World’s Okayest Mom

My dear friend Christy gave me this mug last week…..


Isn’t that just perfect? The thing is, she knew that giving me this mug would not offend me because I have often bestowed this title upon myself.

When I posted the above picture on Facebook, I got many comments from other moms who also resemble this remark. And I realized, my sweet fellow mamas, we are all in this thing together. We are all the World’s Okayest Moms and that is just the way it is going to be. You see, sometimes we can get caught in the trap of trying to present a certain persona to the public.

You know what I mean. Before you posted that last selfie, how many selfies did you take, critique, edit, and discard before you found the one selfie that you were willing to share?

Uh Huh. Me too. (Again, see the above picture. This was re-take number 6 or 7.)

I actually enjoy sharing REAL stories and REAL pictures that give people a glimpse of how my life REALLY is. For example,

I shared this…..



And this….

Putnam Family Christmas

Putnam Family Chaos Christmas

But, you better believe I stop just short of sharing the REAL pictures that are super unflattering or where my hair looks like I haven’t combed it in three days or if there is even the slightest chance I look (gasp) fat!

And how many Facebook statuses or tweets or texts did you send or not send based upon how it might make others perceive you?

The thing is, in this world of selfies and sound bites, we have the opportunity to mold our public image into pretty much anything we want it to be. I do it too. I tend to be an over-sharer by nature and I really don’t mind letting the world in on my dirty laundry, but there are some things I am going to keep to myself because I don’t want others to think less of me.

But the truth is, I AM less! Oh, not in a bad way. But in a real way. I just can’t do it all or be it all or say it all in just the right way. And that’s okay! Less of me, Jesus, and more of you!

So, my dear fellow okayest moms, let’s be honest with each other.

We are all okay. Some days are great. Some days are not. Some days we have enough patience and love to last from sunrise to sunset and we even have a “little something” left over for our husband at the end of the day.

Some days our kids eat Pop Tarts in their pajamas at noon amidst the piles of dirty laundry and when our husbands look at us with googly eyes we are like, “If ONE MORE person wants to touch me today, I will HURT them.” Of course, we usually want to share about those first kinds of days but keep quiet about the second.  Friends, we ALL have those kinds of days!

So, in a spirit of camaraderie and solidarity, I now share with you my very own Top 5 World’s Okayest Mom Moments.

#5 – I forgot to put the peanut butter in my son’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I also forgot to put the jelly.

When I picked my kids up from school that day, Micah climbed in the car and the first thing he said to me was, “Mom, why did you send empty bread to school for my lunch?”

“What, honey? Empty bread? Whatever do you mean?”

“At lunch time when I tried to eat my sandwich, all I tasted was bread. There was no peanut butter or jelly.”

“Oh, honey. You must be mistaken. Maybe I didn’t spread the peanut butter and jelly all the way to the edges of the bread. You just needed to eat into the center of the sandwich a little bit more.”

“That’s what I thought, too, so I took a bite out of the middle but there was nothing there! Look, Mom!”

And he holds up his “sandwich” that had a big round bite missing out of the middle of it.

So, friends, not only did I send my son to school with only bread for his lunch, I also tried to shift the responsibility for the mistake off my shoulders and onto his. World’s Okayest Mom.

#4 – (Sticking with the bread theme, here.) I wrote the following note to my child’s teacher…..

“No. I cannot make several loaves of homemade bread to send in to class on Friday. I never make homemade bread. I don’t believe I have ever made homemade bread even one time in my life and I am certainly not going to start now. It sounds like too much work. Please ask some other mom to do this. Preferably a mom with fewer children than I. In place of homemade bread, I volunteer to bring a bag of candy.” <—– (I may be paraphrasing, but only slightly.)

Thankfully, my husband intercepted my note. Oh yes, he really did. He saw it sitting on top of my child’s folder and was all like, “HONEY! Why would you write a note such as this?”

And I was all like, “HONEY! Because I have six children and this teacher has no children and obviously has no idea the amount of energy that six children can suck out of you and I AM TIRED and I DON’T MAKE HOMEMADE BREAD.”

Cooler heads prevailed and I did not send in that note. I also did not send in homemade bread. I went to a bakery, bought several loaves of “homemade” bread, and delivered them to the classroom. And do you want to know something? When I walked into the classroom with my delivery, there was another mom up in the front demonstrating how to make homemade bread. She explained how she buys her flour from a local flour mill and bakes bread for her family every week. And she has EIGHT children. I kid you not.

#3 – I lied. In front of my kids. And they caught me.

You know that perfect mom? The one who looks good and smells good and dresses good and IS so good inside that her good heart just shines out of her do-gooder and perfectly made-up eyes that have almost no wrinkles surrounding them. (She is probably a World’s Okayest Mom, too, just like the rest of us.)

But, anyway, this mom planned a party. And she made up these absolutely adorable, color-coordinated invitations. The invitations even came with a pre-party activity for my child to complete and bring with them to the festivity. And this mom sent home the invitation with my child from school. And she asked for an RSVP.

I forgot to RSVP.

And then one day, as all of my children were loading into the minivan in the pick-up line at school, and backpacks and elbows were flying everywhere with a very real chance of connecting with someone’s cheek bone, and I was slightly distracted by the dog I thought would be fun to bring along for the car ride who had just peed on the upholstery (true story), and I had not showered that day (also true story), I hear a tap on my window.

