October 21, 2017

My Mommy Mess-Up Moment


It’s been one of those weeks.

I’ve been overwhelmed, struggling with discouragement and down right exhausted in my mothering, so I revisted a post that I wrote earlier and claiming this truth.

It’s been awhile since I’ve messed up as a mother. Well, wait a minute. I better retract that statement.

I mess up all the time. I mess up every day in fact, but it’s done quite nicely in the privacy of my own home, thank you very much. This week I had a 24 hour period of time where I became quite convinced that I may need to turn in any thought of ever being crowned Mother of the Day, Hour, Minute, or even Millisecond. My Mother of the Day festivities commenced with a christening of my camera lens, or should I say christening of the dropping of my camera lens. (Did you know that when you decide to invest in a nice camera, the lenses are completely different investments? Yes, they are as expensive as the camera, and it’s quite painful to find that out when one drops.) But that’s OK. It’s only money. Money that I scrimped for, saved for, and cut coupons for oh….a year to equal the money to buy that lens, but again, it’s only money. 😉

It just kind of set the tone for the day.

Within an hour of that mishap, I turned on my computer to the realization that my daughter had basketball practice – practice that had been occurring for the past hour at a location thirty minutes away. This wasn’t just any practice. This was their final middle school practice before their run at the Home school state basketball championship, and she was going to miss it. I am not a mother that misses practices. I just don’t. I have juggled multiple activities for years, and have never forgotten once…ever. Well, I guess that’s not a true statement anymore.

Continuing on, I had a zinger that led to one of those Mommy Mess-ups that you feel deeply, publicly, embarrassingly, which could, if not put into proper perspective – lead to a mommy meltdown.

Their semifinal basketball game was to begin at 3:00pm at the old YMCA, so we were incredibly prompt arriving nearly an hour early. Since we were downtown, I decided to take advantage of the extra hour and head to the Junior League Bargain Box, a really nice thrift store. I pulled up to the side door, saw the “Welcome Home School basketball tournament participants,” and told her to head upstairs to her team, that I’d be there in a bit. (We’ve had the tournament at the same location for years, so I wasn’t concerned.)

Enjoying a leisurely hour at the Bargain Box, I was met by an urgent phone call from my mom saying that she just arrived to watch my daughter’s game and it was the boys playing. Her team was not there.

WHAT? I had confidentially left my daughter at the WRONG gym. They had moved the game down a few blocks to the new YMCA, (yes, they had let us know by email,) and my daughter sat there waiting patiently for nearly an hour…missing part of her game – her state tournament game.


I could go on and on about how horrible I felt, give my justified reasons etc, but in the scope of the grander picture, this does not define me. In sharing my messy mothering moment, I want to encourage you, and to remind myself that I have been passionately called to this thing called mothering. If missing her game is the worst thing that ever happens in parenting her, how blessed am I.

Amidst the beauty and bedlam of parenting, the good, bad and ugly, there is no greater privilege than to nurture, encourage, lead and yes, mess up on the journey of mothering our children.

The Lord has called me for an eternal purpose – a purpose that creates a heritage – a generational legacy, and with that, He determined that I am the best mother for my children. No, I am not the best mother.

In fact, it’s been a really trying week on many levels, and I’ve made some mothering mistakes, but yes, I am the best mother for my children.

I am reminding myself of this gift as I reflect on my sweet children, and God’s grace in the journey.

The astounding thing is that He makes no mistakes by placing these blessings in my life, and He isn’t second guessing His decision.

You are the best mother for your children.

It doesn’t mean we don’t struggle. It doesn’t mean we don’t mess up. It doesn’t mean that we don’t have to ask for forgiveness (repeatedly) as we process and learn on this journey, but He has divinely put us at the helm in our Family Manager role, and our inadequacies don’t take Him by surprise.

Now, just because my mess ups don’t take him by surprise, doesn’t mean I don’t have to realign priorities and spend time making some adjustments for this upcoming week.

Our journey of mothering continually asks us to sharpen our game, and that means being proactive in our role. So, I’m off to spend some time balancing my schedule. 😉

Maybe next week will be my mommy marvel moment, and that crown will come floating my way once again.

So, what has your week looked like? Mommy Mess-Up or Mommy Marvel? Would you care to share?


