Motherhood has hit me in a way that I didn’t expect. Growing up I always wanted to be a mom. I have had ambitious visions of being a business woman, but my visions always included having a family.
Yet as I was surprisingly thrown into the deep end of motherhood, I struggled to figure out, “Who am I as a MOM now? Am I the same person?” In some weird way I know that I definitely had it “easier” than most first time moms because I had scheduled time when I was “off duty.” When Jacob went to spend time with his Dad, I knew that I could at least get a shower or nap or spend time with a friend. I needed these things to get through such a hard time (both being a single mom recovering from divorce and being a new mom). My self care time was built into the rhythm of our life and my schedule, which didn’t make me feel “bad” or guilty that I was taking time for me.
When Maggie Lou was born, I realized how much I had taken this for granted. I had a beautiful, joyful and amazing little girl… ALL the time. Haha! No one was coming to take her away and spend time with her – her amazing Daddy and I are thankfully married and doing life together under the same roof. So motherhood this time around has thrown me more off course than with Jacob. I have struggled to juggle being a mom of two, being a wife, running a household, finding time for myself, and working from home.
The past month has been especially hard. Somehow I’ve fallen into the “I’m just a mom” trap. My thoughts have been far more negative than I would like and even if I know it, it’s been hard to refocus my perspective. I have generally felt like I’m failing at everything (even if I know I’m not… well maybe the laundry). I have felt lost in the sea of never-ending poopy diapers and toddler discipline, all the while RUNNING after Maggie Lou, who now sprints at full speed wherever she goes (usually with my phone or a remote in her hand to go throw it in the toilet).
I am smack dab in the middle of the years with little ones, and it’s crazy beautiful some days and other days it’s literally crazy making. Knowing who I am and what I need these days feels so foreign. Self care, what’s self care?? I don’t even feel like I have time to think of these answers but from all I have been through I KNOW that it’s imperative for me to figure it out.
So here I am taking a Saturday morning in a coffee shop to write — something I haven’t done that in MONTHS. I haven’t written because I made the commitment early in my writing to always be a writer who imparts HOPE and honestly, I haven’t felt very hopeful lately.
Insert an amazing Missional Motherhood online bible study. I recently started this online Bible study by Gloria Furman and just the introduction alone is worth watching. (Videos are available online through December 1st) One session and a week’s worth of Bible study has already changed my heart. She says, “Jesus invites women to missional motherhood to follow His pattern, to trust His promises and nurture others by the power HE PROVIDES.” (Emphasis mine)
God has called me into this incredible story of family and motherhood and I’ve been entrusted with my incredible, crazy cute children to nurture and disciple. Looking at motherhood as a strategic ministry designed by God is much different than thinking “I’m just changing a thousand diapers a month.”
So over the past week God has been whispering Hope back into my heart… or rather I’m finally tuning into the symphony of Hope he always shares with us. Yes, motherhood is hard, but it’s especially hard when we try to do it by ourselves and of our own strength. My energy fails but that’s when He is strong. I don’t have to worry about something a week or year from now – He will show me just how to approach it and give me the power to do so.
I think God wants me here in the middle of this tension – the struggle to “do it all” or “balance it all.” I think that’s a myth because He doesn’t want us to be self-sufficient. Instead, we as believers are called to rely on Him: His strength, His provision, His sufficiency.
So in hope, I remember that I simply CANNOT do it all, nor am I supposed to. I’m learning to ask for help when I need it, like enjoying a morning at a coffee shop or time alone away from the house. I’m learning that my thoughts impact my attitude, my visions for the future and my
Lord, please forgive me for not believing in You and your sovereign plan for me and our family. Forgive me for staying in a place of fear of the unknown, forgive me for being angry at all the poop (seriously), forgive me for being short with my husband, and for trying to do it all in my own strength. Thank you for shifting my perspective and helping me learn what the ministry of motherhood looks like in light of eternity. I know that we are only given small number of days with our children, please help me not to take them for granted. Help me to nurture, serve and love my husband and children by YOUR power, not relying on my own strength which fails so quickly. Lord, thank you for your provision through Jesus, and I pray that I would reflect on the HOPE that brings to all areas of my life. In Jesus’s name, amen!
Encouragement for you:
“And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” — Colossians 3:17
“If anyone speaks, it should be as one who speaks God’s words; if anyone serves, it should be from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything. To Him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.” — 1 Peter 4:11