Motherhood sometimes feels humiliating, but God uses our imperfections to grow humility and teach us His grace.
Several months into screaming twin babies, left-over dishes from last night’s meal, and days of non-showering, Dominque hears a knock at her door.
Who is it? She saw two friends standing on her stoop: showered and vibrant.
She remembered. Oh Yeah! I forgot they were coming.
Heart slumped. Smile turned on. She opened the door and welcomed her friends in—
into the mess.
Before her foster-to-adopt twins arrived—before crusty floors, piles of unfolded laundry, and only portions of sleep—she would prepare for guests. Pillows fluffed. Kitchen cleaned. Drinks with ice offered.
It seems motherhood delivers humility.
Caring for littles requires much work—hands-on, heart-open, all-in kind of work. But when friends offered Dominque help, she tended to say no out of pride.
I didn’t want people to see my mess,” she said. “I felt like I should clean up before they came over to help me clean. Ridiculous.”
Being one of the few adoptive families in her network of friends, she added the pressure to only show the joys of motherhood and not the challenges.
But moms of newborns experience heights of joy and the depth of sadness, sometimes at the same moment. It’s a weird mama thing, I guess. And nothing to be ashamed of.
The Ideal Keeps Us In Shame
If we continue in the ideal of loved on kiddos, sparkling homes, cooked balanced meals, and constant joy, we overburden ourselves—or we hide from people who want to help and care for us. Both options layer us in shame.
But what if instead of feeling humiliated, we offered ourselves grace? What if we allow others to enter our mess for the sake of friendship even if that means humility?
When our first son entered the world he stayed in the hospital for several weeks. Friends of mine washed, scrubbed, and fluffed our house from wall to wall before we brought him home. What a gift of grace. Humbling, but not humiliating. We all need help now and then. We all need to let go of perfection.
Dominque now allows herself portions of grace.
Instead of striving to be the poster-mom of adoption, God is teaching Dominque to open up to authentic community—community that doesn’t care if the diaper pail needs emptied or they grab their own glass of water when they visit.
Motherhood is sticky and tiring. Yet God is faithful to change us as we change diapers—no matter how many tantrums of perfection we throw.
Humility. Perfection. These sometimes war within the hearts of moms. But once we let go of the mirage of perfection and allow ourselves to embrace humility like the little children we hold, we encounter grace in a fresh way.
James 4 talks about this—that God give grace to the humble. We need God, especially in motherhood. He never requires our perfection, but leads those with young gently (Isaiah 40:11).
So, mamas, let’s learn from Dominique. Let’s seek to be faithful to the work God blesses us with as we love on our littles and allow God to provide the help we need, even if it comes in the form of people entering our imperfect mess.
PRAY: God, please help me replace my craving for perfection with my openness to Your grace. Help me receive Your grace through others when I am in need. Please also open my eyes and heart to serve those around me in humility. AMEN.
ACT: Is there a way someone can help you in this season of motherhood? Is there a way you can help someone you know right now?
SHARE: How has God taught you humility? Please share with other mamas in the comments.
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