Before the early mornings in the carpool lane and parent club meetings, I was one of those women that never really planned to have children right away after marriage. I still remember how shocked I was to find that my husband and I were expecting our first child. I looked at friends and family with children and how chaotic their lives were and it made me nervous. They never had a chance to shave their legs or go an entire day without staining their clothes. I was the woman who put her career and education first and attempted to live life according to the plan I scribbled in my journal when I was twelve. Of course, life never really turns out the way you plan it to. Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” My life was flipped upside down in more ways than one and becoming a mother has changed my life forever.
Now that I’m the mother of two awesome little girls, I wouldn’t take it back for anything in the world. Okay, so maybe I do miss being able to bathe alone peacefully without seeing little wiggling fingers under the door seal. Now that I think of it, I really miss those days of eating an entire meal alone beyond sneaking Chick-fil-A in the comfort of my driver’s seat and hiding the evidence. I may not have signed up for it, but I’m glad God blessed me with the honor of being the mother of two of the most amazing children I know. Feeling my children grow inside of me as I literally took part of God’s creation changed my heart and my outlook on life. It was no longer about me. I live my life for my family and just seeing them smile makes my day. I’ve turned into the mom that gives her kids that embarrassing saliva on the thumb action before they head to school. I’m the mom that’s turned into her own mom through facial expressions and old sayings “I’ll talk to you until you’re blue in the face.” I still imagine the thought of my face actually turning blue when I hear these words like a scene out of Willy Wonka and Chocolate Factory.
Looking back over the evolution of my journey through motherhood, I’ve learned that there’s no such thing as being a perfect mom, wife, or perfect person for that matter. I remember the days of staying up all night making sure every item of clothing was folded and put away and every toy in its place. I would pack lunches and iron clothes for the entire week. Dinner was cooked fresh every night and I went to bed to a spotless house. Over time, I realized that it was okay to let some things go. I realized that life would still go on if I skipped a day of attacking the monster of clean clothes on my couch. I realized that being the perfect mom had nothing to do with being perfect.
I let go of attempting to be perfect according to an unrealistic plan written by a twelve-year-old and put my energy into making an imperfect life with my family, flaws and all. Often times, we seem to focus on having a picture-perfect life when it really isn’t that perfect at all. I love every moment I get to spend with my family through the good and the unexpected. I appreciate the frustrating nights going over homework, the extremely long carpool lines, binge watching Netflix with my husband, and nail painting and girl talk with my four and seven-year-old girls. These are the moments I cherish and they were a part of the plan all along. God’s plan.