It was a cold, winter afternoon. Our busy schedules had finally coordinated enough so that we could meet for lunch, and I eagerly made my way to the restaurant we had chosen. We sipped tea and enjoyed our salads. Several hours had passed when she finally looked up at me and bravely admitted, “I don’t enjoy being with my kids…at all.”
There it is. She has admitted it. This precious young mom has been transparent. Honest. She has admitted what most moms feel at one time or another, and she has said it out loud!
What do you do when you wake up every morning knowing you will face another day of wiping noses, breaking up fights, telling little boys to sit down while they eat, not to run in the house, and not to hit their brother. What do you do when you face the day knowing that you won’t be able to eat a meal without interruption, or go to the bathroom without having an audience? Being a mom is intense! Overnight we go from being able to come and go as we please, take showers when we want to, go to the bathroom by ourselves, take the time to primp, have daily quiet times and alone time…to revolving our days and thoughts around the care of our children. They are totally dependent on us for their needs to be met. Our time is not our own. Being a mom takes sacrifice like we have never known in our lifetime.
Loving your children and enjoying your children are two different things. The fact that we had just spent a couple hours talking about this mom’s children and what they are learning, how funny they are, and how they love reading, is evidence that those children have a place in that mother’s heart of hers. After spending time with my friend, God brought some things to mind that have been helpful to me over there years.
- You are not alone. Most moms feel this way to some extent – whether they admit it or not.
- Remember that being a mom is one of the highest callings. You have been given an opportunity to point precious souls to their Savior. It is hard work and takes years of self sacrifice. Ask God how He wants you to fulfill that calling in the season you are in. Pray for God to give you His perspective and His heart for your children.
- For moms of boys – No matter how many boys you have, you have entered a foreign land! Boys do not think like ours do. We must try to get to know our boys. Ask your husband a lot of questions. Read books on how to relate to men…our boys are little men!
- Accept the fact that you can’t do it on your own. No matter what anyone says, you are not enough. You need God to help you persevere, and an extra amount of grace to get through each day in a way that glorifies Him. Ask God to show you how to get out of survival mode, help you find ways to put some structure in your day, and that He would help you to see your children as your ministry.
- You need help! Ask God to help you see the little opportunities that come each day when you actually find enjoyment in being with your children.
- You need support! Ask God to send you a little support group. Other women, of different ages, who can encourage you and whom you can encourage in this mission of motherhood.
- Remember they are little people…Individuals! As your children grow and become their own little individual selves, it gives you an opportunity to enter into their world and cheer them on. Whether it is a sport, a hobby, or something else they may excel at, as you enter into the world of these precious people, you can cheer them on and celebrate them. Fun will come in these moments, and you will find yourself not just enjoying the season, but actually enjoying the individuals that live in your home.
If you choose to embrace your calling, God will give you a heart for what He has called you to – but you must ask for it. It won’t always be fun. In fact there are seasons when it is just down right harder than we ever imagined. (I think of those moms I know who have children with special needs, and how wearing that is for them.) But I believe that God can give you a heart for what He has called you to do, and get you out of survival mode.I believe that because it is what He has done for me!