It’s not easy to be…great

award-ribbonI’ve always wanted to be great at something that really matters. It never appealed to me to try to be a great actress or singer. A doctor or lawyer didn’t interest me either. I wanted and expected that I’d be a great wife and a great mom.

Those things were simple enough. I had a list of great examples with my own mom topping the list. Mom made it look easy. She supported my dad through thick and thin. She didn’t argue or protest. They never had any heated discussions. As a mom, she disciplined fairly, she didn’t get into petty arguments with her kids and she always, always kept her cool in a discussion.

My mom was on the list with other women like June Cleaver, Carol Brady,Carolyn Ingalls and Wilma Flintstone. They made it look so easy and natural to be a great wife and a great mom.

How did they make it look so easy and I seem to fall on my face every day? I spend more time than I’d like to admit feeling guilty for the things I said or didn’t say, actions I did or didn’t do. Things I forgot and things I struggled to forget and let go of. I have three boys and too often I find myself in discussions where I’m not acting like the great mom but rather the teenager. I lie awake at night and worry that the DSS or iPod I bought or didnt’ buy is going to ruin the birthday boy for life. I question if I’ve taught them the important things as they drive off to meet friends.

A few years ago it seemed like I was a very diligent parent–now I constantly feel like I’ve forgotten to really teach the big, life-important things.

You’d think after twenty years of marriage and sixteen of being a mom I’d finally have become a great wife and mom, but many days, I struggle to be an okay wife and mom. I must be a great slow-learner!

The other day I had lunch with my mom. Almost out of the blue she said, “I’ve been married fifty years and believe me, you can’t be married that long and have all fifty years be great. There were some tough years.”

Those words were a balm to my heart and mind.

Perhaps my mom wasn’t always a great wife and mom. She might have struggled with the same things I do. Maybe we did have conversations that ended with her shaking her head because she reacted more as a child than the adult. She probably did get angry with her husband and say things she regretted.

I don’t remember. I think it’s probably called GRACE.

I remember what’s really important. My mom worked to make her marriage last fifty years. At the end of the day, I knew I was completely loved, cared for and safe. If I thought a bad decision had been made, it was usually with my best interest in mind.

June, Carol, Carolyn and Wilma only lasted a few seasons. A truly great wife and mom lasts through all the seasons–even if she doesn’t always have the greatest moments.

We all know that Proverbs 31 woman and the verse that says, “Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her.” That verse is number eighteen out of twenty-one. Maybe the author knew becoming a great wife or mom would take years of work and a ton of grace.

He must have known what I didn’t–It isn’t easy to be great.



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17 responses to “It’s not easy to be…great”

  1. julane hiebert says :

    Oh, Sara. In the heart of every mom with grown kids rattles the enemy’s accusations that they could have/should have been more–done more–etc. etc.. Sometimes it felt like my kids would only’rise up and called me’…and the blessed part comes who knows when!! You’re doing fine…take it from one who knows you!! And who isn’t your mom!! 🙂

    • Sara Meisinger says :

      Thanks, Julane. I’m stilling smiling over your comment yesterday about every mom feeling this way when they have teenagers!

  2. Susan Mires (@susanmires) says :

    This post really opened my eyes – I loved it. It made me think of my mom – it wasn’t it doing anything perfect, but in doing everything with love. Your mom is a wise woman, too.

  3. Lorri Green says :

    For a few laughs, read “West from Home – Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder” and other biographical Ingalls books. They had their share of cranky mom moments 🙂

  4. Ian says :

    Oh Sara, simply a wonderfully revealing & heartfelt post. Something I always remind myself when I’m struggling with my parenting is I’m a work-in-progress. That fills my heart with hope.

    • Sara Meisinger says :

      Thanks for sharing, Ian. I will remember that for me and also for the boys. Thank you.

  5. Susan Hollaway says :

    What a wonderful post, Sara! So real and encouraging. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Cherie Gagnon says :

    Had a parenting moment today that I wish I did better. This post was an encouragement…we are all growing and learning.

    • Sara Meisinger says :

      It’s frustrating, isn’t it. Especially when you want things to go better. By todays comments, I realize many moms struggle with all these emotions.

  7. Jeanie Berg says :

    You young moms seem to have it all together while I sit and think “If only I would have known then what I know now.’ I don’t really want to do it all over again just to prove a point though! Yes, I believe there is a lot of grace involved. Really good thought provoking post, Sara.

    • Sara Meisinger says :

      I think more of us still wish we knew more. Somedays it seems like the unknown and not knowing is the most frightening. Thanks for your encouragement.

  8. Kathy Gronau says :

    Great post Sara. I think you are a great mom, even if you don’t always recognize it, and how blessed I am, that I, like you, had one of those great mom’s asan example.

  9. Deborah S Vogts says :

    Great post, Sara. I too, had some wonderful examples of mothers before me. I think you’re doing an awesome job with your boys and having celebrated 20 years of marriage is a testament to your job as a wife. 🙂 Keep being faithful . . .

  10. Heidi says :

    Sara, thank you so much for sharing this! It made me cry, but it is so true. Marriage and being the mom takes so much work and I know I second guess myself a lot of the time. I’m so thankful for my family’s and God’s love and forgiveness!

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