Some seasons of motherhood leave us feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. We may feel weak, but there is hope bigger than our fatigue.
There are two people who know how much I am struggling through this newborn season right now. My husband and my best friend.
And now you.
I try to keep the despairing text messages and crying emoji’s I send to them throughout the day to a minimum, but sometimes it’s just good for the soul to let it out. amiright???
Just a couple of days ago, I wrote a post about making the postpartum season easier on everyone in the family. I stand by that post. Those things are truly helpful. But I feel like this is the sister post that needed to be written. It felt like I was only telling half of the story.
Comfy clothes and receiving blankets and creature comforts care for the physical and surface level needs, but this is about soul care.
More than any newborn season before, this season is hitting me hard.
Whatever the reason, I am more prone to discouragement, impatience, and emotional meltdowns than ever before. It’s taking its toll, and I don’t like it.
Not liking something doesn’t make it go away, though, does it? The fatigue and the mood swings and the frazzled nerves are here to stay, at least for a little while. My hormones and physical body are overruling me on this one.
The good news is that there is encouragement bigger than my tiredness. There is help for my soul when I am at my weakest. There is hope for relationships strained with stress.
And I need to hear it all. How about you?
The rest of this post is not just for moms with little babies at home. It is for anyone who feels tired and overwhelmed. I want you to hear me say this loud and clear– THERE IS HOPE FOR YOU.
Hope Exhausted Moms Needs to Hear
God’s grace is sufficient. (You are making it. You will make it.)
There are so many times when I wonder how much longer I can keep this up– the long sleepless nights and the full demanding days of caring for young children and our home. I try not to calculate the hours of sleep I am getting at night. Because, really, it’s not much and I’d rather not know. I feel like I am pressed to my limit in every area. And it seems like it’s all too much.
But then there comes a moment when I am outside of myself, looking in as it were, with a little more perspective than I can muster when children are crying/singing/playing and every surface is covered with clutter I am forced to ignore a little while longer. And I realize that despite my groans about how hard things are, the hours and days and weeks are passing and I haven’t ran away or died from exhaustion yet.
In the moment, things may seem impossible. Our desire to keep going wanes. We want the hard to end and the easy to return. But, what I need to remember, and you may need to hear as well, is that we WILL make it through. Our weakness brings us to the end of ourselves, to the point when the bird’s eye view reminds us that it’s not by our own strength, but by the grace of God.
Do not despair. You will see the other side of this.
Kids are resilient. (Let go of the guilt.)
I have three older children in addition to the little newborn needing so much of my attention. I worry about all the things I am not doing with them. I hear them playing in the other room while I console my crying baby, and a part of me feels like I’m missing something or neglecting something that ought to be done.
I worry about my shortness of temper and how it might be affecting our relationships. “Mommy is tired” means little when I answer their requests with a sharp word. I try to remain calm and as present as they’d like me to be, but I still struggle. And fail more often than I’d like to admit.
However, as much as I want to always be their perfectly loving, ever-gracious mother, it’s just as well that they learn now that I am not perfect. As long as these days seem, childhood is much longer. I do not say this as a license to be callous with our kids’ emotions. But it is a comfort to remember that a season of struggle will not negate a lifetime of care and investing in our children.
Let your children see your love and your frailty. Use honest confession and frank recognition of your weakness to bring goodness to a hard time.
This will pass. (Trite but true.)
I think this is one of the things people like to remind mothers of the most. They grow up so fast! This will be over before you know it! Enjoy every moment, if you blink it will be gone.
The mothers who hear this often like to complain about its triteness.
When your baby is fussy and you don’t know why, when you are running on fumes and in desperate need of a shower, when your child is in a stage that tests your patience all day long– then hearing about how quickly this season will be over loses a bit of its helpfulness. If anything it can seem unsympathetic and forgetful.
Even so, it is true. And it does us well to quietly tell ourselves that we won’t be here forever. We may have to rehearse this truth over and over before we feel the beginnings of encouragement, but “this will pass” is a seed of hope that we need to remember.
Children are endlessly growing and changing. One season is always giving way to the next. Enjoy what you can now, and take comfort in knowing the rest will not last forever.