Just the other day...I was thinking about the saying "being a mother is like taking your heart out of your chest and watching it walk around". Moms, isn't that the truth?! There are some moments I've experienced as a mother that have literally made my heart physically ache. Want to hear about some of them? Well, kick back, cause here goes...
There was the day that I sat my sweet baby girl (Princess #1) on my lap to go down the slide at Chick-fil-a. Innocent enough, right? Haven't you done that with your own babies? Well, by the time we reached the end of the slide, my daughter's foot had gone underneath me and she let out a piercing scream. Our fun playtime ended up with a trip to the emergency room until four in the morning! The diagnosis was a hairline fracture. Eight weeks later, she finally got her purple cast off her leg. My heart nearly broke the entire time she went through the healing process. I felt terrible!!!
Then, there was the time that Princess #2 ended up with huge red whelps all over her body. Of all times, they appeared while we were on our much-anticipated vacation to Disney World! I got so afraid that she had come in contact with some rare germ/virus while we were at the park. After a frantic trip to a local pediatrician who showed us great kindness, I was assured that it was just hives. She had an allergic reaction to something and it would clear up. No big deal, right? Yeah, I wish you could have told that to my heart!
Another time, when Princess #2 was very small, she somehow found a penny and swallowed it. I vividly remember the nurse telling me, "if she refuses to eat or drink, it might be lodged in her throat, so you need to get to the emergency room." Sure enough, baby girl wouldn't do either, so we quickly made the 30 minute drive to the hospital, just the kids and I since my husband was out of town. After a couple of x-rays, the coin showed up, not in her throat (thank the Lord), but in her little tummy. During the entire ordeal, I felt like my heart had also found rest in my stomach.
I could share many other times, like weird accidents that happened while playing hide-and-go-seek, sprained ankles from slipping on a book, or even a more recent incident when Princess #3 got the top off of some liquid Benadryl and decided to take a swig (she was fine). I've been a mother for nearly eight years and I'm telling you, sometimes I feel like I could put my kids in a bubble and they would still find a way to make me nearly have heart failure.
Being a mother is not for the faint of heart, that's for sure!
But what if, as a mother, you feel like you really can't make it through one more mishap or misadventure? What if you can't take one more challenge? What if your heart is tired of walking around outside your body???
There is hope for you!! Look through this list, my weary friend, and see if there are any changes you can make.
- Let the Lord take your burden. Spiritually speaking, throw any challenges you are currently facing with your children on the altar of God and leave them there. The Bible says that the Lord is our ever-present help in times of need. He will meet you in your place of confusion and brokenness. Never forget, He loves your children more than you do...and He is fiercely in love with their Mommy, too!!
- Ask for help. Call or reach out to someone, because you do not need to do this alone. Being "on" as a mother 24 hrs a day/7 days a week can wear anyone down. Talk to your husband. Let him know your needs. By all means, allow someone you trust (family member or friend) to help you and do not feel ashamed or guilty about it!
- Join others on the journey. When I was a "newer" mother, I joined MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and I'm telling you, that group literally brought me out of the pit of loneliness in my role as a SAHM. I finally realized I wasn't alone in my feelings. I learned so much from other women who were going through the exact same challenges as me.
- Cultivate thanksgiving. Count your blessings! Meditate on the goodness of the Lord continually. It's hard to stay upset when you realize you're too blessed to be stressed! Proverbs 17:22 says that a cheerful/joyful heart is like a good medicine. It's sure to give a tired heart new life:)
- Give yourself grace. I've been on many playdates and outings with other women. I have yet to see a cape on any of them! Get over thinking that anyone else is a mothering superhero and quit trying to be one yourself. Want to hear a confession? I have laundry that has been waiting on me since Christmas. It's clean. It's folded. I just have to find time to unload it in drawers. It has fallen so low on the priority list, I might just give it all to Goodwill and be done with it. Sometimes, life happens...and that's okay...really. God does not require perfection, especially as it pertains to this world's standards! Get alone with Him. Ask Him what His priorities are for your home. Find instruction in the Word. When you have a pretty good understanding about what He wants out of you as mom and chief caretaker...do those things. Don't do the things that go against what He has shown you. If your conscience bothers you about something you're doing, reevaluate and repent if needed. Stay open to the Spirit...always, always, always. Please do yourself and everyone else a favor...LIVE IN THE FREEDOM CHRIST GIVES YOU. I promise you will be a much nicer person to be around:)
Sending a huge hug to every precious mother today! If your heart aches at all, I pray it aches only out of hunger for more of the Lord! As you love on your kiddos today, realize that you are not alone!