This is the hardest section of the blog for me to write. I don’t want to think about the difficult times. I don’t want to dig deep and be vulnerable. I don’t want to remember, I want to forget. But I know I need to talk about the struggle, and the growth and the healing that took place. I need to share those things with you who may be going through similar trials.
I started out wanting to be the perfect mother. I was so surprised by the joy of holding my new babies in my arms, and so thrilled with the chance to cuddle and comfort and care for their needs. Having children was a joy in my life that I never anticipated or honestly strived for until it happened. We had 5 children in a little less than 8 years. It was a whirlwind of diapers, pacifiers, spankings, stepping on toys, and getting behind on the laundry. Besides the sleep deprivation, I mostly enjoyed this season.
But I started to struggle as the children got older. Surprisingly, they started talking and thinking and having their own opinions that differed from mine and each other. I discovered that my little angels were not, in fact, angels at all. They made mistakes, just like me. Unfortunately, I went through a season where I felt like a failure so often as a mom, that I just wanted to quit. Maybe you have felt the same way. It was a long difficult road for me back to embracing the joy and trials of motherhood, and there were a few things I learned that helped me find my way home.
Friendships: I realized during this season of wanting to quit, that I had been neglecting the value of friendships with other women in my life. I was so busy caring for my family, that I had little time for friendships. I needed to invest in some quality friendships with other moms who could identify with my struggles, and older women who could encourage and help me. I reached out to an acquaintance and asked for her help. She eventually has become one of my closest dear friends.
Physical Care: I went to my doctor and after some tests, found out that I was extremely anemic. No wonder I was so tired all of the time! I also realized that I needed physical activity and exercise regularly. I started out with just walking briskly for about 20 minutes every day after dinner. My husband, Tom, was home then and I could dart out the door with my headphones and have some great thinking times along the trails by our home.
Marriage: Not only did I want to quit my motherhood, but as I would dream of a life without the responsibilities of constantly caring for my children, I wasn’t even sure I would take my husband with me! I loved him, but I was sometimes resentful that he had a career and a calling outside of our home and I needed him to help me more. I needed to reset my thinking about my marriage and so I found one thing I was really thankful for about him and just focused on that every day. I began opening up to him more and began arranging babysitters for regular date nights.
Prayer: Without prayer, I honestly don’t know how I would have made it through this season of wanting to quit. I needed a strength outside myself to carry on, because I was completely depleted and burned out of my own strength. Going to the Bible and crying out to God during this time brought me closer to knowing how much He truly loves me and how much I needed Him.
I don’t know if every mom out there goes through a season of feeling like she wants to quit the incredibly stressful and demanding job of motherhood, but I’m going to guess that quite a lot of us might. Please realize that you are not alone. You can find your way back to a peaceful joy in your home and in your role as mom. I’m here to encourage you because I’ve been where you are and I know that healing can happen. You are loved, dear mother. Carry on. Don’t give up. You will find your joy again.