Raising children up to be well-mannered, well-behaved, well-rounded humans is tougher than I thought before I had kids of my own. You remember that place, right? The land of a thousand opinions but zero experience? Well the rose colored glasses have not only been removed but trampled. I’m speaking metaphorically, but also kind of literally too as my husband’s sunglasses are no longer usable after a certain toddler underestimated her weight as she stepped on them.

Every day I remind myself that God gave my kids the mother that He knew they would need. It’s inspiring and motivating and gives me all the feels…until I realize that it means God gave my children a mother who laughs when she hears the word “duty” (read: doody), loves putting underwear over her kids’ heads when folding laundry, can hardly contain herself when a “that’s what she said” moment presents itself, and who could take video of her kids playing with whoopee cushions aaaalllll daaaayyyyy and still laugh every.single.time. (The high-pitched ones that squeak out right at the end? I’m dead.) At this rate I really don’t know how I’ll ever assimilate into a public work environment again with the sheer number of immature triggers I now have.

He gave them a mother who, right before hearing another mother tell her kid not to stick their hands between the bars of the miniature horses corral, had just said “stick your hands in there.” (And this, people, is why scientists had to create vaccines.)

He gave them a mother who recognizes that she lacks discipline and is now in a position where she is supposed to instill routine, balance, and healthy choices in her children.

He gave them a mother who recognizes that she sometimes overreacts and is now in a position where she needs to instill rational responses and calmness in her children.

He gave them a mother who recognizes that she sometimes sulks when she gets offended or disappointed and is now in a position where she needs to instill an ability to brush things off and move on in her children.

He gave them a mother who doesn’t enjoy reading but is now in a position where she needs to instill the magic of stories and imagination and the gift of the written word into her children.

But He gave them a mother who loves the Lord, loves her family, and learns every day how to be better than the day before with the help of HER Father God.

When we’re in the midst of an apocalyptic tantrum on the sidewalk outside of the library that causes me to drop all of my books I can whisper “help me be patient and calm and controlled” in a prayer to the Lord. And when we’re in the midst of a toddler performing Houdini escape antics at bedtime after a long day I can whisper “help me have wisdom and patience and calmness.” And when I wake up in the morning exhausted from a night of multiple interruptions I can whisper “help me have joy and gladness and supernatural strength today.”

Above the swirling thoughts of my inadequacy, I’m reminded that God equips the called…and He has called all of us mothers to the highest duty! (Doody…gah! But for real. Important duty.)

So it’s okay if you’re the mother who loves whoopee cushions. It means you love to let loose with your kids (ba dum tsss). It means you’re fostering an atmosphere of laughter and giving them the freedom to be themselves. And often those moments of being silly usher opportunities for great conversations since it gets everyone relaxed and available to talk. Take a trip to the dollar store and surprise your kids with a whoopee cushion of their own. Learn to break wind…um, let ‘er rip…uhhh…crack a smile together.