It was one of those days. I sent a text to my husband in tears saying ” I can’t do this. Day after day, its too much” I told him when he got home I was leaving the kids with him. I needed space and I needed quiet. I wanted to “quit”, but there is no quitting in being a mom! I grabbed my books, and went and got myself a coffee and enjoyed the peace. It wasn’t even 30 minutes later I was already missing the kids and wanting to be back with them!
When I made the decision to “work from home” and be a “stay at home” mom, I had no clue how hard it would be. I had no clue how many hours I would spend just getting my kids to stop fighting, or how many hours I would spend telling them constantly to go back to bed . I had no clue how many days I would just want to sit in a closet alone and cry because I feel like a failure and I just need a break, even if its 5 minutes! It has been a season of difficult days recently with two toddlers who are going through a fit throwing/tantrum phase at the same time. I’m 20 weeks pregnant with another little stinker and the thought of adding another child in the mix can be overwhelming on days like these.
Day after Day , it is so easy to forget the blessings and focus on the bad and focus on how tired you are. Drinking my Cinnamon Dolce Latte and nuzzled in a corner of a coffee shop, reading a book, I was reminded that being a mother is my calling. Motherhood is not an easy calling…In fact, I think a lot of our culture looks down on it in a way. The choice to have a child is often times the last thing you do after college, after you get a nice paying job, after you travel the world, after you have the perfect body, after you are done with going out late at night with friends. I cant even begin to count how many times I heard that I could be done having kids after Josie because I had a boy and girl now. Now that I’m pregnant with a 3rd !! OH MY! I must not know how to prevent this from happening. The boldness strangers have to say the things they do is really astonishing. It can be really hard to continue to have a biblical perspective on motherhood in a culture where children rank so low, and being a “stay at home mom” is looked down on- or told we don’t work, or think how nice it would be to sit around on our butts all day ! HA!
(Photo above was after an HOUR long fit, I just needed a break – So we went and got Icee’s and Pizza #dowhatyougottado)
I never knew how selfish I really was until having a child. I distinctly remember having a screaming infant and throwing a pity party thinking to myself “but I don’t WANT to feed you right now, I’m tired, I don’t want anyone touching me, and I want to do what I want to do!! ” Gut check- man I am a selfish person! As a mom, we are constantly laying our life down for another. I’ve had to learn to lay down my hopes, lay down my annoyances, lay down my desire to be recognized, lay down my clean house… The list goes on. I have to lay them all down. BUT! But, laying down my life is not the end of the story, friends!
There is HOPE!
“At the very heart of the gospel is sacrifice, and there is no occupation in the world so intrinsically sacrificial as motherhood. Motherhood is a wonderful opportunity to live the gospel…..they are your children, they are your mission field.” This quote is from a book I am reading called Mom Enough . ( Totally recommend this book! )
Oh how easy is it to lose sight of your calling as a mother. Tough days can lead you to forget that what you are doing MATTERS. I often find myself in a place of discouragement looking at my messy house with dirty dishes and sticky floors, laundry piles in every room, and screaming kids in the background. Its easy to feel like I am not doing anything for the kingdom of God when I stay home with my kids and I don’t even have it together then.
Have you ever looked at your children and thought about how many people might be impacted by your children because of the way you impacted them? Thinking of generations to come and how they might be influenced because of how I am influencing my children… man that puts a different perspective on the daily grind. For me it makes the thought of laying my own life down a little easier pill to swallow.
When I choose to lay myself down I start to see a little of the lovely in the moments that could easily frustrate me. Driving in the car today, both of my kids were just yelling and being extremely loud. I was starting to get annoyed but didn’t get on to them for annoying me, then for a brief second it was quiet and my son says “mommy, I’m being a lion!” I was able to take that annoyance and see it as a blessing that my kids were enjoying themselves and using their imagination . I could of easily squandered that by shutting it down and telling them to be quiet. Lay yourself down for them. Lay yourself down and make dinner for them, even though you know they will say they don’t like it, or take one bite and say they are all done. Lay yourself down when they are annoying you and disrupting your quiet. Look for the joy in them and continue to sacrifice for them!
In my time away from the kids, God revealed to me that I wasn’t putting my hope in Him. As silly as it sounds now, I was putting my hope in my kids taking a nap and getting 2 hours to myself. When that turned into 2 hours of me fighting with the kids about taking a nap, constantly bringing my tired, pregnant self up and down the stairs to tell them to get in bed and go to sleep, I was done. I realize that nap time is something every mom probably looks forward to and its an okay thing to want and look forward to.. but what I realized was I wasn’t just looking forward to it. When the nap was not happening and my quiet was being taken away, and instead of resting I was using more energy to try to get them to lay down than I should, my day was ruined. I was emotionally and physically drained. I realized I was putting a lot more faith and hope in that nap taking place than the hope of the gospel.
God is in all of these moments that seem like chaos to you. God is in the moments you feel like you are failing. He is teaching us , showing us the way, and refining us, unwavering in his pursuit of us. Don’t let your hard days define you as a mother. Don’t wallow in self pity. Believe God is who he says he is and be forgiven. Receive the grace he so freely gives , and extend that to your children. Apply the gospel in your actions! Friends, there is hope in the hard days. I encourage you to choose to have eyes to see that the Lord is GOOD. Choose to see the moments that bring you joy and hold onto those. Let the good days and the small moments of joy remind you on the hard days to not give up and to see past the present, which might seem like chaos.
Raising children is the hardest thing I have ever done , but there is great reward with it. Don’t lose hope, my friends!