Tuesday, April 09, 2013

when motherhood is hard, talk to the Father

the other day, i sat across the kitchen table from my friend while our boys played a Cars-Spider Man mash-up in the other room. our conversation weaved from vacations, to Costco bargains, from potty training, to stain removal tricks, from picky eaters, to extra-curricular activities, from when to have another baby, to favorite potluck recipes.

and when our words landed on the real hardness of day-to-day motherhood, we'd finally reached the root of the matter. we could talk about couponing and nap times all day long, but deep down, this - the guilt we carry for not being picture-perfect Moms - is what we needed to address.

she feels defeated, she said. raising a four-year-old boy is not for wimps, i agreed. last night, she confesses, she was in tears over how she felt about her son's behavior, and she counted down the hours until she could get a break and put him in the gym's daycare.

"all the other moms always look like they have it all together," she said, chin quivering.

i hugged her and promised "none of us has it all together."

because really, we don't. 

and then i added: "it's going to get better."

because really, it is.  

the only way i know this is from experiencing the real hardness of day-to-day motherhood myself, and taking it to God. i know this from being a part of various mom groups over the past eight years. i know this from sitting in prayer circles and holding hands with Moms who are in the thick of it and barely keeping their heads above water. i know this from carrying my own "bad mom" guilt.

listen up, mamas. you are not a bad mom for feeling defeated. you are not a bad mom if you don't have it all together. you are not a bad mom if your child isn't potty trained yet. you are not a bad mom if your child hates the new baby. you are not a bad mom for looking forward to when your child is in the gym daycare. mac-n-cheese for dinner again does not make you a bad mom. sending your child to bed without a story does not make you a bad mom. you are not a bad mom if your child didn't eat vegetables today. or yesterday. or organic. you are not a bad mom if your child plays on your iPhone or watches back-to-back episodes of SpongeBob.

please give yourself some grace. 

and give your Mom friends some grace, too. if you are having an i've-got-it-all-together day - you know the ones - please remember to smile warmly to the Mom who obviously isn't having that kind of day.

we are raising little ones and it is not always picture-perfect. some days are really hard and that is okay. in the midst of a hard day, fall to your knees, and go straight to God.

when motherhood is hard, talk to the Father. He designed you to be that child's Mama. He designed that sweet little child especially for you. God has so much grace and love for you! i can promise you none of us has is all together and it will get better if you can rely on God. God promises you unending joy, peace, shelter, good things, hope, rest, strength, comfort, security, and so much more. pray for yourself, for your children, for your Mom friends. pray for motherhood. thank Him for good days to come! bring God into focus and breathe in His calm. be intentional about mothering. pour your heart out to Him...put your hope in Him. hard motherhood days are so much easier knowing God is in your corner.

But I trust in you, Lord;
I say, "You are my God."
My times are in your hands...
Let your face shine on your servant;
save me in your unfailing love.
...How abundant are the good things
that you have stored up for those who fear you,
that you bestow in the sight of all,
on those who take refuge in you.
Love the Lord, all his faithful people!
Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the Lord.