It had been an especially trying week. There was the pouring hand soap all over the head incident. Then the next day one of the kids got into my makeup. Then I had to call poison control because she bit the tip off a pencil. And all of that happened to just one of my kids! Then there was the kid who decided to run out of the bathroom in his footie pajamas, which caused him to slip and fall backwards into the base of the toilet! When he woke up in the middle of the night throwing up, we knew that we had no choice but to head to the emergency room!
After a week like that, it’s no wonder that I was feeling exhausted, burned out, and just all-around overwhelmed. Once I get to that point in motherhood, I need to have some time to unwind. My husband and I had had basically no time for each other either as he was working all the time. Fortunately, I was planning to take a trip with my husband to Vegas, where he was being sent on business. We had it all planned – three days away from the kids just enjoying each other’s company. But then the boss changed his mind and was sending my husband and a co-worker instead – leaving me alone with three kids who were driving me up the wall!
It was at this point that I had reached my limit. I felt unloved, invisible, insignificant. I was sinking into the abyss that many mothers face. When you spend 24/7 with your kids, it can be hard some times to remember who you are. Your identity becomes just Mom.
But God isn’t done with me yet. He’s still teaching me about who He is and who I am. I was in the car with the radio tuned into our local Christian radio station, the kids arguing with each other in the back seat, when I first heard the song.
Who is He? He’s a good, GOOD Father! And who am I? I am LOVED by Him! That’s who I am completely. I am a mom, but that’s just a part of me. I am most importantly a child of the King!
One of the major points that I believe God is trying to hammer home to me right now is my desire to be seen by someone. Anyone. Just to have recognition for a job well done. Maybe you feel that way, too. We moms just want someone to pat us on the back and tell us that we’re raising angelic children.
But if your children are anything like mine, then they are probably having a breakdown in the middle of the grocery aisle. Or they aren’t taking their naps today and are screaming uncontrollably. Or they are scribbling on the newly-painted walls. Or they just won’t stop talking AT you!
And if you’re anything like me, you are probably feeling like everyone is looking at you and noticing that you’re not that great of a mom. You may be feeling exhausted today. You may be listening to those people who can’t seem to help but give unwelcome advice to strangers. Or you may have well-intentioned family or friends who want to give you advice. You may be looking for a kind word instead of “You’re so mean!” from your beloved children.
It’s so easy for Satan to take our eyes off the One who loves us. He distracts us in the midst of doing what God has called us to do. I know because he has done it to me and continues to do it to me.
So I am preaching to myself when I say this to you. Remember who you are. Don’t take your gaze off of Him. And focus on earning His praise rather than the praise of others.
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 6:1).
But as fellow moms who share the same struggles, let’s encourage one another as well. If your kids are the well-behaved ones today, go offer a kind word to the mom whose two-year-old is having a temper tantrum in the frozen food aisle. Offer a helping hand to a mom who seems to be overwhelmed by her children.
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (I Thess. 5:11).
You’re doing a great work today, Friend! This is kingdom work we are doing for the King who is storing up rewards for us in heaven, so keep up the good fight!
(Now excuse me while I keep the five-year-old from jumping off the top of the furniture. . .)
“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14).