My inner monologue circa 2012:
“I would never brag about going to Target by myself or complain about having kids in tow at the grocery store, because I know what it’s like to have an empty buggy.”
“I would never grumble about mountains of dishes or piles of laundry, because it would be a gift to have more mouths to feed and more bitsy bodies to clothe.”
“I would never speak harshly to a wounded, orphan child.”
“I would never lose my patience with a child struggling to learn.”
“I would never let my children watch television or play computer games. No, we will read books. Chapter books, of course.”
“I would never leave a lunch box in the back seat long enough to ferment into something resembling apple cider vinegar.”
“I would never forget to brush my kids’ teeth…for several days.”
“And don’t even think about cartoon character t-shirts. Dreadful.”
“I would never…My children would never…”
All that and plenty more.
When it takes several years to grow your family, you have plenty of time to dog-ear ALL the parenting books, memorize ALL the Gospel-centered disciplinary measures, and mistakenly convince yourself that because it required so much grief to become a mom, you will ALWAYS be THE most grateful baby-wearing, organic-food-eating, imaginative-playing, neat and tidy, free-range parent.
I didn’t even realize all of my judgmental thoughts until we adopted our children and I found myself kicking the bum wheel on the jogging stroller and complaining about the parenting things. From sleepless nights, exorbitant amount of extra housework, and the fact that my backseat resembled the aftermath of the Golden Corral buffet, there was plenty of whining.
In my two years of being a mom, I’ve done all of the above and plenty worse. I have thought, “I JUDGE PEOPLE LIKE ME!” on a daily basis.
Ends up, it was me I was scared of all the while.
I was scared that parenting would be annoying and uncomfortable. I was scared that it might reveal that I have the capacity to act in shameful ways. And heaven help us all if I would forget to brush their teeth!
Motherhood has been the crucible by which my pride and perfectionism, deeply rooted in insecurity and shame, has begun to die a slow and painful death. And while I’m still learning to lean into the chaos with gratitude and hope, I am also asking God to change my inner momma-logue from judgement to acceptance, freedom, and grace. I’m asking Him for things like...
Acceptance of His power to do the hard and uncomfortable.
Freedom from comparison, and the need to figure out what fruit or vegetable rotted resulting in pungent unidentifiable liquid pooled up under the car seat.
Grace to repent as needed and also to say, “Hey, can I sneak out for a few hours of quiet, maybe even grocery shop real quick by myself?” Imagine that.
What inner momma-logues or monologues do you wrestle with? How do you struggle with judgement?
I’d love to hear more of your inner mommalogue over at www.joelandkitty.com or on social media @kitty_hurdle! See you soon!