Being a mom is the BEST job in the world, but it can also be really, really tough at times. And I know I don’t even have a full grasp on how hard being a mom can be since my little guy is only 18 months old. I am assuming that when you throw a few more kids into the mix and they start talking back to you and they all need to be ten different places at once, it can be even harder.
From my heart to yours, here are 5 things that I think make being a mom really tough.
1. Physical and emotional exhaustion
When I was pregnant, I thought I was tired. I complained about being tired. I would pass out on the couch at 7 pm. I would wake up tired. THEN I ACTUALLY HAD THE BABY. I learned a whole new meaning to the word tired. PURE COMPLETE EXHAUSTION. Getting up so many times in a night, every night for months was one of the roughest things I have ever experienced. I would remind my husband often, “You know that the military uses sleep deprivation as a form of torture, don’t you?” This is one of those things that you can’t really do that much about at first. The lack of sleep has lessened immeasurably since those first few months (Praise the Lord!), but as I heard someone else say one time, “You’re always tired as a mom.” I believe that is true. I’m no longer being “tortured” by lack of sleep, but I am still somehow exhausted. As they move into the toddler phase, they exhaust you because they are running around like a crazy person and making ten million messes while you’re still cleaning up the first mess.
“Good morning, Mom! I’m up and ready to PLAY!”
Being a mom is emotionally exhausting, too. I love this cartoon. I feel like it so perfectly depicts how we sometimes feel in the middle of the night.
2. Being sick as a mom
(Here’s a picture of when J and I were sick at the same time a few months ago.)
Remember the days when you were sick and your mom (or whoever) prepared soup for you, checked on you often, let you lay in bed all day, and did not require you to do any work? I do, and those days were so glorious! A few weeks ago, I came down with strep. I got to experience taking care of a crazy toddler when your whole body aches and your throat hurts like crap and all you want to do is sleep. I have come to the realization that those days of being waited on hand and foot when I’m sick are long gone. My husband did take care of me outside of work hours, and I am so thankful for that. But we couldn’t afford for him to take off a whole day. We moms just have to suck it up and power through as best we can. With God on our side, we can do the impossible.
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” Isaiah 40:29
3. Mom guilt
Mom guilt plagues us ALL, I think, at one time or another. Whether you feel guilty because of how long or if/when you stopped breastfeeding, whether or not you stay home with your kids, how much you’re reading to them, the kind of food you’re feeding them, how clean you keep your house, how many times you lost your temper this week, there is always something we can feel “Mom Guilt” about.
The thing is, if you love your child and are genuinely doing your best raising them, you are doing a great job! Every mother looks different. Every mother parents different, disciplines different, engages different, and I could go on and on. But different doesn’t mean wrong. And sometimes desiring things other than JUST cooking, cleaning, folding clothes, and caring for your family is not wrong. Next to God, they are my second desire and priority. It is my JOY to take care of them. But sometimes we have to take care of ourselves and do things we enjoy, too. And that is OKAY.
Ever since I became a mom, my mind seems to always be full and racing. There are so many different things to remember and keep track of. If that wasn’t enough, my mind seems to also be full with worry about my family. I worry about their present and their future. I worry about the food my baby is eating, if he is learning at the right pace, his character, training him up in the right way, and so much more. When my baby is sick or hurting, it is the biggest heartache I have ever experienced. More than anything, I worry about his safety. I worry about losing him. I worry about protecting him from bad people in the world. I also worry about my husband- his health, his emotions, his happiness, his safety, etc. And the list of people I worry about doesn’t end there. It is a huge burden for us women to have minds so full at all times. But Jesus said, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
These verses also give me comfort:
“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you, he will never let the righteous fall.” Psalm 55:22
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
5. When you don’t feel appreciated
(Here is a picture of my living room after Tornado J came through. See him under the table, haha?)
I think not feeling appreciated is a BIG one for moms. Being a mom, I believe, is one of the most thankless jobs in the world. You give and give and give and you don’t get much in return in the way of them acknowledging all that you do for them. They do give you their smiles, hugs, kisses, pictures, and adorable selves. Those things mean the world to me. But, sometimes I just struggle with not feeling valuable or appreciated. I have to remember that God is where I need to find my worth, my feelings of success, my feelings of being appreciated. El Roi is the name of God that describes Him as the “God Who Sees.” When I am scrubbing dishes or rocking a baby at 4 am, El Roi is there. He sees what I am doing and He is well pleased. What I am doing is valuable in His eyes. I recently heard something that really convicted me and encouraged me at the same time. “If we look to our husbands to meet our every need, we are setting them up to fail before they can even try. ONLY GOD can meet all of our needs.” This is something I still struggle with. I desire so much for Josh to make me feel appreciated, loved, cherished 24/7, but he can’t because he’s a human being… And because he’s a guy. But I am praying that God will change my heart over time and that I desire His approval more than anyone else’s. In Proverbs 31, you read verse after verse of this Godly woman serving her family. Then, at the very end of the chapter, “her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” She didn’t receive the praise every day, every month, or even every year necessarily. But, she did receive it eventually. Her children and her husband did see what she was doing and they appreciated it. And all along, El Roi saw it.
Motherhood is one of the most wonderful things in the whole world. The love I have for my child is a love like no other. Children are such a precious gift. Sometimes Motherhood can be very hard. I’m right there with you. But it is worth every tear shed, every sleepless night, every pound gained, and every mess made. I believe that it is a tool that God uses to grow us, challenge us, and make us more dependent on Him and His love and grace. God is good.
Heavenly Father, please help me during this crazy and wonderful journey called motherhood. Please give me strength, energy, patience, and unending love for my family and others each and every day. Please help me to see that my worth is in YOU. Please help me to remember that you, my sweet El Roi, see all that I do and that in Your eyes, “I am altogether beautiful.” Thank you for Your Love. I love you, Lord. Amen.