The Mom I Want to Be

We got off to a really crummy start here at Casa Whitaker this morning.  We all have days like that, don’t we?  Sometimes I think it’s easier to “roll with it” when it happens later in the day.  You’re warmed up, you know?  Say the day starts out great and then at lunch someone spills their milk.  You expect it.  I mean, you’ve made it to noon before crazy hit.  Score one for Mom.  But when it happens right out of the gate, when the terrible, no good is how you say “good morning” it just really makes you want to crawl back in bed and scream:  DO OVER!

So, here’s the deal.  There is a mom inside of me that is itching to come out.  But the yelly, “passionate” mom ahead of her is keeping her down.  I want to be more loving, more patient, more faithful and more purposeful in how I interact with my children.  I’m not sure how my children know how to get me from 0 to 60 in less than a nanosecond, but they do.  I suspect yours do, too.  How do I tame the crazy lady who starts spinning out of control to a rational, calm, semi-balanced mom who loves her kids?

That’s my biggest struggle today.  To be present enough in the moment that I can see the day is more than just that really horrible few seconds.  To understand that my kids are going to screw up, just like their mom, and they want a do over sometimes, too.  I want to be faithful enough to call on help, to ask for Mary’s intercession or the grace of God to enter into my heart before I open my  mouth.  The thing is, that doesn’t happen overnight.  Baby steps, right?  Maybe I start with whispering instead of yelling or excusing myself from the room to vent in a dark closet before I return to my children.

Truth of the matter?  I’m determined to be a mom in whom I would be proud.  Motherhood is a journey.  In God’s wisdom, he called me to the vocation of motherhood.  He knew I’d be good at it, I just don’t always believe HE was thinking straight when He did that.  I try to go it alone.  Try to do it my way.  That never ends well and I usually end up babbling to the blog, shedding a few tears and finding God on the Internet.  Who knew?

With every child, every life experience, every school project and paper, every sports game, every broken toy, every spilled glass of milk, every tantrum, I am learning to let go.  I am learning to get ruffled less and cry out to God more.  Perhaps that’s what He wanted all along.  Perhaps my children ARE my prayer life.  They are purifying me so I am ready for heaven (God willing) when it comes.  That’s a humbling revelation, y’all.  We work so hard to bring out the best in our children and yet we bring out the worst in ourselves.  When really, shouldn’t we be extracting the worst from our children to bring out the best in ourselves?  As we teach them the difficult lessons of patience and kindness, love and respect we have to dig deep, don’t we?  I know I do.  The lesson of patience only comes from trials.  The lesson of kindness only comes from anger.  The lesson of love only comes from hate.  The lesson of respect only comes from disrespect.

And the lesson of obedience only comes from humility.

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.  That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.


  1. Molly on January 26, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Thank you for this, Kathryn. I was one of those “yelly” moms the other night. My kids don’t deserve it. Yes, did they do something wrong, but instead of turning it into a learning lesson, I turned it into a crying session. For all of us. BeingSAHM and working mom is HARD. HARD. However, a wise man (our reformed Dean from being a Baptist minister) said they other day, “Molly, you can still learn patience.” Yes, yes, I can. Because my kids don’t get me all day, they need my full attention at night and the weekends. I find myself following the bad habit of a working-mom “bribery” and that is not good. I need to find more time to play store and less time to make sure EVERYTHING IS DONE BEFORE MONDAY (hey, that’s what I pay a cleaning lady for, right?). Thanks for the rant session, I needed it.

  2. Jamie on January 26, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    You don’t know how right your timing is for this post. I’m in the exact same place. If you go to the link below there is a guy from a local sports station telling a story – it played yesterday.

    I thought it was powerful and a great message to listen to when I’m needing a little reminder of how lucky I have it and how its okay to let my kids be kids.
    Love you cuz!

  3. Erin bloss on January 26, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Thanks Kathryn! I needed this today! We had the same morning!

  4. Carolina on January 26, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Hi Kathryn!! You are so right. Sometimes it’s just hard
    to call that good mom inside of us when these things
    happen, but it is a good eye opener to read your blog.
    I enjoy reading!

  5. Christy Songy on January 26, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    This touched me today, Kathryn. Thank you.

  6. Kelli Kelley on January 26, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Wait one minute. You are a yelly mom? Really? You have no idea how much better that makes me feel. I constantly compare myself to you and say, “Gosh, if Kathryn can do it with 5, certainly I can do it with 2.” Glad to know you are as imperfect as the rest of us! I love you sister! Thanks for the life lesson today. I needed it!

  7. Kathryn on January 26, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Oh Kelli, yes. Really. Perhaps yelling is what I need to give up for Lent 🙂

  8. Melissa on January 26, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Hi, Kathryn! Your post made me think of the song ‘Blessings’ by Laura Story: “What if your blessings come through raindrops? What if your healing comes through tears? What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near? What if the trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?”

    Sometimes its hard to think beyond the current day…I just keep hope that my 5-year-old will not be 5 forever, and eventually we will both learn better ways of behaving. 🙂

    Hang in there!

  9. amanda on January 26, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    If kids learn by example then what better way to teach them how to say “I’m sorry”?

  10. Kelley on January 27, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Oh man Kathryn, it is amazing how much this post hit home for so many! I found myself in the same boat this morning. I think it is worse in the morning, because we go to bed telling ourselves that tomorrow will be better & it is hard to imagine a better “tomorrow” if it starts out badly. I think just the fact that we recognize that the other Mom is inside us proves what good Moms we are, because it highlights how much we strive to overcome our shortcomings to be better next time. And if we fail, eh, we’ll try harder next time. Mulligans are a hellavu thing! 🙂 I imagine even Mary had her moments!

  11. d.kennedy on July 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Oh, hon — I was on my knees last night — sobbing, after a particularly stressful bedtime routine. I KNOW the mother God wants me to be, but I don’t know how to get there. I pray often for Mary’s intercession, to help guide me on the path.

    • Kathryn on July 10, 2012 at 1:29 pm

      In times of family stress, I feel like I should be doing better but it’s usually when I fall apart. It’s my sincere prayer, Dianna, that these next few weeks especially, you will feel the blanket of prayer.

  12. Brandon Kraft on July 10, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Preach, sister, preach.

  13. […] to my kids on their birthdays. Those are my six favorite days of the year on the blog! And, 2) The Mom I Want to Be. I wrote it nearly three years ago, but the words? They are still so […]

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