to stick too. They got spankings. {gasp} Yes people, I spanked my children.

To all the terrible Mama's: you're not so terrible

I just wanted to be a good Mama.

But who doesn’t? I mean, right? I wished and prayed that Alex would eat fruit and vegetables but she just wouldn’t. I remember telling her that she couldn’t get out of her high chair until she ate her veggies; yet what would she do? She’d sit there all day. She’d even fall asleep in her chair. Heck, it was comfortable, why not?

As she grew into a middle schooler nothing changed. We’d sit at the dinner table and Alex rarely liked anything I made. Her Dad would make her sit in her chair until she ate just a couple more bites and 3 hours later she was still sitting there not phased one bit. Eventually, I stopped cooking as much because it was just a battle we chose not to fight.

Alex had me pulling my hair out like a child steals a toy from another. Honestly I look back and think to myself; how in the world did I make it? And while now at almost 19 she’s far from perfect, that stubborn girl today is independent and loyal and kind. She’s a girl who thinks for herself and is the most giving and patient soul I know.

I’ve always picked my battles as a Mama. I’ve always just done my best and done what I could to survive; all the while hoping I didn’t traumatize my two little ones.

Can I just say something? Never EVER judge someone because of the way they raise their children. You have no idea what they go through at home or what they face as a family. 

Here’s what I know. We’ve been given general guidelines by seemingly supposed experts who say what is right and wrong to do as a parent. And while that’s all well and good, each family is different. Each child is different. What may work for one child doesn’t work for another, and I believe it’s a good thing to raise children based on their unique differences.

Motherhood is about picking your battles.

Don’t give up, because here’s a #truthbomb for ya- you will reap a harvest of blessing if you’ll just hang in there!

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9
Dear Terrible Mama: don't grow weary for doing good, you WILL reap a harvest! #fiercelyHis Click To Tweet Today my girls are almost 19 and 16, and I’ve reaped so many blessings I can’t count them all. I am one proud Mama and I don’t say that lightly. I’ve never really been the type to brag on my girls and today I’m taking the opportunity!

To all the terrible Mama's: You're not so terrible!They are smart, caring and loyal. They will fight for you until the end. They exude honor and respect for others. Both so strong, independent and wise beyond their years.

Both have had a very tough year. Alex has dealt with heartbreak and confusion, and Averee has dealt with change and loss of friends, yet both are coming through it with flying colors. They are two beautiful women who love Jesus and let His light shine through them.

And while they’re certainly not perfect, they’re beautifully flawed in every way imaginable.

So, maybe I’m not so terrible after all? Maybe I was just a Mama who chose her battles. One who took each day as it came, did the best I could, and loved them dearly.

To all the terrible Mama's: #truthbomb>>you're not so terrible. #fiercelyHis Click To Tweet

Guess what?

You’re not a terrible Mama either.

Chin-up buttercup- you got this. You’re doing your best. Do not grow weary for doing good- for you WILL reap a harvest of benefits when the time comes.

I love hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts below. 

Also, would you do me a favor —if you resonate with this article or it has helped you today— would you share it with someone else? If you know a struggling Mama; maybe a friend, coworker, or family member…?

 

 

  1. Gavin says:

    I think it’s pretty well accepted that God lets the first child look like the dad to assure him that the child is, in fact, his 🙂

  2. Paula says:

    Gal 6:9 has carried me for many years while raising my 4 sons. It is really amazing that God gives us the honor of parenting along with the desire to get up each day and try again. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Yes! Definitely. Every child is SO different, every parent is different, every situation is different—doing the best possible is different in each situation. Thanks! (And my girls are the same space in ages, but we’re still in the toddler/preschooler phase!)

  4. Florencia says:

    As I read this article, I realize I’m not feeling strong enough to keep surviving motherhood. My daughter is going to be 3 next week and next month my second baby will be born. I don’t want to be depressed or having anxiety attacks every day but being a mom is more than I can handle. It hurts me to say it out loud, but I want to be the mom my babies deserve, my girl is so sweet and sensitive and I hate to hurt her more than I can dare to say. I know I am a horrible mother. But I know that if I’m still alive and striving day by day in my pain and mental illness is only because of her, well both of them now. I wish I am able to say one day as you do now that after all I wasn’t such a terrible mom as I look at my precious souls grown up. God bless your family! Hugs from Argentina

    • Shannon says:

      My dear friend- I responded to you privately through email, but I also wanted to comment here. You are NOT a terrible Mama- please lean on Jesus Christ for strength and you will find it, I assure you! I want to refer you to an amazing blog http://drmichellebengtson.com/ – Michelle is a Dr of Psychology and has some great resources for you! I encourage you to check it out. ALso please know that YOU ARE LOVED!

  5. Tawni says:

    Thank you for this encouraging post! There’s strength in knowing we’re not alone.

  6. Erica says:

    Shannon, I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again; I love your writing. You write so beautifully and effortlessly. As a hopeful soon-to-be-mama, you give me a lot of encouragement!

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