Motherhood is hard. This isn’t something new to hear.
We read it. We speak it. We offer it to a friend when they’re having a rough day.
Yet still. On the days when it’s hard for us, we struggle. And many times we do so silently. Because even though we know it’s hard, we can’t help but think it isn’t as hard for everyone else as it is for us.
Maybe we’re challenged by the personality of a child.
Maybe we’re challenged by our own personality prone to depression or anxiety.
Maybe we’re challenged because we want to stay home but we can’t help but feel like we don’t see the same tangible rewards we would see in the workplace.
Maybe we’re challenged because we work and feel constant guilt that we aren’t at home with our children.
Maybe we’re challenged because we love it, we just feel like we can’t keep up. There’s always so much to do and organization isn’t our strong suit.
Maybe we can’t put words to it. We just think it’s hard. Harder than we ever imagined. And maybe we think those things. Because it is. All of the above.
Motherhood is the greatest gift that pushes us to analyze every inadequacy we’ve ever felt. It takes us to our highest highs and our lowest lows. Sometimes within a 5 minute period. I have never been as joyous nor as humbled as I have been since becoming a mother.
No matter how many successes I have, I can’t tell you how many times I look at other moms and wonder how they are able to do things that seem so hard to me.
“Wow, look at her load up her 5 kids. She’s smiling. She’s happy. She doesn’t look like she’s dragging in the slightest. Why am I always so tired during loading? Why are all her kids smiling?”
“Wow, look at her posting that meal that is all organic and made from scratch. How can she pull that all off when she has three babies under 4? What’s wrong with me? I don’t even want to cook at home.”
“Why do I think it’s so hard to get three kids to sleep when Native Americans back in the day might have had 10 kids they had to get to sleep in the same tee-pee?” (Yes. I think thoughts as far-fetched as this.)
Self doubt. Confusion. Contemplation as to how to do this mothering thing right comes as often in my head as do the moments when I think I may have some idea of what I’m doing.
Yet the days go by. I continue on. Always trying my best and wondering if in the end, all my effort. My heart. My energy. Will show that it meant everything to me. Because it does.
Will they graduate? Will they love the Lord? Will they be good husbands? Will they control their temper if I just showed them I didn’t control mine? I sure hope so. But how can I really know?
On those days as I’m doubting and wondering just why oh why does this seem to be so hard and full of questions without known answers, I have to remind myself of one simple yet profound fact.
God chose me to be a mother. And hand designed the children that he gifted to me for ME.
I may not have the manual or answers with how to do it perfectly yet he still gave me THEM. So I’m guessing he did not think I needed a manual. And I’m guessing he didn’t because He wants to be the manual.
God’s strength is enough to guide us through the best and the worst. His promises are enough to lean on when there is nothing else to hold us up on our sad days.
If you’ve been struggling as a mom. If you’ve been beating yourself up. Or wondering how in the world to make it easier. Shut your eyes, quiet your spirit, and ask him for what you need. He wants to answer you.
“Lord, give me the strength to be patient when they’re fighting. Lord, give me the kindness to demonstrate love when I’m at my end. Lord, give me the wisdom to parent them through this challenging time. Lord, (fill in your need)…”
And then remember this.
You are not a bad mom. You are not a failing mom. You are not the only stressed mom. You are not the only mom that doesn’t know how to stop sass from her daughter. You are not the only mom that has disorganized drawers. You are not the only mom that doesn’t wash her hair everyday. You are not the only mom that has a freak out moment then feels major guilt 10 seconds after the fact.
No. You are none of these things.
You are just a mom. That had a rough day. Maybe a rough week. (Or year.) Just like every other mom you know. Who looks at YOU in awe because you do it all so well.
Because you do.
“He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, AND GENTLY LEAD THOSE WHO ARE WITH YOUNG.” Isaiah 40:11
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The author of this article is a wife, mother, blogger and licensed marriage and family therapist. 99% of her time is spent keeping her 3 boys alive and the other 1% is spent writing about their crazy times in her blog Sanctification and Spitup, which is also found on Facebook.