I walked into the kitchen to find my husband putting away dishes from the dishwasher. (I’m a lucky girl, I know!).
“You’re so domestic.” I said. “The kitchen hasn’t been this clean in a long time.” He is off of work, and has been keeping up with the steady flow of loading and unloading the dishwasher, even wiping our countertops to a shiny gleam.
“I’m so domestic, until it’s time to cook. Hamburger and mac n cheese!” he scoffs, referring to his recent kitchen escapade. Upon seeing he had added meat to their beloved mac and cheese, the kids protested. Then they cheered and dove heartily when I…. opened a bag of sugar snap peas and poured ranch dressing into a bowl.
I suggested he would do better with a plan, a recipe, like my mom does. He comments that he could do that… if that is the only thing he did. As in, that sounds like a lot of effort to him.
“So you’re saying you appreciate my mad skills then?” I said, coming to hug him from behind.
As he affirms me, my eyes well with tears. “That’s nice to hear, because I feel like a failure most of the time.” I’m almost shocked to hear it come out of my mouth, but there it is.
I make a little mental note of my failure multiple times a day.
-When we eat out instead of eating at home
-When I have avoided going to the grocery store (again).
-When I yell at the kids (again).
-When the house gets out of control and I feel overwhelmed.
You all know. The list goes on and on. Sometimes it is silly things, like seeing my daughter’s fingernails, needing to be trimmed and filled with dirt. I have to remind myself that the dirt is a good thing, she has gotten the gift of playing outside (but still, I should really trim her nails, I’ll think).
I have realized that I think I harp on my husband and pick on him (sometimes intentionally but often not) because I feel a need to correct him and remind him of the ways that he is not me. He isn’t the best at doing the things I do. He isn’t doing things “the right way”. I even feel a little smug if the kids point out to him, “Mom doesn’t do it like that.”
Whether he has put our daughter in mismatched clothes, explained a little too deeply the intricacies of life and death to our 3 and 5 year old boys, or bought the “vanilla” cashew milk and then put it in our mac n cheese, causing our savory dinner to be sweeter than we intended.
I think that I pick at him and remind him of these things because I truly don’t ever feel adequate in what I do.
We are constantly doing everything we can to be the best mothers we can be, but I don’t think we ever really feel like we measure up.
We don’t get promotions or kudos in this sometimes very mundane work of raising children and keeping a home. The truth is I think what we want, is for someone to see us as we are, our flaws and our failures, our inadequacies all laid bare, and to still say, “I see you, and I see your benefit to the world, to your husband, and to your children.
I think we all know our weaknesses. What we want to know is, am I enough? Even with everything you know about me, am I enough?
The awesome truth is, God sees everything (oh my goodness, even that) and He still loves us fully. Our value is not in what we do. It isn’t even in how hard we tried. Our value lies in the fact that we are His. Warts and all.