  1. Kristie scott says:

    I needed to hear your Mommy messup story today! I have been feeling quite inadequate as a mother!! You are such a wonderful Mom and a great role model to so many!


  2. I’m sure I will have many of these kinds of moments when my daughter arrives. I love your statement that YOU are the best mom for YOUR children. That is so true! Blessings on you this coming week, amiga! 🙂


  3. Kassandra Wood says:

    I signed up weeks ago to help with our daughter’s book fair at her school. The note with my days to help is pinned beautifully to our cork board. The only problem is that I didn’t show up at all last week to help on my assigned days because I didn’t look at the cork board until today… the last time I checked it was week-before-last when I’d been caring for two VERY sick children. Whoops! I chalk it up to being human. I also cut myself a break because I mentor 6 children who are struggling academically, every morning of the school week! 🙂 lol We all have these moments. I keep reminding myself of what all the “older women” tell me… One day I will truly, whole-heartedly miss this season of life… no matter how chaotic it may be!


  4. Sweetie, don’t feel bad! I regularly qualify for the “Bad Mother of the Year” award! My personal worst was when I was so busy in meetings I could not skip, taking care of other people’s kids (I’m a School Psychologist) that I missed my youngest daughter’s induction into the National Junior Honor Society. She never knew- I got there in time to watch her process out. But I WAS there for her induction into the high school induction for NHS, plus to watch her graduate Summa cum Laude.
    My personal mantra: in ten years, will this matter? Probably not. So don’t sweat this stuff – you’re there & she’ll be there for the other days.


  5. Oh I can so relate. My son isn’t even at the age to have activities to go to and I feel like I mess something up daily. I try really hard to be the good mommy and do fun things but sometimes life happens. Two days ago I asked my husband to dress little man while I got ready. I came out and he asked me where little man’s clothes were. I was confused and he told me that there weren’t any socks in his drawer. Then it hit me, I haven’t done his laundry in well over a week. My kid had very few clean clothes…… I felt so guilty and like a terrible mother. The house was a mess and laundry needed to be done. But it happens… We are all human and can only do the best that we can.


  6. Thanks for posting. I needed to read this one today.


  7. I realized that I forgot to register my daughter for camp this summer. Although it is only February, it usually fills up by December. I sent it in last week and am praying that we will squeeze in. (She doesn’t know yet that this could be a problem.)


  8. i’m not a mama but i was SO feeling your pain during this post! but for how you described your children as patient in these circumstances, it’s evident that you are raising them well more days than not 🙂


  9. Jen, thank you for your sweet honesty. I’m sorry it happened causing you stress but you’re right to not let it ruin all of your day. Kelly


  10. A few weeks ago, my oldest son had Court of Honor for Boy Scouts. It was his first one. Well, apparently Moms were supposed to go to it, too, not just Dads. Guess who didn’t go? Yup, me. They gave out some special pin that Moms of Scouts have to wear. Plus, my son earned some of his badges that night. He was the only one without his mother there. Sigh. In my defense, no one told me I had to be there. My son must have missed the meeting where they mentioned to bring your Mom. Talk about feeling like the worst mother in the world.


  11. I think I might have missed the deadline to order yearbooks for my kids. Money has been tight and I just kept putting it off…I hate when I do things like that!


  12. Ranting, on your behalf:

    They notified you of an important and time-critical change BY EMAIL !!!????!!!

    This is a perpetual gripe of my husband’s in the business world — email is not a TIMELY notification method. Sometimes, it’s not even an accurate notification — spam filters and ‘delete all’ options have reduced the certainty of email notification.

    I check my email once a day. Around 7 a.m. That’s it. If you want to tell me about a 2 p.m. schedule change, call and make sure I know about it.

    end rant.


  13. We have a saying around here –“Perfection is overrated.” Parenting a type-A teenage daughter, this is an oft-repeated phrase (cue eye-roll). With her, it’s really hard sometimes to tell if my words are getting through. I always tell her that she can only do her best, and I try to model that and admit my own failures and ask her from time to time to glance down at my feet of clay standing right there next to hers.

    I think being all things all the time is impossible and unrealistic. There’s nothing wrong with our children, and everyone else for that matter, seeing that we are human and fallible.

