A Word of Encouragement to Real Moms

I had three moms when I was growing up.

One, my birth mother, worked hard to make ends meet, attended most of my practices and games and did her best to teach me how to be a man.

The other two moms were nothing like my real mom. They were just there to fill a gap. Everyday when I came home from school, I stood at my front door, reached into my pocket and pulled out a key. When I unlocked the door and walked inside, the house was always empty. For the couple of hours that I was home alone before my real mom got off of work, I watched and learned from my other two moms. My television rerun moms. Thank you very much, SuperStation 17.

June Cleaver always wore a dress and always smiled. She somehow even managed to smile when she was frowning. She also baked a lot and had plenty of time to do whatever needed to be done.

Carol was a little different but she dressed up too. She had it easy. Her husband made a good living designing houses, all six of her kids were in school and she had a maid to do all of the cooking. This explains why Carol was always dressed up. What else did she have to do all day?

It didn’t take me long to figure out the difference between real moms and TV moms.

Real moms don’t usually dress up unless they’re going to work or church. A lot of times you’ll find a real mom wearing her husband’s 1992 Atlanta Braves National League Championship shirt. The one that has throw up all over it. It’s not her husbands throw up. Well, not usually. The stains and foreign objects on her clothing are from her kid with the massive amounts of green slime pouring out of his nose, her other kid with a busted chin and still another one who just got into a fight with an Oreo. All three kids want a hug.

Real mom’s rarely answer the door or the phone like June Cleaver did. June always spoke like she was trying to win the next Miss America title.

“Hello, welcome to the Cleaver home.”

Carol Brady just had Alice answer the door for her.

“Alice, please get the door. I’m busy introducing the kids to Joe Namath.”

If you knock on a real mom’s door, you’re likely to see her a bit winded. Don’t worry, she’s not having a heart attack. Yet. It’s just that she’s spent the entire day running to stop her two-year-old from putting a metal fork in the microwave and then back to finish tying her seven-year-old’s shoes in time for soccer practice. It’s her own version of CrossFit.

And while they’re walking to answer that door, real moms don’t usually flow gracefully across the floor like ballerinas. They limp. Real moms walk with a limp. That’s because real moms have real kids who forget to pick up their real Legos. Nine out of ten doctors agree that the worst pain a human can experience is to be bitten in the eye by a rattlesnake. Walking barefoot and stepping on a Lego comes in at a close second. Gunshot wounds round out the list in a distant third. Real moms may not have the calloused hands of a mechanic but they have their scars. Real, physical scars. Most of their scars have something to do with a Lego.

June and Carol faded from the spotlight a long time ago. But there are still plenty of messages out there that have a way of making the real moms feel like they’re just not good enough. Don’t listen to them. Being a real mom isn’t about how you look, how you dress or what the rest of the world thinks about you.

It has more to do with your heart.

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 1 Peter 3:3-4 (ESV)

There’s nothing wrong with braiding your hair and wearing jewelry. It’s just that outer beauty sort of loses its point if the hidden person of the heart is ugly.

So moms, when you have to finish out the rest of the day with your son’s snot staining your shirt, do it with a smile. You may not be anything like June Cleaver, Carol Brady or whoever the standard of motherhood is today.

But in God’s sight, you are precious.