Motherhood: Dirty Clothes & Loose Skin Doesn’t Define Me
My son went to school last week with mud stained pants and yogurt on his shorts. I didn’t notice until we were in the car, almost to the school. I was frustrated and embarrassed and as much as it pains me to admit, it made me think, “what are the teachers going to think about ME?”
My son dresses himself in the morning. He’s a 6 year old kindergartner and this is an area I have let him totally take ownership of. He picks out his outfit and I don’t make him change if it doesn’t match or make him wear anything in particular, except on picture day 😉
I want him to develop his own personality and style without me telling him what it needs to be. But, dirty clothes is not something I’m ok with. He had clean clothes… he just wanted to wear this particular outfit (because he’s obsessed with ‘meggings’ aka “boy leggings“) <-affiliate link for those who are as curious as I was about what boy leggings were!
As I felt my blood boiling that he was wearing these I thought to myself, “why do you care so much?” And the answer that came to me is one that is a little embarrassing for me to admit.
I care because it makes me look like a bad mom.
That is not the truth and I had to turn to God and ask for forgiveness for caring far too much of what others think and less of what HE thinks. The devil preys on the tender parts of our hearts that he knows will bring us to our knees in shame.
God knows I’m a good Mom.
God knows we play “musical beds” every night between our 2 year old and our aging dog, one or the other is in our bed, or fussing in some fashion in the night leaving my husband and I pretty exhausted when the sun rises each day.
God knows I get up early many mornings, with tired eyes and make it to my Bar Method workout because that’s important to me, regardless of how much sleep I got or how late I was up the night before.
God knows that my kids were greeted with warm hugs and a warm breakfast this morning.
His dirty clothes doesn’t mean I don’t love him. And it sure as heck doesn’t mean I’m not a good Mom.
The stained dirt on his pants is like the scars we have that are visible to the world. And as much as we may try to hide it, sometimes you just can’t get the stain out.
We all have stains we wish would be washed clean, so that the world wouldn’t know they are there.
That’s what we get when we accept Jesus, though. A clean slate.
The stains may still be visible. But we can choose to look at them differently than just “messy” or “unappealing”.
The stains are gifts.
They are memories.
They are moments that shifted our lives. They are moments that changed everything. Or they are memories we hold near and dear to our hearts and we pray we never forget them.
My journey with my eating disorder had me gain 100 pounds in a year. I’ve had to lose weight more than once and I’ve given birth to 2 babies.
I have loose skin, stretch marks and cellulite but does that mean I need to live in shame? Absolutely not.
I cannot fear what people will think because my worth is not in the opinion of others.
My worth is in Jesus and He says I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Jesus says my story, and my passion have purpose and THAT is who I care about.
Mama, if your kid wore dirty clothes to school today, whether you knew it or not, that does not define you as a mother.
If your kid didn’t brush his hair or his teeth, that does not define you as a mother.
If you yelled at your kid on the way to school and started the day in tears, that moment does not define you as a mother.
You were given your babies because God knew YOU were the perfect Mama for them.
YOU were made to be their Mother.
And whether you carried them in your womb or another woman did and you carried them in your heart before they were placed in your arms… God knew YOU were the woman to pour your heart and soul into them and YOU were the one they will call, “Mama”.
Don’t doubt your worth over the small things like dirty clothes or unbrushed hair or cellulite or loose skin.
You are worthy of love regardless of the stains people can see from the outside, or the stains you still feel on the inside.
You are worthy.
You were chosen.
You are loved.
Never, ever, forget that.
This made me cry…good tears, thanks for the reminders. Love you friend!
Thanks friend. Love you too.
This one really hit home with me. We are going through the same stage you are with your 6 year old (ours is 6 as well) wanting to pick out his own clothes and look the way he wants to look. It’s hard because mom’s are judged so much and in return that makes us feel like we are going to have a mental breakdown at times. But your right, it doesn’t make us a bad mamma 🙂 Heck, i had the worst mom fail about a month ago. My son had to dress up as an old man for school (the entire school had to dress up as an old man or lady) and I thought for sure it was on a Monday… He comes home, i’m so excited to hear about how it went… He said “Mom, it’s tomorrow that we are supposed to dress up.” Good thing he was in good spirits about it. But talk about feeling AWFUL!!!! OMG I still feel terrible about it. LOL
Sara, I’m smiling because I think I’d rather have been a day early than a day late… so I’m calling that one a Mom win! He just had a practice day!!!! 😉
I absolutely love this post, Amy. I was just saying some words like this to Eric this morning about how I just don’t feel like I’m doing a good job some days and that I am in the kitchen too much blah blah.. it’s so easy for us to get down on ourselves while raising babies. This is such an important post and reminder. Thank you for sharing.
I know you are a GOOD Mom, Star. I also know a lot of Mom’s like us feel the way we do. We are showing our kids that Mommy chases dreams because dreams are worth chasing. Be proud of who you are, and what you’ve done. When Pepper is older… you’ll inspire her!
I’m glad you acknowledged the reason, know you’re a good mom, and moved on. 🙂
My kids are slightly older than yours, and I’ve learned that lesson years ago, however, all those feelings came back just 2 days ago when my 9 year old went to the dentist in his ratty shoes. They had holes in them. A couple holes each. Kids are kids and that’s what he choose to wear. Little did I know that the woman cleaning his teeth said to him, boy, you’ve got some good wear out of those! What size are they? And she checked the tongue of his shoe. A few days later a package arrived from an organization for neglected children. I was mortified. When I asked my son if anyone had talked to him about his shoes, he told me the story. It was a nice gesture, but It makes me feel like a bad parent, and guilty for receiving a pair a sneakers that should’ve gone to another little boy who really needs them.
Oh, Laurie. That is so tricky. I don’t know how I would feel if I were you either. I hope you don’t take it “personal” rather look at it that there are still good people in the world who see a need and meet it. Even if he didn’t really need them.
So beautiful Amy, you nailed the sentiment. My kids are adults now and I still question, doubt and wonder if I do enough. My kids are God’s greatest gifts to me and you’re right, His plan was perfect when he chose moms. Thank you ?
Don’t doubt anymore and have faith that you are exactly what they need. Thank you, Mica.
Beautiful and from such a beautiful ❤️
We all need to remind ourselves that we are perfect in God’s eyes and that’s all we need! Sometimes as women -I know for myself- we try so darn hard to be the perfect mother, perfect wife, but sometimes “perfection” in the eyes of everyone else is not perfection at all- it’s just a stressor
Thank you for writing this and it brought tears to my eyes and a reminder that God made us who we are and loves us so…?
Thank you so much, Christine. Perfection is SUCH a stressor. Letting go of it frees us up to live more fully and in the present!
Wonderful post! My boys are grown and I so related to this from years ago, and still worry way too much about what other people think of me. I sent this to my daughter-n-law and let her know how great of a mom she is. Thank you
Jennifer, I bet she appreciated that SO much!!