These are hard days, I know. There’s little sleep, too many dishes, and always a diaper to change. And it seems there’s always some mom who has it all figured out, too, leaving you feeling less than adequate for not having scrapbooked the kids’ entire lives thus far. You used to sew, but those days have been exchanged for full-time laundry duty, and because of this, you feel guilty for your feelings of resentment.
You sigh and wonder if anyone else understands. You might even secretly cry in the laundry room as you realize that the daunting task of keeping clean clothes put away for everyone is a pointless endeavor. You need an encouraging call from a friend, but today the phone doesn’t ring.
Friendships have become just another thing to manage on your already full plate, so you sub-consciously and consciously choose to forfeit this “extra” type of relationship so that you can better focus on getting your chores done. But you soon realize, albeit far too late, that this method of time management has back-fired on you.
Your marriage isn’t what it used to be. You got married young and things just aren’t the way you thought they would be. You’ve changed. He’s changed. And there isn’t much time to work on the two of you. He needs your affection, and well, you just don’t have much left to give. You don’t want to let go, and know you can’t, but you also know that marriage takes more time and care than you have in you to invest right now.
There are days you even question God. “Are you there, God?” you ask. And really. Sometimes it is so hard to hear Him amidst noise of the kids, the vacuum, the TV, and the busyness of life. You begin to wonder if He’s in the details.
You’re lonely. Overwhelmed. Burnt. Out.
But there is hope. I know because I have been THAT mom.
I know because I have thought all of those same thoughts. And I know because I have survived.
Motherhood is tough. There’s no denying that.
But this part, this phase of having lots of littles, when you’re knee deep in chores, and live “behind”, and “in the weeds”, and feel like you have sensory processing issues because you just need some peace and quiet – these days are TEMPORARY.
If I may, dear friend, suggest to you this.
Take a big step back. When you’re wide awake, and not at the end of the day when you can barely keep your bloodshot eyes open. Take a look at the blessings you’ve been given.
Focus on the positive. House is a wreck? That’s a sign that life abounds around you. Sure, kids coloring on the freshly painted walls isn’t the most pleasant thing to have to deal with, but they won’t always do that. There will be a day when they don’t do that anymore. And in the grand scheme of things…..well, it just isn’t that big of a deal. Hide the markers or something, but don’t sweat the small stuff.
Keep it simple. Overwhelmed with just cooking and trying to feed them all? It is a big job feeding a growing family, sure. In difficult seasons, stick to the basics and keep it simple. Some fruit and a sandwich for dinner is OKAY! And yes, for three weeks straight. What matters is that you feed them and love them and just keep going for now.
Remember that they grow up too fast! I know you’re sick and tired of endless piles and laundry, but it won’t always be this way. Eventually, little boys grow into teenagers who actually want to do their own laundry (sometimes) and you sort of (in a strange way) miss doing it for them. Wow – they grow up SO fast!!
Keep some friends. But choose them wisely, please. You need encouragement and support, especially in this season of your life, so pick some friends who are choosing to raise their children for the Lord, too, and do life together. It can be a dreadfully lonely road if you don’t keep some God-loving friends.
If you don’t have a support system, get one. You can’t do this alone, and no one expects you to. Ask for help. Participate in church fellowship. Enlist the help of trustworthy family members. Hire a housekeeper when you’re desperate for help with the house. You will never be SuperMom, so don’t attempt it. The result is always the same: burn-out.
Make things right with God. Pray. Tell Him how you feel. He can handle it. Ask Him for help, and believe that He does work all things for His purpose. Desire His will. Boldly pray for His will to be done in your life. And then trust Him. He didn’t promise it would be easy, but He did promise that He would never leave you.
Make things good with your husband. Realize you’re both growing and maturing. Accept that there will be good times and bad. Decide to make it through. Say out loud that you are in love with him, and choose to be. Purpose in your heart to make it work. Recognize that he is your number one priority outside of God, your teammate, your partner in raising your children together for the Kingdom of God, your best friend, and your biggest fan. Try to treat him that way. If that’s new to you, it will take time. Take a small step each day in the right direction.
If you remember nothing else, please remember this: Just hang on. Just keep going. These times are hard with so many little ones, and so many needs that must be met each day. But it is temporary, and they grow up too quickly. Slow down, take a deep breath, and relax. Maybe the laundry will be piled up for a while, and you eat less than the gourmet meals you wish you could provide, but your family will know you loved them. This is a precious season. Focus on what matters most. God and your husband and children. There will be a season in which you’ll have more time for keeping the home as you’d like, and pursuing other interests and endeavors, but until then, do less, and enjoy knowing this is a precious season in life. God sees you, and no grand or tiny task that you do goes unnoticed by Him.
With love from your friend,
To read more encouraging posts for moms, please browse the What Moms Need series.