Motherhood isn't easy, but there's a lesson for us all when times get tough.
One of the biggest shocks to the system when you become a parent is not so much the sleepless nights, but the realization that you never get to hang up your mom apron. Sure, you might go on the occasional date night, or even manage a spa day, but no matter how much you might want to switch off, your little (or even big) bambinos are ever-present in your thoughts. So being mentally and physically exhausted kind of goes with the territory.
However, along with the exhaustion is often a feeling that you’re not doing your best. You’re racked with guilt and feel like you may be failing your kids. It’s actually one of a mom’s greatest talents: to have such great expectations of what they should and need to do, without taking into account the reality of what is humanly possible. We beat ourselves up without appreciating all that we’ve achieved.
Recently, I was put to the mom-guilt test. As I lay on the couch convinced I had COVID-19, pneumonia, and lung cancer (which all came with a desire to wolf down pints of chocolate ice cream), I wondered how on earth I was going to cook for my kids, help my 12-year-old with his algebra, and do my work. I wanted to sob with the weight of responsibility I was feeling.
When I’m challenged, I always remind myself that God only gives us what we’re able to bear, yet sometimes we need to re-address exactly what it is we should be bearing. When times are tough God is surely not expecting our homes to be clean and tidy, our children enjoying a perfectly balanced diet, and screen-time schedules precisely adhered to.
No, I believe that when we feel like we’re failing and things aren’t going according to plan, God is gently reminding us that we’re only human and we need to reach out more to Him. Our kids will survive on a diet of cereal and PB&J sandwiches for a short time, they won’t go square-eyed by watching too much TV, and it actually won’t harm them to see you being a little vulnerable.
In fact, while I’d never want my kids to worry about me or feel insecure, it’s important (especially for older kids) to realize that moms get tired. Moms need looking after, too. It’s the perfect way for children to grow in compassion and learn a few life skills. When I was dying on my couch I was amazed at how my kids came together to deal out chore duties. It was a moment of sheer beauty.
So if you have moments of feeling like a failure, remind yourself you’re most certainly not. Examine your expectations and take a little time to charge your batteries. Most importantly, lean on your Heavenly Father for comfort and trust that He is with you through all the ups and downs.
To give you a little reminder of how strong moms can be, take a look at the slideshow below to see some of the things moms do purely out of love …