It usually sets in about the time that I hear my husband starting to snore. The house is dark and quiet. My two year old twin boys are sleeping happily in the next room. I have two more boys jumping on my bladder and kicking my rib cage. And that’s when it hits.
The fear. The insecurities. The worry and anxiety: I’m about to be a mother of 4 little boys and I feel totally unprepared.
This is not the post I had planned for today. I was going to talk about a passion of mine: natural and home remedies. But my heart has been battling this fear all week and I knew I couldn’t be alone.
Do you ever fear motherhood? Or that next season of motherhood? Or what that next pregnancy might mean? Or how in the world you will balance it all?
My mother passed away unexpectedly when my boys were 11 months old. They won’t ever remember her and my new baby boys will never meet her. This past year and a half has been a bit of an identity crises for me: trying to figure out what it means to be a good mom while grieving the loss of my own mother.
My in-laws are amazing and I’m so thankful that God has placed them in my life, but it’s not the same thing as having my own mother there (even though our relationship was far from the perfect mother-daughter relationship).
And so, all of this feeds into my fear:
How am I going to juggle this all?
What will my life look like with 4 little kids 2 years old and younger?
How can I keep my crazy active toddlers busy while I nurse their little brothers?
When will I find time to invest in my husband?
When will I find the time to invest in my relationship with the Lord?
How will I be able to shower, let alone find time to read God’s Word?
How am I going to be able to make 3 meals day????
What does a godly mother look like anyway? Whose model of discipline should be follow?
And the list of fears goes on…
These are the quiet thoughts I have as I lie in bed unable to sleep – thankful for the forceful baby kicks that mean my little ones are healthy and strong – but also fearful for what lies ahead.
I know intellectually how blessed I am. My family is healthy and growing. We have food on the table and a roof over our head. I know that’s more than many have.
But that doesn’t stop those fears from creeping in…
It doesn’t stop the insecurities from swirling around that I’m not cut out for this thing called motherhood…
It doesn’t stop the hormonal-pregnancy tears from flowing when my husband doesn’t understand the emotional roller coaster I ride each day. The pendulum of feeling grateful, ecstatic, and confident that I can handle anything with the gripping fear that God may have made a mistake in making me a mother…
Dear mamas, do you ever feel this way? I know I can’t be alone in this. I know, because even though God’s Word never says “Dear mama who struggles with fear…” He DOES give us hope and encouragment for when those days are tough…for when the tears won’t stop flowing and you feel so alone in this thing called motherhood.
It’s in these times that I KNOW the one thing I need to do is turn to God’s Word and yet it’s about the last thing I want to do. When I’m facing those fears of motherhood, that’s when I need to turn to these truths:
1) Given to us as a Blessing
Definition of blessing: “a beneficial thing for which one is grateful; something that brings well-being.”
I never really understood what a blessing children are to our lives until I read somewhere that while many times God says in His Word that having children is a blessing, he never ONCE says the same thing about money! Wow. That’s humbling to me. In those dark moments of fear, I gotta be honest, money sometimes sounds like more of a blessing (especially when struggling with financial fears).
On those hard days of motherhood, it would do us well to repeat to ourselves over and over: These children given to us by God, are meant to be a blessing in our lives, and for that we are to be ever grateful.
“Behold, children are a heritage [or blessing] from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” – Psalm 127:3-5
2) Being joyful is different than being happy
We see from Scripture that we are called to be joyful in ALL things.
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Did you catch that at the end? We are to be always joyful, never stop praying, and thankful in ALL circumstances…because THAT’S God’s will for us. <— It’s God’s will, even on those really tough days to be joyful and thankful. Always.
I want my life to be joyful. I want to be characterized as a JOYFUL person. This doesn’t mean I’m always happy as some days of motherhood are just plain HARD. But God does give us what we need to be joyful if we just ASK him!
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1:2-4
I certainly wouldn’t call having children persecution and don’t want to liken it to have trials, and yet, even in those extreme circumstances, God calls us to have JOY. So how can I be disobedient when all He is asking is that I have Joy with my young kids? A very humbling thing to remember.
3) Give yourself permission to not always LOVE it
I love my twin boys and wouldn’t ever trade the last two years for anything…but there are those days when my boys are breaking down and throwing a tantrum inside Target that I just feel defeated. I don’t know what the best way to deal with the current problem is. Do I need to discipline more, less, differently, etc. There are days when I have two sweet little babies who are sick, I’m sick, and we all just need to sleep but I have to change diapers and make us something to eat, etc…I think I could go on listing hard days.
My point is, I’ve come to the place where I’ve realized that I have to give myself permission to not love every second of raising little ones. I read so many articles about how we need to just soak in and cherish every single moment of our little kids before they are gone and we miss it.
I want to make sure that most of the time I’m listening to that advice! I don’t want to rush through the little years always looking for the next stage so that I miss out on enjoying the stage we are currently in.
But some days I just yearn for when I can walk out to the car and all the kids buckle themselves in. I literally cry when I see families with older kids at the park and the parents don’t have to keep a hawk eye on their kids every.single.second. I dream of the day when I can let the kids quietly read their own books or work on their school work while I sneak in a few minutes of Bible reading.
Oh, I know those seasons of motherhood will present their own unique challenges and problems and I may look back on my time with babies and toddlers and think how simple it all was.
But at least I could pee alone. Or take a shower.
On those bone-weary exhausting days, I think it’s okay to admit that being a mother is hard work sometimes. There are real struggles and valleys we can walk through…even when we do cherish and love our kids.
But the important lesson is to not wallow in that. Do not let yourself feel sorry for yourself. Don’t let the hardship of the day make you forget that your kids ARE a blessing to you – even when you just want to curl up in a ball and cry.
Repeat these truths to yourself throughout the day: God gave us these kids as a BLESSING and He will give us the means to be JOYFUL…even on those really tough days.
Do you ever face these hard days?
While my first steps in battling the fears of motherhood have to be turning to God’s Word and prayer, I also find it really helpful to hear from and learn from other moms who have been there. It can be really lonely being a mom sometimes. I feel really isolated – and so I’m so thankful that God has given us the means, through the internet, to give and receive Gospel-centered encouragement to one another. THAT’S the internet and social media at it’s best!
How do we find joy – real joy – within our days? As women, a lot of what we do can seem mundane and tedious. But when we view our homemaking (and our life) through the lens of the Bible, we can begin to experience real Joy, Peace, and Tranquility in our lives…all for God’s Glory.
Join me for this free training: a 5 part video series that walks you through the essential habits that all Christian homemakers must form!