    Hang in there. And be glad you have a sense of humor about yourself. Imagine if you didn’t….


  14. I REALLY appreciate you posting this – the part about being the best mother for my children? Tears. I needed the reminder that even when I mess up, this is His design, and He and my children give me grace in these moments.


  15. Thanks so much…as a home school sports mom of 22 years and still going…oh I know this story well…I had three in home school sports at one time…and so know the basketball years and baseball years.

    I am now a mom of four out of the nest and two still in training…this weekend I put on the “did everything wrong, what was the use” banner after some bad decisions by adult children…so I needed this morning…I now have taken the banner off…and I look forward to all God is doing in their life and mine.

    Thanks so much!!


  16. Thank you for sharing your disasters with us all. Thank you. And for pointing out that God knows what He is doing. I need the reminder. Often. There are so many details to keep track of with a family, and things fall through the cracks. Often. Did I mention often? 🙂


  17. Sorry I’ve never commented before, but I just had to say that this post spoke to my heart! I homeschool my 9 yr old, ADHD, son (while chasing a busy toddler) and I feel like I fail most days. I LOVE your statement about you being the best Mom for your children and have never thought of it like that before. I do try to remind myself that God chose me to be the momma of an ADHD child, so he must think that I can do the job! Thank you for sharing this with your readers!!



  18. Thank you…this really spoke to my heart…


  19. I too appreciate your statement “I am the best mother for my children” and i am! thanks (btw, thats going in my fb status Right Now) 🙂 heehee
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    (¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`• ƸӜƷ


  20. Jill Vardaman says:

    Thank you for your trasparency and encouragement. God used your words to reach me today.


  21. Christi says:

    Your words were very encouraging and made me appreciate the wonderful life that I have with my children, flaws and all. I was also inspired by the reminder that my children are a gift and a blessing from God and that I am the best mother for my girls. Thank you so much for sharing.


  22. Thank you for this timely article. It has been a VERY trying week and your words serve as a reminder that we are not perfect. We are simply doing our best.


    Jen Reply:

    You are so welcome!! We are all in process. 🙂


  23. Ooh, sorry about the game. That’s a tough one. But as for the practice, she should’ve been alerting you, “Mom, we need to get to practice,” shouldn’t she? Teaching kids to take responsibility for being where they need to be when they need to be is important and frees busy moms up JUST A BIT…or at least serves as a double check.

    And I hope she was a better sport about it than my boys would have been.


    Jen Reply:

    Oh yes, teaching them responsibility is so important. The thing about that basketball game was that we were very prompt. It was me. I dropped her off at the wrong gym during the tournament. (sigh) Oh well, not it’s just a good memory. 😉


  24. I read about “mommy mess-ups about a week ago and it prompted me to write a note to my 34 year old son, recalling a time I had a mommy mess-up time involving him and myself. After sharing the incident with him, I asked him to forgive me once again for my mess-up time. God is so gracious to give us more than one opportunitiy to say “I’m sorry” if we but listen to His prompting and act upon it.
    Today, at this very moment (12:27 AM), I have been blessed with the opportunity to be in prayer for my daughter who is having 3 impacted wisdom teeth removed, at the age of 30. Why am I up at such an hour praying for her? Because I am in California and she is in England undergoing the procedure right now. God and I have been talking about her and remembering many times before I have been in prayer over her situation. Praying for one’s children, no matter the age, is an incredible privilege. Three weeks ago when she told me about her oral surgery the very next words were, “Mom will you pray for me?” I assured her I would. This morning I received an email from her telling me the exact time I would need to be praying so it would correspond with her time, in surgery, in England. These words from her, knowing in her heart that I would be up and praying, ate priceless! There were and still are times of “mommy mess-ups” but this is one time God and I get to shine!
    Yes, I take my responsibility very serious as their mother because God blessed me by getting to be their Mom. Both my son, then my daughter 3 1/2 years later, were placed in my arms at 32 hours old to be their adoptive mother. God and I love them very much. The greater miracle is they love me through “mommy mess-ups” and all! : )


    Jen Reply:

    oh Ruth – you have me in tears this morning. Thank you SO much for sharing that here. You are ahead of me in this journey and that was such an encouragement. 🙂


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