Can I Ask You Something Really Awkward?

Can I Ask You Something Really Awkward?

They don't love shopping, as much as I do. 

I go into this sort of Zombie "everything is beautiful, I must look at everything at Target" state of mind.

It is not beautiful though when snacks spill leaving a crunchy path for others to enjoy. I don't enjoy when little hands pull things off the shelves.

I don't love waiting for the cashier to finish scanning items while my child screams at the top of their lungs.

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Not Picture Perfect

As a mom with two kids under five, I have found new ways to express my creativity. Instagram is a good example. I can see the beauty in something and capture it at a good angle (especially if I take fifteen photos of it). I add some light. I increase the contrast and hue. I spend too much time thinking up a witty little hashtag.

I spend too much time thinking up a witty little hashtag.

I always feel a sense of pride and shame though when I hear comments like this: "I never had it so together when I was a mom your age" or "your kids always look so put together?" We don't don't have it together, its not always as happy as it looks.

Instagram crops out the messes, it crops out the fussing, it crops out my yelling and my tears. It crops out the fight over eating one green bean at dinner. It crops out the piles of clean and dirty laundry mixing together. Instagram doesnt betray that the kids were using swim diapers and tissue, because I hadn't made it to the store for pullups and toilet paper yet.

The kids were using swim diapers and tissue, because I hadn’t made it to the store for pull-ups and toilet paper yet.

So sometimes, I like to post pictures of my messes so the truth comes out. (Confession: I'm trying to look cool--even then). Maybe it will show I'm cool about not having it all together. When I post my messes, I love the response. You understand, mommies. You are in the middle of a mess too.

Your are in the middle of a mess too.

Have you felt lonely in your mess, moms? I have. It can be exhausting and frustrating to make your home sparkle like you think it should. Your friends might judge your mess. Most likely, they won't. Most likely, they will be encouraged that it's okay NOT to be all put together. Most likely, they will feel loved that you are vunerable enough to welcome them into your mess. Light a candle, put the coffee on, and open your door. You are not alone!

Your are not alone!

A Letter To A Young Mom

Dear Mommy,

I see you struggling with those kids, and it takes me back in time twenty-seven years. I know how hard it is Mama. I remember needing to feel like everything was done perfectly and dreading the fear of judgement if it wasn't.

I remember all the wisdom of more seasoned Christian mommies who looked like they had figured out the secret sauce. They had kids with cute clothes, brushed hair, and good public behavior. They would smile at me in a way that made me feel like I didn't have what it took to pull this off.

“They would smile at me in a way that made me feel like I didn’t have what it took to pull this off.

Babies take so much time Mama. They take more than you have to give them: your whole heart, your soul, your EVERY SINGLE BREATH, and your WORRY.

No one can prepare a mommy for two-year-olds. Now everything you have taught, worked, prayed for, and invested in for the past TWO LONG YEARS has a voice. And sometimes it's not pretty, what comes out. It is stressful, and EXHAUSTING.

You see attitudes beginning, and you pray to God that she will reflect Him, a loving father who gives her grace. Yet you aren't sure how to give her grace, and to teach her right from wrong all at once.

Yet you aren’t sure how to give her grace, and to teach her right from wrong all at once.

Your internet feed makes it look like everyone else gets it, but you keep studying how to do it better. I remember, little Mama. It felt like that too. Sometimes I cried. I yelled, I squeezed arms a little too hard, and I felt like a failure many afternoons. ALL I LONGED FOR WAS A SUCCESSFUL NAP TIME!

ALL I LONGED FOR WAS A SUCCESSFUL NAPTIME!

But I want to tell you lady, that you are doing a remarkable job. The patience you are showing those little babies is so much more beautiful than you realize. The love you are pouring into them is going to make it all ok. You will study books. You will talk to friends. You will keep on doing all of it. You are doing so much better than you think you are!

You are dong so much better than you think you are!

You won’t give up the work. Your days will get easier for a while, and you can rest up for the teen years. You will keep praying, and pouring of yourself. And someday, you and I will sit back, sip our coffee, and watch together as she becomes a Mommy.

For you see, you were my little girl, and I was the stressed out Mommy once upon a time. I worried and I prayed, and I could not be more proud of how you turned out, in spite of my missteps.

I worried and I prayed, and I could not be more proud of how you turned out, in spite of my missteps.
Mary Zimmer, Mommy and daughters, Encouragement for Mommy
Mommy and babies, Encouragement for Mommy