"Trading perfection for redemption" by Rakhi McCormick (CatholicMom.com) Copyright 2017 Rakhi McCormick. All rights reserved.

I am returning to writing after quite a long hiatus. It seemed my desire to make everyone nice again after the election just didn’t match my energy level. (I’m not sure it ever will!) As I prayed about how I might begin again after all this time, a still quiet voice told me to go back to where I began and revisit what I had already felt called to share.

In doing so, I ran across my post from several years ago about 10 Things I Never Want My Children to Hear. The list included items like “never tell them to just go away” and “never compare them to one another.” Oh, to be that idealistic again. I had the best of intentions in early motherhood with two children two and under. The truth is that in time, as the demands of life increased and my patience decreased, I haven’t been so good at adhering to this list. (The good news is that I haven’t been as bad as I thought I had been either!)

[tweet "My failure to live up to idealistic visions of #motherhood provided room for #grace."]

It dawned on me that my failure to live up to my idealistic vision of motherhood provided a crevice for grace to enter in. While it would be nice to be the mother who never let a cross word leave her lips, who never told her children to go away or compared them to one another, that is not the reality in which I live today. Younger me judged the current me for a long time until Jesus sweetly whispered that it was time to let the failure go. There are times when I am not at my best. Those are the moments I get to grow in humility and allow Christ to redeem me. They are opportunities to practice repentance and remorse, to model apology and forgiveness for my brood. Does that  mean I don't strive to be better, to yell less and affirm more? Not at all! It just means my failure to do so doesn't cripple my ability to move on and try again another day.

Do I still want to be that ideal mother? Some days. Truthfully, though, most days I am working on just being comfortable living in the balance of failure and redemption, knowing that walking this road with grace is a better lesson for my children than perfection could ever be.

How do you balance wanting to be the perfect mom with finding grace in the failures that come with the daily struggles of parenting?

Copyright 2017 Rakhi McCormick