I’ve been putting this one together for awhile now…this is the last of the May Mothering Series. This has been such a blessing for me to dive into and really share a few things about what motherhood means to me.
No one ever tells you when you take home your new little one, that you will at some point, feel like you are the worst. You aren’t told how to cope when you could possibly be the contributing factor to your child’s struggles or setbacks. You aren’t warned about the many times you will cry yourself to sleep, wish you could go back and do things better, lie there wondering if you’ve ruined your kid and their future… don’t tell me I’m the only one who has done that. Please?
The thing is, mothering just does not come easy. The pain of birthing kicks the whole thing right off. Although, I’ve been shamed for not having a natural birth, since my children were born via C-section, I will attest to the fact that it is quite painful. I am not void of having given birth, it was simply a different way and all three children graced this earth because of it. With that said, each and every person who enters into motherhood finds things easier than others. There are things women enjoy more than others, and there are things we all differ on in our journeys.
I often wonder why God allows me to be a mother when I am so so crooked and have so many things to work on. When I feel as though, my actions/behavior/habits have affected my children in ways that feel like are the worst, I wonder what God intends out of it all. Why use me? Why allow me? I have a temper. I am impatient. I struggle with reacting instead of responding to situations, especially spills. I’m not the sweet and gentle mom. I tend to be the griping and dare I say, perfectionist mom who has to work really hard to be encouraging instead of “realistic”.
When Noah died, I died a little bit too. Mothering changed for me in a way I don’t think I even understand, to this day. Some days I am extremely trusting of the Lord, excited and invested. Other days I am completely removed and I struggle to bond with my girls.
I live in the in between. I live here with the girls I have been given, healthy and amazing. I try to encourage and discipline, instruct and edify them. I also live in a nightmare of a reality that I have a child I don’t get to know. I endured the pregnancy, the discomfort, the pain of birth and recovery, the darkness of enduring hospital stay and every surgery and finally the end of his life. The shortest little life. The 5 months of his life were hard and extremely lonely for me. I am finding that it changed me more than I thought. I thought I would go home and everything would fall back into place. In some ways, they have. In other ways, they never will.
Some days I am certain that God has their every need, issue, season and part of their life completely secure in Him. Some days, I feel as though my issues and how I have lived life since Noah’s death has just totally ruined them. I know, seems dramatic, but it is just the truth.
Even if you haven’t buried a child, the daunting job of rearing children can simply be overwhelming. We wonder if we are doing things right. We worry about all the things that could happen. We helicopter sometimes because we just know that if we do 1,2 & 3 then they will be better, do better or feel better.
So what’s my point?
I suppose I’m asking you… What’s the point? Do we worry ourselves to death or do we just go with the flow and hope for the best?
Neither. Emily Ley says that “balance” is like riding a bike. We lean one way and then the other, keeping the balance while riding along. Nothing is ever perfectly balanced, something is being surrendered while something else is being focused on, etc.
How do you find ways to balance all of the things that motherhood brings with it? Whatever stage you find yourself in, how do you lean in some areas and back off others?
Finding the Heart of mothering, sometimes, means finding out that something you are doing isn’t the best way. This can be so very hard. Realizing that a behavior or bad habit you have is affecting your kid in a negative way can feel awful. Thankfully, grace abounds and we can learn to adjust and correct our ways, in order to help our children.
We have the opportunity to address these things, ask forgiveness if necessary and help our kids learn, as we do.
So, what can we do, today, that can help us in these dark and hard mothering times?
Pause. Pray. Express gratitude. Offer grace.
We pause because at some point we have to get off the crazy cycle. Pray. Get our hearts and minds right, calmed down, focused on the important and humbled, supported and loved on by the Father. Express gratitude. Perhaps we need to express gratitude to our children, our spouse, the Lord, a friend, a teacher, a pastor or life group leader. Express gratitude and find that most of our issues become a bit less overwhelming. Offer grace. Offer it to yourself. Offer it to your children. Offer it to your family as a whole, your spouse, the driver in front of you who didn’t go as soon as the light went green, the cashier at the grocery store. All of the people around us who can contribute to our dysfunction, frustration, crazy cycle and overwhelmed-ness need our grace and patience just as much as we need theirs.
This is hard stuff! This is in no way easy to maintain or accomplish, but it is possible. It is possible to live an honest life of struggle and success, mercy and discipline, grace not perfection.
The biggest thing you can do in these seasons, days, times of dark or hard motherhood…REACH OUT. Don’t do this alone. Don’t think you have to just push through alone and hope for the best. You are not alone and there are people who will surround you with grace and support. Start here.
Let’s help each other, encourage each other and spur one another on in our mothering adventures.
What helps you during the dark seasons? Please share! Give us your recommendations for ways you cope, pull together, push through, pause, pray, extend grace, express gratitude…share below in the comments!
In this together,