I never thought I could handle puke. I remember being fearful of the day my motherhood journey brought me to the point of dealing with a puking child. That day came last week when I found myself in this position for the first time. I guess I can call it a blessing that I made it almost three years into this motherhood gig before having to deal with puke. But as I sat there with a towel on my chest, holding my sick 12 month old baby girl, I realized I was much stronger than I thought.
We moms are strong. We take care of sick kids, we kiss boo-boos, and we fix what’s broken. No matter how weak we once thought we would be when presented with a challenge we muster up all the strength we have and get through it. To our babies we hold the world and there isn’t anything that we are going to let stop them from believing that.
I find myself in my mothering journey doing all I can to be strong for my babies. When things get tough, I don’t want to let them know I am getting overwhelmed. I don’t want my babies to see me buckling under pressure. I don’t want my babies to see me falling apart. I never want to cry in front of my kids. I want my babies to see me strong and able to handle what this world throws at me. I feel the need to be at my very best for them all the time.
But then I realized something, what am I teaching them if I only let them see me at my best?
Not only do my babies need to see me strong, they need to see how I process my emotions when things get tough. My babies need to see me cry, so they know it is okay to cry. My babies need to see me get angry, because they need to know it is okay to get angry. They need to know that emotions are important and processing them is needed. The only way they are going to learn that is by watching me.
God gave us every one of our emotions for a reason. Even Jesus experienced what it was like to be sad, angry, and discouraged. It is His example that we look to when walking through those circumstances, and it is our example that our children are watching. I want my children to know that we don’t have to be perfect. I want to show them it is okay to feel overwhelmed, sad, and even angry. Then I want to teach them to look to Jesus, the one who is perfect. I want to point them to the one who can carry them through those tough moments.
My babies need to know that their mama isn’t perfect. They need to know that I can’t do it all. Because when my babies know that it isn’t mama who has it all under control, I can point them to the One who does. It’s in my weakness that He is made strong. It’s when I feel like I can’t go on, that I muster up the strength I have, and God carries me through. There is no better picture of who Christ is, than how He shows up in our weakness. There is beauty in our weakness because that is where Christ shines the brightest.
So when I need to cry, I’ll let myself cry. And when my children ask what is wrong, I will tell them. And then I will show them where to find their strength on a hard day. I will show them who carries us through tough times and what happens when we rest in God’s grace. They are watching me, so I am going to make sure I am pointing them to Jesus.