I’m so excited to introduce this fabulous Mama to you today! Tammy and I were connected as prayer partners for the She Speaks conference a few months ago and become great friends! I know you will be blessed today by her post! She can be found blogging at http://www.oneraindancer.com Go check out her blog and give her some love by clicking here!
Confessions Of A Worn Out Mama
6:20AM: My eight-year-old daughter stomped into the kitchen, still in her pajamas. “I can’t find any clean jeans! Didn’t you do the laundry?” I fought to push the anger I was feeling aside, because of the all too familiar situation and because I hadn’t done the laundry. I said, “If you would have gotten your clothes out last night like you were supposed to, this wouldn’t be an issue right now.” I’ve told her so many times…
Meanwhile, my seven-year-old is talking too loud, asking too many questions, trying to help when he isn’t really helping, and being generally annoying. I am not a person who likes to be “chatty” in the morning, and my middle son talks constantly the minute his feet hit the floor in the morning. You see the dilemma.
My ten-year-old entered the kitchen and announced he had a “stomachache” and needed to stay home from school. Again. If he didn’t go to school every time he said he had a stomachache, he would only go to school every other day.
I ran downstairs to my laundry room (that looks like a bomb went off on any given day) and found my daughter’s jeans, even though she was certain there were none down there. I distracted my ten-year-old with his favorite breakfast to make him forget his “stomach ache.” All three kids were distracted and fighting during the devotion (again). Lord, are they even listening, or getting anything I’m saying? Honestly, I didn’t feel very spiritual either by that point. Driving them down our lane to the bus, everyone was arguing and being rude to each other. Prayers were grumbled and short. Two of the three kids were mad when they got on the bus. I didn’t have time to smooth things over, and I was too tired to try anyway. The gentle and wise mom words I knew I should have been saying just wouldn’t come.
As the bus pulled away, tears filled my eyes. The exhaustion I was feeling hit like a tidal wave. And it was only 7:15AM. How am I going to get through the rest of this day? Can you die from being this tired?
As I drove slowly back up the lane, the whispers of the enemy hiss in my ears: “You are a terrible mother. How could you let them get on the bus still mad and upset? What if something happens to them today? You will never measure up. You will never be the kind of mother they need.”
I walked into the house and checked my monitor. My three-year-old and one-year-old were still sleeping. Thank God. I let the tears fall freely and sank to the floor. Lord, I’m so worn out. It’s too much. I feel overwhelmed and alone. There is too much to do, so much pressing in on me. I don’t have enough energy or time or patience to be the mom my kids need. Maybe if I slept for a week uninterrupted, my brain would clear and I could think straight. My mind feels so cloudy and chaotic all the time, like I can’t complete my thoughts. I am at the end of my rope; I have nothing left to give. How do I get some rest? It’s not like someone else can be their mother!
Do you ever feel this way?
I try to stay positive, but in this season of my life, being mom to five children under the age of ten, I can get really overwhelmed. My spirit becomes downcast and discouraged.
This is a pretty realistic photo of me with my 5 children!
When my good friend Brittany called me and asked me to write a post about being a “worn out mama,” I laughed. What an understatement. Honestly, I’m so tired there are no words to describe it fully. And then I remember – you are a worn out mama too. So you understand, without me having to find the perfect words.
I thought about what I would want if someone were going to try to give me encouragement about being a tired mama. I decided easy to understand and to the point was the best idea, so I wrote a simple list called, “ Ten Encouragements For A Weary Mom’s Heart.” Here goes:
1. MOST IMPORTANT ONE: Read God’s Word. Soak in God’s Word. Memorize God’s Word. Write your favorite verses on note cards and post them in very visible places around your house. Read them out loud when times of discouragement hit. The Word of God is truth for your soul and your mind. It gives energy and life and it is the only thing I have found that consistently brings joy and calm to my chaos. Here are some of my favorites to help start your note card collection:
- Look to the Lord and His strength; seek his face always. – Psalm 105:4
- Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. – Nehemiah 8:10
- To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me. – Colossians 1:29 (emphasis mine)
- “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5
- The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man (or my children) do to me? – Hebrews 13:6 (I substituted “my children” here)
- Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers (and moms) throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. – 1 Peter 5:8-9 (I added “and moms”)
- The Lord knows those who are His. – 2 Timothy 2:19
- Put your armor on every morning (Ephesians 6:10-18)!
There is a quote I love that I saw on Facebook recently: “When Satan huffs and puffs and tries to blow out the flame of your joy, you have an endless supply of kindling in the Word of God. – John Piper
2. As Beth Moore said at a conference I was at recently: “Guard against mompetition.” Am I competing or comparing myself to other moms? Are my expectations unrealistic in a given situation? Are someone else’s expectations of me too high? Am I trying to do things in my house like the mom I see as “perfect” down the street? (And by the way, she isn’t perfect.) Don’t do it! It’s not of God, and it drains your strength.
3. Do make time for healthy community. Do you have friends you can be honest and real with? Did you know it’s okay to admit your worst struggles to actual people who love you? Surround yourselves with godly women who will support and encourage you in your struggle, and who will help you to find the best in your kids.
4. Ask God to help you see your children the way He see them. Ask Him to show you their unique gifts and talents, and how you can help to develop those gifts and talents.
5. Pray all the time about everything (Philippians 4:6). Pray for wisdom.
6. If you need help, ask for it! Don’t try to be super women; it’s exhausting and pointless and not from God.
7. Take care of yourself too. Did you know it’s okay to rest? It’s actually a commandment. If you forgot how to rest, ask God to show you. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. – Proverbs 4:23 *Make sure your identity isn’t found in your children. Our identity should be in Jesus Christ.
8. A friend told me once that when she is in a crazy situation and felt overwhelmed with her kids, she would say to herself, “This is not as bad as it seems right now.” I have tried it, and it does help. Sometimes it helps me to see the humor in the situation. Now I have to say here that sometimes, it is as bad as it seems (like for instance, when your one-year-old eats a jar of Vix Baby Rub). Then it’s time to panic (and call Poison Control)!
9. No one is perfect except Jesus. You don’t have to be an awesome mom all the time. You can be ordinary. Let yourself off the hook. No one is going to call the laundry and dish police on you.
10. Laugh more. Choose joy instead of being annoyed. Laughing is one of the best stress relievers and perspective changers I know. Here is something to get you started laughing:
One more thought before I end: I do think part of being a mom is being tired. Being a mom is not easy and it will be tiring. When we are “out of gas,” it makes us rely on and turn to God, who is the Giver of our strength (and our sanity). His strength is supernatural and His supply of grace is unending.
I am certain moms will get to sleep all they want in heaven.
Lord, we would be lost without you. Thank you for the privilege of being mom to our children. Remind us often that you are with us every step of the way. Help us to never give up on our families, and to keep going even when we don’t think we can go another step. Help us to laugh more, rest more, and love more, which will increase our joy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us today, Tammy! Your transparency is such a blessing! Please connect with her on her blog One Rain Dancer and catch up with her on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/oneraindancer .
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