I haven’t met a mother yet who hasn’t been afraid at some point. We all get scared. Maybe the fear comes and goes, but we all know what it feels like. Fear causes stress. Fear is annoying. Fear is paralyzing. And, despite our best efforts, fear often is the force behind many of the decisions we make as moms.
Lately, I have been having a few honest conversations with myself about motherhood. I’ve been asking myself if I have the courage it takes to be a great mom. You might ask, why do I think being a great mom requires courage? Because courage doesn’t mean we aren’t afraid. Rather, courage means that we are terrified, but despite that fear, we push forward and do what needs to be done.
Some of my questions about courage stem from the challenges I face when it comes to juggling motherhood and my aspirations. It never seems like I have enough hours in the day, and I always wonder if I am making the right decision. When I am feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, I wonder if my kids can sense it. It’s most difficult with Jada, because she is learning how to speak so she can’t always communicate her thoughts and feelings. My son, however, can just ask me what’s wrong (and he definitely does) and we talk things out.
I’ve realized one incredibly important thing on this journey to be courageous. I have realized that we all have courage within us. Even in our absolutely weakest moments, when we want to beat ourselves up for not being a better mom, we still have this remarkable strength within. It’s some pretty magical stuff. We get a lot of it from our little ones, but I also believe a lot of it was there before they became a part of our lives. We were born with it.
So in finding courage, I find myself embracing my failures with gratitude. I am grateful for each moment I consider to be a “mess up,” because I know I learned something that just made me stronger. Each mistake and each painful experience brings me closer and closer to the courage I seek. Surviving my faults, and realizing that my children survive them with far more grace than I do, reminds me that it all makes perfect sense.
You see, whether you act out of fear or not, mistakes are not just inevitable – actually, they are likely. Moms make mistakes. It’s really hard to raise a human being without making a few along the way. But, we should all feel liberated by this notion because that means we might as well kick fear to the curb when we make decisions since the “fear factor” doesn’t really make us less likely to fail. If anything, it just makes us less likely to act.
As I watch my kids grow into their own, I am astounded by who they are becoming. They simply amaze me. In an effort to amaze them, too, I plan to do this motherhood thing with courage. I am sure I will fall flat on my face more times than I care to think about, but each time I fall I will stand up stronger. And each time they see me get back up, they will realize that they have the same strength within because they are a part of me. That is reason alone for me to push forward – with courage.