Being a mom of two babies is tough. Really tough. And I know many of us are doing it. I have friends with many more children, and some of those kiddos have special needs. Then there's work, dishes, errands, car breaks down, pay the bills, what's for dinner?, must read the Bible because that is what good Christians do, give husband a kiss, make some phone calls while kids scream, vitamin D deficiency woes this winter---must get outside, exercise, maybe baby has a food allergy---must research, visit Grandma, bake cookies for child's school party....
How do we do it? How do we make it? How do we stay sane? Or maybe it's that we are just insane and have accepted it. :)
A few months ago I was greatly struggling with taking care of my girls. I was very unmotivated, burned out, exhausted. Pair this with my diabetes (which is exhausting on its own) and the end of a semester (papers to grade!!!)...and well, I was just BLAH.
Then I talked to a friend who told me that her kids were driving her bonkers, so much so that she put one in a time out just to give herself a break. She said one day she even left the kids in the living room, went and sat on her porch, and just told God she needed some strength and patience and energy ASAP. (Ahhh, I'm not alone? I was happy to hear that I wasn't the only one feeling a little crazy. And I am so thankful to my friend, Miss J, for being honest about her struggles! I felt empowered to share my own).
I truly forget that I'm not alone, that I don't have to be super-mom, super-wife, super-housekeeper, super-teacher, and super-writer on my own. I do recall one mom telling me that she just prays to God daily for strength when she is exhausted and scattered and restless, and I remember thinking, "Um, ok. Or you could just put on your big girl panties and deal with it." Yeah, I know. That's not nice at all. But that goes to show you how pro-DIY I am. It's a deep personality flaw of mine...
But, there is no way that one can DIY through life. It's just not humanly possible to do everything the right way in one's own strength. Something has got to give.
That's where two things come in:
2: Giving up on doing it all.
Point #1: Psalm 23: 2-3 talks about God giving peace, rest, and restoration as HE leads. Psalm 27:14, "Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart;..." Psalm 34:4, "I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears." Psalm 34:17, "The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles." Psalm 29:11, "The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace."
Point #2: It's not our job to be all. Psalm 23 demonstrates to us that the Lord is to be all: protector, fulfiller, calmer, leader, restorer, comforter, preparer, anoiter, giver. Should we strive to be Jesus' "hands and feet" on Earth? Yes. But we should try to be anyone else's savior (or our own)---physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. Therefore, it's ok to let go of this Proverbs 31 woman idea and just be who we are called to be right now, today. It's better, I think, to do a few things well (raise our children, manage our households, be a good employee) than to try to do everything at 50%. I've been working hard this year to say "no." "No" to writing opportunities that don't pay me and/or that I do not feel motivated to take part in. "No" to extra play dates or watching a friend's kid if it really isn't good for my family that day. "No" to turning down a moment when things could be fab (like when my daughter asked to paint, I let her, it was a HUGE mess, and it was so fabulous!!! That took a lot for me to say ok to that big of a mess!) "No" to rushing through life instead of spending a few extra minutes cuddling my kids in my bed and listening to their imaginative ramblings.
I admit, I don't love a lot of Christian literature. Some of it seems anti- modern woman---and many of these books are written by women. However, I have found a few books helpful in my journey to understanding my priorities, my place in my home, my role as a mother, etc.:
Chasing God and the Kids Too (Cheryl R Carter)
Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World (Joanna Weaver)
Growing Grateful Kids (Susie Larson)
Read the Psalms. Fabulous stuff!
I'm currently reading The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson, and I can't say if I do or do not recommend it at this time. However, I can say that there are tidbits of information that have resonated with me thus far.
I also encourage my readers to check out my favorite blog, Passionate Homemaking. Here is a fabulous post from last month.
What I'm getting at is yes, there are ways to make life easier/better on one's own. But there are some moments all you have is your insane self, crabby/crying/inconsolable/unreasonable children, and God. God can grant you the peace to take the next (right) step.
Isn't that life? Just one step at a time?
In the midst of my type A brain, I hear God whispering, "Slow down. Say no to what doesn't matter. Say yes to possibilities. Accept what is. Give up what isn't possible. Be still. Know that I am God."
And there, I find peace.