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am i a bad mom

Your Imperfect Moments Make You a Better Mom

(Inside: Am I a good mom despite all of my imperfect moments? Will my kids grow up happy despite all of the things that didn’t work out for our family?)

am i a good mom

I thought we’d planned it just right. (Because a good mom plans just right.)

We’d flown from Minnesota to Los Angeles to Kauai, Hawaii. We’d picked a day with a clear forecast and arose early to start the drive around the west side of the island. After a few hours of driving and stops and lunch, we’d reach our final destination. We’d finally be at that important-to-our-family place… the overlook to the valley where they filmed scenes from Jurassic World. 

Heart. Pounding.

This was a once-in-a-lifetime deal for us. Our kids love the Jurassic World franchise. (And they’re only “this age” once.) We won’t come back to Kauai – too far, too expensive. So, as a family, being on this island where they filmed Jurassic World…how lucky. How epic.

As a teaser, two days prior we’d seen this valley from our tour boat. The spectacular view fueled the anticipation of experiencing the land overlook. Excitement reigned as our car drew near.

am i a bad mom
Our view of the valley where they filmed Jurassic World from a tour boat. (Kauai, Hawaii)

When we finally reached the lookout and stood in that much sought-after spot, we couldn’t believe it…

A cloud had descended and thrown a thick blanket over our view.
5000 miles by air.
The vacation budget spent.
All the anticipation.
And we couldn’t see anything.

No breathtaking view of the valley. No long-neck dinosaurs. No Chris Pratt. (Cue all the disappointment.)

I didn’t take a picture (too mad), but this photo by Photo by Vincent Tan from Pexels looks about right!

Mom life is like that. We have an idea of what we want the view into our lives to look like – what would make us a “good mom.”

We pray.

We plan.

And we work ridiculously hard to execute all things perfectly. But despite our best efforts, the weather app, expense, and travel distance, there are moments when our view doesn’t look exactly like we’d expected.

And the truth that we can’t control everything sinks in hard. Then at 3 am, we question if we’re a good mom (because maybe we actually can control all the things) and then we are up for the day. Can you relate?

  • Why is my kid the one failing his classes and making poor choices? He’s always been in a healthy, supportive, loving family, yet he’s this troubled kid. I simply can’t get through to him. Am I a good mom?

  • My Chron’s disease is getting the best of me. I’ve been sick for months and “mind over matter” isn’t working. I’m never that energetic mom. Am I a good mom?

  • I’m in a funk in my career. I don’t know what to do and I bring my stress home. Am I a good mom? 

  • I keep a handwritten calendar with each kid’s activities highlighted in different colors, and, still, I missed the soccer practice and the ortho appointment. I’m constantly making mindless mistakes. Am I a good mom?

  • My relationships are hard right now. I keep butting heads with those I love. Am I a good mom? 

Moms, sometimes we think to “be a good mom,” the view our kids see must be perfect.

No fog.
No rain.
Nothing short of mom-awesomeness.

But we forget…some of life’s best lessons can only be taught through the imperfect moments. 

It’s through imperfection that our kids really learn what it means to have grit and persevere. Our kids learn to pause and reflect, figure out what’s not working, discern what they need to let go of, choose hope, and keep moving forward. Through the messy moments, we teach our kids to evaluate what’s important in their lives and fight for it. Our kids watch us mess up, regret it, ask for forgiveness, and learn the power of reconciliation. Through watching us overcome, our kids learn empathy, grace, and gratitude. 

Ultimately, our kids learn…

A person’s joy doesn’t depend on his/her circumstances. If we can teach our kids that truth, we just gifted them with a lifetime of happiness.

Momma who is trying so hard, your imperfect is a priceless gift and makes you a better mom.

Your kids are growing strong as they watch you thrive despite the messy moments. 

(And your kids just exhaled relief that the pressure is off to build the elusive perfect life too. Purposeful, yes. Perfect, just no.)

When we reminisce about our trip to see where Jurassic World was filmed, our kids don’t even mention that jumbo clouds-100%-blocking-our-view disappointment.

Instead, they discuss how much fun they had. They talked about the other cool views they saw…

am i a good mom
We climbed over waterfalls and red dirt.
am i a good mom
We were in awe of all these little rock formations people made.
We lingered at this amazing view. Do you see the waterfall in the background?
There were so many roosters and chickens everywhere. My kids loved it!

Similarly, your kids will remember the amazing views they now appreciate more because of the imperfect.

Or there will be unique, awesome, and life-changing views your kids would not have experienced if their life had unrolled as a fairy tale.

There will be cherished, tender moments that only happened because of the mess.

Moments your kids would never want to be changed.

Our trip, in my kids’ minds, was nothing short of a success.

Mama, your kids will recall the imperfect, but even more, they will remember a mom who tried her best and loved them big. They will remember growing up with the blessing of a good mom. 

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am i a good mom