Hi Everyone! I’m CeeCee James, author, blogger, wife to an awesome guy, and mother of four children. I have a secret to share with you all: My mom superpower was feeling guilty. As I raised my kids, I always saw how I could have/should have done it better.
But now most of my kids are grown, and I have some new perspective. If I could have written a letter to my younger self, here are some parenting notes I would have shared.
CeeCee, having babies and little kids is hard. It’s a lot harder than you realize because you are so caught up in the beauty of the moment, those sweet faces, the giggles, the little arms wrapped around your neck in love, the joy in their faces as you watch their first encounters with the wide-world.
But your body is still experiencing the stress. And much of that stress is coming from you wanting to do “this” perfectly. You want to be the perfect mom, the perfect teacher, the perfect homemaker. All you can see are the ways that you failed. Let me remind you… your kids do not need you to be perfect. If you were perfect and could meet all their needs, why would they ever turn to God? If they had a problem, they’d only rely on you to fix it.
Instead, be okay with being you. You are who they need. Your goofiness, your fun side, your strict side, your good days, your “burned dinner” days. These all teach them to have grace, as they have grace on you. It teaches them forgiveness and love, as they give it to you. It teaches them to relax and enjoy the roses, and have grace on others around them. It teaches them that they have a perfect Father, who loves the both of you.
CeeCee, having medium-size kids is hard. It’s a lot harder than you realize because you are so caught up in watching them enjoy their new found identity, their growth and maturity. Suddenly they can do things you never could (hello racing across the field with a soccer ball at their feet). They have friends and interests, talents, and new math.
They’ve really awakened to the world around them and are seizing it with both hands and new independence. You forget how much work it takes as you coordinate healthy meals around everyone’s schedule, and juggle sports practices, homework, and family time. You forget the effort you put in to making sure each kid gets some one-on-one time, that the house stays sort of clean, the dog is fed, and the husband’s happy. You forget that you’ve been wearing the mom hat for so long that sometimes it scares you to remember who you were before kids, and if that woman is gone forever, and what will life look like with your husband when your kids are grown.
Remember, it’s still okay to be you. It’s better than okay. God said life has seasons and you will get through this one whole and intact, and with a purpose after the kids have grown. Have grace on yourself that you might not have time to develop the hobbies you wish you could right now. You are still interesting. You still count. Don’t worry, it won’t always be like this.God said life has seasons and you will get through this one whole and intact #imperfectmom Click To Tweet
Try not to feel guilty for the ways you spend what little down time you get. Enjoy the chocolate and the few minutes of TV, book, or computer time. Here’s a cool thing: those times the kids overheard you talking to God while you washed the dishes sticks with them. You modeled to them how a child goes to their Father, and how welcome He is in every area of their life.
As much as possible, push away any condemnation that tells you how you can do it better, and recognize the value and heritage you are instilling in your children, as you value your husband, God and support your children. You are doing a good job.recognize the value and heritage you are instilling in your children #imperfectmom Click To Tweet
CeeCee, having teenage kids is hard. It’s a lot harder than you realize right now, because you are so caught up in watching them spread their wings and turn into young adults. Suddenly they are as tall you, or taller. They get your humor and can flip it back quicker than you can react to it. They have become a source of support for you at times, and now the line between parent and friend begins to blur at the edges.
You’re helping them learn to drive, get their first job, their license, their first car, and move towards their adult goals. Your heart squeezes with bittersweet sadness at how fast it’s gone, while at the same time they can push your buttons to the point where you’re counting the days until they move out. You don’t realize the stress your body goes through as you continue to bite your tongue, pick your battles, and learn new ways to communicate and support these young individuals who want their own way, but at the same time need you to catch them if they fall.
God’s gotten you this far, He has a plan for the rest of the way. Don’t let fear come and rob you and tell you that you did a bad job, when the kids act out to “dirty the nest.”
Teenagers do that so that they can be ready to leave, just like young birds. You did a great job parenting, and they are still growing. The fruit might not always be evident, but it’s there. And once they are standing on their own two feet you will be blown away by how amazing they are as adults.
God has a plan, He’s got you. Remember this; I promise, the best is yet to come.God has a plan, He’s got you. Remember this; I promise, the best is yet to come. #imperfectmom Click To Tweet
Psalm 18: 35-36 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.
About the Author: My name is CeeCee. Wife, mother, writer, friend. Survivor. The story about overcoming strife is one that resonates with me. I lived it myself. My Ghost No More series is about my own journey moving from fear to hope. My new book, Wrecked and Yours, is about three homeless kids and how they navigate life. As adults they reconnect, and it’s messy, like life often is. It’s their season to make a choice: look at life honestly and deal with it, or continue to run away. I absolutely loved writing it. Here’s my author’s page if you’d like to check them out. Visit me on my blog and my facebook page.