It was one of those Saturdays. You know the kind where you try to fit 36 hours of activities into a 24-hour window? That’s the kind.
Two boys had baseball games on different sides of town, with barely a breath between them. Our daughter had back-to-back musical theater performances. And my husband was buried at the library trying to finish his spring doctoral assignments.
At home, dirty dishes filled the sink, clean laundry covered the floor, and the refrigerator was empty. Beds were unmade, personal belongings were strewn everywhere, and stacks of paperwork were begging for attention on the counter.
We were the exact opposite of the front cover of The Pottery Barn catalogue.
Our kids always need to be in three different places at the exact same time. So we’re in the dividing and conquering season of parenting, as much as I said “I’d never.” This means that I hadn’t yet been to the ballpark where our oldest son is playing baseball this season, and I didn’t know the ins and outs of finding his field.
The journey began smoothly. We piled into the car, had everything we would need to survive the next 8 hours, and headed off.
We got stuck in traffic, which made us late. Thankfully though, he had to be there thirty minutes early to warm up, so he wouldn’t miss the game. When we finally arrived, I saw the sign as we pulled into the parking lot and my heart sank.
We were at the wrong baseball complex.
By the time we arrived at the right complex, my “can-do” attitude had changed to “I cannot do this for another minute”. It’s mind-blowing how quickly this can happen to me.
I pulled into the parking lot, opened the van door, and began shouting for my son to “run, run, run” to his field. Off he went. But little did I know, there wasn’t just one baseball park in this complex. There were two. And I’d sent him to the wrong one.
Ten minutes later, we were running from one side of the complex to another, hoping to find Field 6 somewhere along the way. We ended up out of breath, in another parking lot, with soccer fields everywhere, but not a baseball field in sight.
I stopped in the middle of the parking lot. Called my husband. And burst into tears.
“I’m a terrible mother.”
“I can’t do anything right.”
“How could God be leading me to minister to moms when I can’t keep it together in my own home?”
My husband patiently listened on the other end. When I finally took a breath, he said all the right things and calmly helped me figure out where we needed to go.
It was a trek.
So I breathed deeply. Wiped my tears. And hollered to the troops, “Follow me!” Off we ran to find Field 6.
As we approached the park, I could see the other players’ moms sitting in the stands. One of them caught my eye and shouted, “Hey! You’re just in time, but you look flustered!”
As I settled in to watch the game, I shared the details of our adventure. Even the part about crying in the parking lot. And one of the moms said, “Wow. I thought I was the only one.”
Then it hit me.
Motherhood isn’t something we master, is it? It’s something we wade through. And all too often, we swim in the seas of inadequacy and isolation.
“I’m not enough, and everyone else is,” we tell ourselves.
But the truth is all moms feel this way, I think. The problem is that we keep it to ourselves, and that makes us feel less than and lonely.
God hasn’t led me to minister to moms because I have it all figured out. God has led me to minister to moms because I am a mom. I understand the mother’s heart. And I’ve discovered that vulnerable and authentic living is a gift I can give to other moms in the trenches with me.
So here in this space, we hope to give that gift to you through vulnerable and honest conversation.
We hope to share stories that might begin to dismantle the feelings of inadequacy and isolation that plague so many of us.
And we hope to inspire and encourage you to see more clearly that by God’s grace, you are enough, and that God is doing a mighty work in your family day by day.
Will you join us for the journey?