As A Young Mother, I Was Just Doing the Best I Could
One day, I was as the laundry mat, washing my kids’ school uniforms for the week. I caught sight of the washing machine going through various cycles and at times the clothes were drenched in white bubbles or cold water. Once the load was complete, I put the clothes in the dryer, tossed a few quarters in the coin dispenser, and watched the clothes go from wet to dry. Then on another day, I woke up and realized those same kids who wore those navy blue uniforms and black school shoes were now going off to college. And all I could think was, look at God. I was just doing the best I could and the Lord handled the rest.
There was a time I remember frying chicken wings and boiling white rice for dinner with a side of corn. My kids ran down the stairs into the kitchen. Their little noses followed the smell of seasoned meat in cooking oil and they began asking me numerous times “Mama, the food ready?” and I’d say “Not yet, almost. Don’t get too close to the stove baby, it’s hot.” About 30 minutes later my babies were stuffing their faces. Then days, no years past. I woke up to one hot summer day and my son was driving his own car to his new job. Boy how time flies. Back then, there were days I felt like I wasn’t good enough. But, realistically, I was just doing the best I could; raising 3 kids in my early 20s.
I remember being a young teen, waking up in the middle of the night to warm a bottle for my crying 2-month-old daughter. She was hungry and no matter how sleepy I was, she was ready to eat. I was 15, just doing the best I could. I often wondered, will I ever get a full night’s sleep again? As she finished her bottle, with milk bubbles rolling down the side of her cheek, I laid her next to me and fell asleep. Then one day I woke up, she was 20-years-old, working full-time while taking business classes at community college. Now that I think about it, times were hard but, I kept going. I raised my baby with manners, teaching her to respect herself and I never stopped loving her. With her thick hair and beautiful brown skin, she’s one of my greatest achievements. I am grateful.
As I think back over those times, God was always by my side. The Lord made sure my family was safe and we had everything we needed.
Mothers can only do their best. Many times we are hard on ourselves because we haven’t reached the level of perfection the world said we had to be at. We compare our mothering skills to other mothers. And we fool ourselves into thinking that the more material things we buy our children, the more they will know how much we love them. When realistically, hugs and encouraging words outweigh a new pair of Jordans any day. New toys are awesome but they’ll never take the place quality time.
My best is all I can do. Beyond that, I have to trust God. With every imperfect moment where I had to struggle, there was a lesson to follow. Lessons help you grow; they make you better. I may bend, but I won’t break. Never will I let a burden or problem get me down. In times of trouble or doubt, I’ll just keep doing the best I can.