To the Mom Who Had a Disappointing Mother’s Day

If motherhood came with a paycheck, moms would be right up there with some of the highest-paid CEOs in the world. From day one of motherhood, we work the night shift and then the day, seven days a week. Our job descriptions include everything from short-order cook to dishwasher to maid to accountant, arbitrator, teacher, and chauffeur. We serve as nurses, artists, counselors, personal assistants, air traffic controllers, engineers, coaches, party planners, and whatever else comes to mind. 

No wonder we're so tired. 

Personally, I prefer the title Executive of Home Operations. My household (and my house itself) falls to pieces when I'm not at the helm, which I think deserves a little recognition every so often. Or at the very least, a few sincere thank yous, a year of paid vacation, and an amazing Mother's Day. (And all the mothers said, "Amen!")

But on more than one occasion, my Mother's Day reality has fallen short of my Mother's Day dreams, and I've spent the days following that second Sunday in May attending a pity party for one with thoughts like these:

Well, I guess I know what my husband truly thinks of me. Does no one see how hard I'm working? Is one special day too much to ask? Am I that lousy of a mom? According to Instagram, every other mother except me felt adored and honored yesterday. Their families pampered them; mine did not. 

Feeling dejected, I allow envy to seep in through my eyeballs and tempt me to build grudges, harbor resentment, and entertain untrue thoughts. All because a highly commercialized holiday didn't meet my preconceived expectations. 

You Are Not Alone 

I tell you these things not so you can feel sorry for me, but to let you know that you are not alone if you've struggled through the same post-Mother's Day weeds that I have. One of our spiritual enemy’s favorite tactics is to get us thinking we're the only ones. But I guarantee that you are not the only one who's experienced the woes of a “less-than” Mother's Day. 

Contrary to Instagram’s filtered hues, paradise did not grace the homes of every other mother except you. Sin and Satan do not take a break just because it's Mother's Day. If anything, I’d say both work overtime due to our heightened sense of vulnerability on holidays. 

Our spiritual enemy would love nothing more than to gain ground between a husband and wife or a parent and child, and holidays are ripe for the occasion, since we’re naturally self-focused and blossoming with higher-than-normal expectations. 

It's Always Best to Forgive

But sister, holding a grudge isn’t worth it and will only make matters worse, “for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:20). Resentment might feel good at the time, but ultimately it eats away at our righteousness, suppresses the work of the Holy Spirit, and lends the devil a helping hand.

Whatever happened (or didn't happen) on Sunday (or any other day of the week), no matter how much it hurt your feelings or how unappreciated you feel right now—you need to exercise forgiveness. 

What helps me when I don’t feel like forgiving is to remember the multitude of ways God has forgiven me. I don't love Him perfectly. I don't worship Him or thank Him or appreciate Him the way that I should. My adoration is sincerely lacking, yet God graciously loves me anyway. 

Colossians 3:12–13 commands us to have "compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive." 

Adoration Belongs to Jesus 

The real problem with those post-Mother's Day weeds is that I didn’t get what I thought I deserved. But do you know who else didn't receive the honor He deserved and still remains highly under-praised? Jesus.

God is the one who deserves the glory—not me. Even on Mother's Day, it's Christ alone who warrants praise. He's the one who gives me the strength to get through each day. He's the one who made me a mama. He's the one who grants me joy and gives me hope, filling my life with so much blessing that I have nothing to complain about. 

If Mother's Day was hard for you, raise your eyes to heaven and give glory where glory is due. Worshiping God is what douses my days in joy. I am not happiest when I am honored; I am happiest when Christ is exalted. Humble yourself before the Lord and let Him be the one to exalt you (James 4:10). 

Mother's Day Does Not Define You

A holiday does not measure our success as moms, so let's not give it the power to do so. Just because your family didn't pamper you in the way you had hoped doesn't mean you're a lousy mom. We are not the sum of a celebration; we are the sum of our Savior's perfections.

God is the one who graciously defines us through Jesus Christ. It doesn't matter if you had the most fantastic day or not. What matters is our connection to Christ. Are you serving your family out of love for Christ? Do you love those kids with the love of Christ? If so, then keep up the good work, mama! 

We are not perfect moms and never will be. We're sinful moms called by God and touched by grace through faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are dearly loved by God no matter what mistakes we make because God bases His love for us on Christ's righteousness alone.

So don't sell yourself short just because Mother's Day didn't play out the way you hoped. Remember who you are in Christ—loved, adored, cherished, and valued. Our reward is not here; our reward is in heaven. 

Instead of allowing those post-Mother's Day weeds to choke our joy, let's trample them with thankfulness. I know you work hard because I do, too. And I know you're tired because I am, too. But our end goal is not to receive the praise of man; our end goal is to honor God, allowing Him to honor us. To God be the glory, my fellow mamas, even on the second Sunday of May. 

About the Author

Stacey Salsbery

Stacey Salsbery

Stacey Salsbery is a farmer's wife and mother of four. When she isn't serving a meal on the side of the road, riding a tractor with her husband, or driving kids to practice, you'll find Stacey escaping the crazy life … read more …

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