Oh, motherhood. It’s hard. I’ve been experiencing the challenging parts more often than not lately. I often wonder if I were a stay-at-home mom if my life would be easier, but I absolutely know that’s a big fat lie. It’s hard, whether you stay at home with your children or if you work outside the home. It’s just hard.
Motherhood has been completely overwhelming me these last few months. My 2-year-old is precious, cute, funny, random, and loving. However, he’s going through a stage where he loves to say “no,” grunt when he doesn’t want to do something we’ve asked, and if I’m honest, exhausting. He may not be exhausting himself, but the situations that arise because of his growing up and wanting to do things on his own are exhausting. They are especially exhausting when you’re 5 months pregnant, working almost 40hrs a week, and trying to keep up all the responsibilities of running a household.
Up until this point (pregnant with #2, working outside the home, having a toddler), motherhood has been somewhat “easy.” “Easy” in the sense that I wasn’t nauseous or tired from growing another human inside my belly, “easy” because my toddler didn’t fight back (let alone make any sense when he talked), “easy” because I didn’t have to worry about feeding him a nutritious meal when he was breastfeeding, etc. Oh nursing, how I love you. Nursing my baby was/is my fondest memory of having a newborn/toddler. Lord willing, I’ll be able to nurse our new baby as long as I did with Elias, but I digress… This new stage of motherhood, raising a toddler, is a different kind of exhaustion. Not the “I’ve-been-up-all-night-feeding-changing diapers-then-get-up-and-do-it-all-again” exhaustion, but the mental exhaustion of trying to reason with a 2-year-old. I now understand why moms try to bribe their child with M&M’s so they can (still) struggle with trying to trim their child’s toenails that are a mile long. I understand why mom’s end up making their child the same meal night after night because they know it’s the only thing they’ll eat that’s relatively “healthy” (organic Mac ‘n Cheese and peas anyone?). Or why they would give their child a less than nutritious breakfast “treat” just so they can stop crying because you have to get out the door or else you’ll be late for work. I totally get these things now. Who knew I’d be that mom. You gotta do whatcha gotta to do to keep your head above the water. You’ll do anything to try to survive another day looking somewhat presentable.
And don’t worry, we do discipline our child, but staying consistent at that is challenging as well. You know you should put your child in a time out when you ask him to follow you to the bathroom to take a bath and he would rather walk (or run) around the house yelling, “I’m naked! I’m naked!” But while he’s totally being disobedient, it’s the cutest thing for two young parents to witness. When do you draw the line of having fun and teaching your child to be obedient?
I don’t say all this to complain, I love my little man and I truly LOVE being a mom! I’m just sharing my weary heart and that the real life moments of motherhood can and will be really hard. It’s hard to the point where you want to raise your hands and say, “I give up!” and then go grab a cookie, or two, or three. I look at my mom; she (and my dad) raised four babies! Four! Guys, I’m struggling to get my child to take a bath, something he doesn’t like, once a week and when we get two baths in a week that’s totally a victory in my book! I sit back and I’m amazed at how my mom did it. What a great role model for me to look up to.
When it comes down to it, what God is teaching me over and over and over again, is that I need to run to Jesus MORE in those moments of defeat and exhaustion. No matter if it’s dealing with motherhood or just everyday struggles. It’s always about Jesus. I was reading a devotional this morning (Thrive Moms) and it was in Psalm 118.
“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” vs 8
“Songs of Joy and Victory are sung in the camps of the godly.” vs 15
I tend to run to other things (cookies) instead of running to Jesus when I’m trying to find refuge from the exhaustion. Nothing is going to give me the “break” or the satisfaction I crave from motherhood other than Jesus. Jesus is always better. He is my True refuge. He is victorious when I make mac ’n cheese for the 2nd or 3rd night in a row. When I want to throw up my hands and say I can’t do it, He is victorious. He is victorious because I have my complete salvation, my life, in Him.
Motherhood is hard, but what a wonderful and precious gift it is. How beautiful are the moments when you ask your 2-year-old to pray and prays for mama’s belly and the baby sister in it. How sweet (and funny) it is when your child tells you that, “Jesus shakes His booty, too!” after a short dance session listening to music. Or when your child is so amazed and in awe of the moon that he exclaims, “Jesus made the moon!” Those moments absolutely 100% make all the mentally exhausting moments of motherhood totally worth it all.
I’m thankful for the refuge I can find in Jesus.
He has overcome the things I battle with daily.
What an honor it is to run to Him when I realize I just can’t do it myself.
Jesus is victorious when I am not.
Amen for His grace and His everlasting love towards me.