Startled, I turn to see this mom standing there with a kind and beautiful smile on her face.

I slowly rolled down the window.

She asked me if I had gotten the invitation and if my child would be attending the party.

Why didn’t I just say I had forgotten? I don’t know what came over me but I opened up my mouth and out came the words, “What invitation? I don’t think I saw any invitation.”

And from the back seat my child says, “Yes you did, Mom. I gave it to you last week.”


Friends. Why did I lie? I seriously have no idea. I would like to blame it on the dog urine fumes. I think they addled my brain.

I have since repented and asked for forgiveness. From my children, not from this other mom. I hope she is not reading my blog right now.

#2 – I forgot one of my children.

Seriously. As in I buckled up my other 5 children and drove away and left one child at home.

We were trying to get to church on time, you know. I was hurrying everyone along.

“Come on, children! We don’t want to be late! Get your shoes on and put that lizard back outside and stop pinching your brother’s arm and yes honey your hair looks delightful and GET IN THE CAR RIGHT NOW because WE NEED TO BE ON TIME TO WORSHIP THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY!”

Whew! I did it. We were all (or so I thought) in the car and headed to church. And then my oldest son says from the back seat all casual-like, “Hey, Mom. Where’s Leah?”

Yep. I forgot a child. She had been in her room with the door closed and had somehow missed the harried pleadings gentle prodding I had administered to get everyone out the door.

The good news is that she was still in her room with the door closed when we went back for her, blissfully unaware that anything out of the ordinary had taken place.

#1 – I forgot my friend’s children.

This is worse than #2 because this time, I forgot FOUR children, not just one. And this time around, the children were aware of the mishap.

My dear friend Jessica asked a favor of me. An easy thing, really. Our children attend the same school. Jessica and I were meeting at the gym after school. Would I mind picking up her four children and meeting her at the gym?

Sure. Absolutely no problem. Anything for a friend.

And so I went to the school and I drove through the pick up line and I loaded up my children and I waved at her children and I drove to the gym.

And, as I was about to get my sweat on, my phone rings.

It was my friend Jessica. Whatever could she want?

The school had just called Jessica to ask where she was. It seems no one had shown up to gather her children that day. And so her little darlings were in after school care until someone could come and pick them up.

You guys, I cried. I felt so bad that I cried! But Jessica is a true friend and she assured me it was not a big deal. She forgave me.

On a completely unrelated note, Jessica has never asked me to pick up her children again. So, if you would like to be uninvited from the carpool rotation, you could borrow this idea.

Here’s the thing, friends. We ALL have moments like this. Some of them worse than others, yes, but not one of us is perfect. We are not meant to be. If we were perfect, would we have a need for a savior? If we could do it all on our own, would we need to rely on God?

So, my fellow mamas, we are not perfect, but….we are the perfect mamas for our children.

We are enough.

We are daughters of the King. <—–And HE is perfect!

We are the World’s Okayest Moms.





7 thoughts on “World’s Okayest Mom

  1. Jackie S

    I have just started reading your blog this last week, and as we are in the beginning stages of adopting (just one child, I think!) from Ethiopia, I’ve been enjoying reading through your journey. Sometimes you scare the pants off me! But today, I actually laughed out loud. Somewhere between the lying and the forgetting your children, I laughed so loud I almost woke my daughter. Thanks for giving me an honest look into the future (although really, just one or maybe two is what we’re doing. Famous last words right?).

  2. Heather Cheney

    LOVE THIS!!!! Love your honesty and your humor! Thank you for sharing 🙂 Now it seems cool to be the worlds Okayest mom 🙂

  3. Merri

    Oh how I love this. I’m still laughing because I can relate. I have 7 kids (6 at home at home), 5 of my 7 are adopted with speical needs. Your blog warms my heart and reminds me how there are others on this same, crazy journey. Glad to see another woman whose willing to admit their short comings. I actually gag or laugh hysterically when people say what a wonderful mom I am. This life keeps me on my knees in prayer for help and forgiveness. Thank you so much for sharing your journey.

  4. Melinda Chapple

    Thank you for this post! I too have a “World’s Okayest Mom” mug and it is one of my favorites. I think – perhaps especially in church culture – this perfect mom thing is SO idealized. We have to dress our kids perfectly and educate them thoughtfully and feed them immaculately and give them extraordinary birthday parties with themed invites, afavors, games, and decorations. Oh and they all must be homemade with organic and kind materials. Listen, I want to be healthy as much as the next person but sometimes. It’s. Just. Too. Much. So thank you! Oh and my daughter loves the dresses, so thank you for those too!

  5. Lisa

    Oh man… I did a bad one recently. I sent my (aging) father a really bad joke for April fool’s day. It was a fake red light ticket. He’s a joker type of person, but it really upset him and his heart started racing for like half and hour.My mom was really upset, too. She said that this type of thing is ” hard on the old guys”. I felt horrible… I ended up apologizing and taking a plant… At least my kids saw the apology, right?

    By the way, I don’t bake my own bread either.

    Where do they sell that mug? 🙂

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