There is no dearth of articles on how difficult motherhood is. How we must not compare ourselves. How we need to accept God’s grace to cover our lack of perfection.
Motherhood is messy. It’s a lot of work. Oh, is it a lot of work. And there is no easy manual for how to do it.
But lately I have been noticing an increase in these articles that, if we are honest, is sometimes whining. Good, biblical websites and blogs have been posting these articles as well, and judging by the number of shares they are quite popular.
Because we moms are overwhelmed sometimes. We’re tired. We feel like ineffective mothers. We feel frazzled. So the message of “Don’t worry, no one expects perfection, and no one has it all together” is comforting. And it is.
Moms, there is a lot of whining in the blogosphere. I am the first to tell you that I think we should be honest and share our struggles. But I also believe that we shouldn’t be sitting in the mire constantly. If that is where we are day after day after day, we need to find a way to get out. And with God’s help we can.
Motherhood, like any other career, occupation, or life calling, has good days and bad days.
We sometimes have good days where the kids are sweet, the house is picked up at the end of the day, dinner is on the table, and in general life is good. And then there are days, well, do I even need to describe them? We are up in the night more times than we can keep track of, nothing seems to be working to help our children obey and do what is right, the house is spiraling into disaster zone, we’ve barely thought about getting dinner started let alone on the table, and, in general, it is anything but good.
I understand. I have those days too.
It is in those moments that we need to look at the day and cover it in grace. We need to thank God that He will use us in our role as mom despite of ourselves. We need to claim Christ’s work on the cross.
We need to do something.
Look at your bad day, or week, or month, and think about why it has been so difficult. Seek out the reasons that life has been so hard. Is it lack of sleep (for both you or your children)? Is it a need to have some time away to think more clearly? Is it self-pity? Is it lack of discipline? Is it an overwhelmed feeling of not knowing what to do?
Then make sleep a priority. Have your husband watch the kids for a few hours so you can get away to spend time alone. Search your heart. Get accountability for an area that you need more discipline in. Ask another mom who has been there for some real, practical steps you can take to get out of your overwhelmed feeling. Whatever it is. Do something.
God never calls us to be miserable. Ever. And that goes for motherhood. If He has called you to the role of motherhood, He will give you the grace to fulfill your responsibility.
Life means working. And whether we are working hard toiling a garden like Adam and Eve, or we are working hard raising children, it will be work.
God created man and woman to work. To labor. Only after the fall did we have the problem that our work did not always produce good. Our work is no longer always effective. By God’s grace it is sometimes, but not always. Our work does not guarantee one hundred percent success.
So we have bad days. We have cranky children. We have sleepless nights. We have ineffective parenting. We have impatient spirits. But work is still what we were meant and created to do, regardless of the outcome.
Let’s enjoy the good gift of an extraordinary occupation that motherhood brings. Let’s acknowledge that there are good days and there are days we wish we could forget. Let’s thank God that His grace covers us in both extremes. And let’s pursue a life of motherhood that works hard at what we do. That enjoys what we do. That thrives in what we do.
Because, yes, motherhood is incredibly hard work. But God esteems work. And if that work comes in the form of self-discipline needed to get yourself out of bed, or to wash a few dishes, or to gently correct a child it will be work. And God meant it to be that way.
Let God’s grace empower you to do the work of motherhood. Let it empower you to seek help where you need it. To find solutions where you need them. Or to cover your day in grace when the desired outcome isn’t there.
We bathe ourselves in God’s grace to cover us when our imperfections abound. And we bathe ourselves in God’s grace to enable us to do the work of motherhood.