I tell you, motherhood makes me weary – body and soul. I never expected that to be part of the mom-package! I expected to comb my baby girl’s hair and button my son’s crisp shirts, and smile deep into their eyes.
But getting out of bed in the morning with eyes still heavy with sleep, falling asleep while rocking my baby, and trying to get enough energy up to wash that last batch of dishes at night? No, that wan’t what I had planned. I had No Idea. And sometimes, I think that having No Idea made it all the harder. Why do we smile and assure new moms that ‘babies are just the sweetest things!!! SUCH a blessing!!!” without at least adding a small measure of reality? Namely, that they will also wreck your schedule, your clothes, your house, and possibly your health. That you will find yourself more weary and clueless than ever before in your life. That mommy-wars are more important than you’d care to admit, and that you can’t take a day away from your babies without your heart yearning towards home every hour.
I can relate so well to Sally Clarkson when she said that the hardest part of motherhood was learning to live in a constant state of exhaustion.
I remember the first few years of up-at-nights and teething bouts and fevers… they were hard! But the hardest part was learning to deny my own wants (yes, and needs!) for another person. I was not bitter at my precious babies for making me lose sleep – no, not in the least! But my body cried out for relief. My self was tried to the breaking point with self-denial. You are not the only one who has sat – sobbing – on the bathroom floor, crying out to Jesus for strength to get through one more hour.
Now, if you think I am morbid and selfish and hopelessly pathetic… you may be right. In my own, selfish body I am hopeless. But in Jesus – in Jesus, dear fellow mom, I have hope! I Have learned that these hard parts of motherhood are not to be underestimated or skipped over. They are essential to us as Christian mothers, teaching us to die to Self, and realize that our strength and peace is not in any way of our own making, but only through the Holy Spirit who lives in us. It would be so much easier to drop them off with a relative or sitter, and pursue a life without the moment by moment, 24/7 care of our homes and children. But – even when we feel inadequate and greatly lacking – we are our kids’ mom. We are who God has chosen to mother our little ones, and we can rise to the challenge by learning to accept the weariness, the hard parts, the constant exhaustion. By leaning into the work, and not waste our days, longing for an easier life. (where one might eat chocolate in peace! 😉 )
I am not a fan of the: ‘drag through this hard Christian life anyway you can’ mindset. I am a firm believer in the grace and joy of Jesus Christ! That even in difficult times, we can lean on Jesus in the hidden places of our life, and from that – exude life and grace to everyone we meet. Yes, this journey of motherhood is hard and makes us cry out for relief. But Jesus is greater than any hardship. He desires us to fall, broken, at His feet and let Him be our strength and peace. He wants to shine through us and prove to a self-centered and broken world, what He can do with a mother who is fully trusting in Him.
Do not grow weary, my friend! Don’t try to find an easy way out. Just keep falling on Jesus’ strength and power each day – each hour. He has unlimited strength and grace for each new (sleep-deprived!) day.