Friday, May 31, 2013

Mediocre Mothering

I read a popular "mommy blog" the other day.  She had great writing, a funny topic, and was completely relatable. But that smart, savvy, writer mom dropped the *f-word* three times in her blog post. Three! And it made me very sad. Not because I know her or even know anything about her, but because I didn't understand why.

Don't get me wrong. It's not like I've never heard the word before. I may have even said it before, so I'm not judging.  I just think motherhood deserves more. We should be in awe every single day of the gift we have in our kids, and show motherhood a little more respect.

Another popular Christian blogger recently blogged about her failings as a mom, and how she "used to care." She's tired. And I SO get that, because I am exhausted and she has more kids then I do. But I can't stop feeling that motherhood is sacred.

Then we post funny graphics like the one in this post, and we all laugh. Because "keeping the kids alive" is the new standard. When did we embrace mediocrity in motherhood?  It likely all started innocently enough. Someone pulled down the veil behind us trying to achieve perfection -and failing every single time - and shared that they were messing up. And we all breathed a sigh of relief, because we could relate!

But somehow the sharing of our failures stopped being about encouraging each other to keep striving for the good, and became an acceptance of mediocre mothering. And I think it's time to stop. Because our kids deserve better. (Click to tweet this.)

I mess it up sometimes. I forget to send in items to school. I forget to check the homework folder. I yell at my kids. I mess up and I feel bad about it...because I never forget how important I am to my kids. And how important they are to me. 

Motherhood can be hard...almost every single day! But there are so many women with empty arms and hearts who would readily dive right into my situation and take it over. I can't forget that. They'd love to have one "hard" day with kids, then all the hard days without them.

And so I mess up, and I get up, and I keep striving to do better.  I'll never be perfect, but I refuse to accept mediocrity. Because I am a mom. I'll never forget what a precious gift that truly is.

Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.
Psalm 127:3
Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at

Chatty Kelly


Another mom said...

As a fellow Christian mom of 3 boys, I enjoy the sarcastic comments and jokes because I do relate to them. I don't set out to be mediocre, my best just doesn't usually measure up. But I learned long ago that Jesus stands in my gaps and although I'm not "going for" mediocre, I'm not beating myself up for not being perfect either.

Kelly Combs said...

I am so thankful that Jesus does stand in the gaps! Sounds like you're in the perfect place, not giving up, not beating yourself up, and letting Jesus fill the space in between. That's all any of us can do.

Seattle sara said...

So true! I love the words you have written... keep inspiring. . Keep sharing. . Keep believing!

Kelly Combs said...

Thank you Sara! I appreciate the encouragement!

Melanie Dorsey said...

Sometimes the celebration of the mediocre goes a bit too far. I wonder if it's like the comedian who goes for the laugh or the applause...or the readership. I don't know. I just wonder about that sometimes.
As far as the profanity I occasionally see on "mom blogs" I usually click off right away because I don't respect that...after all you can certainly edit your word choice before you hit publish - if you want to. I'm not surprised when I see it on "secular" sites but always wince when it's on a "Christian" site. Maybe I'm just old.

Kelly Combs said...

Maybe I am getting old too. I hope it just means we are getting wiser (not just older).

Goldie Vies-Morrow said...

Love this thought. Even though the quips are funny and I can relate to them, I often think of those that do not have children and want them so desperately. I thank God in my frustrated and sleep deprived state for my 3 year old boy and 6 week girl.

Kelly Combs said...

I laugh too Goldie. Because they are funny and we do relate. But even as we relate with the pressure, we need to press on. Thank you so much for your comment.

Heather Waddell said...

A Parable: One day, two women went to pray. One, a super awesome mom blogger, and the other one, an average mom who loves her kids, a mediocre mom, if you will. The blogger mom prayed like this: "God, I thank you that I'm not like other moms, the cussing moms, the tired moms, the moms who question the sanctity of motherhood when they have five screaming children a dirty diaper in their purse just trying to make it out of the grocery store alive. Or even like this mediocre mom, here. I know that every moment of motherhood is sacred and joyous, even the poop-filled moments." But the mediocre mom, while folding laundry at 11:30 at night and having not taken a shower in 3 days, prayed, "God, this is really hard. I don't really like this right now. I know you gave these kids to me and I thank you for them. But, I'm not a perfect mom and I'm tired. Please help me." Luke 18:10-13

Kelly Combs said...

I'm really sorry you missed the parts where I said I have said the f-word, I am tired too, and I mess up every day. Those were important parts to the "parable."

I was raised by an alcoholic mother who "didn't care." So, I'm sorry if my desire to hold motherhood to a higher standard offended you. Motherhood is hard every day, like I said. Especially in the diaper days.

I hope you if you are the "mediocre" mom in the parable, that you realize that by sacrificing your shower for 3 days, and by staying up until 11:30 at night - you are, in fact, anything but mediocre. You are a wonder woman. That's the point of the parable. God bless.

Kathryn Hughey said...

I often wonder if these things come out of being sick of being judged. I am the best mom I can be, but often I feel like I fail (Thank God for His grace!). Often I feel judged by moms who do "all the right" things. I think this is where the jokes come from. I question whether it is really mediocrity that is being encouraged, as much as it is mom's defending themselves for not being these "super mom's" that breastfeed their child until they are 2 years old, have their house spotless everyday, make their kids special and very healthy food rather than buying processed food even occasionally, and look down on those that don't. I have been on that end of the conversation and it is very frustrating. Being a mom IS hard work, and we should all be encouraging each other, rather than feeling we have to defend ourselves with jokes, etc. to make ourselves feel better.

Luba said...

No, please, you are not getting "too old" unless 30 is that age. My pastor said many years ago to a man who used profanity, "I can think of five words you could have used instead of that one."