If the days are so intense you’re not sure you’ll make it to bedtime. . .
If screaming has become your new vernacular. . .
If you’re forced to decide between 15 minutes of quiet time or a shower but both seem nearly impossible. . .
If you feel like your kids deserve more than you have to give…
I have five words for you.
But first, a flashback.
My kids are nearly grown and out of the house. They wash themselves, feed themselves, drive themselves, do their own laundry (on a good day) and embrace their independence. Our home is increasingly quieter these days. It’s a season that quite honestly feels very strange. But that’s another post for another day.
But, I remember well being a mom of littles. I remember bouncing my refuses-to-nap infant son, while potty training my two-year-old daughter who’d decided to use potty training to wade into the waters of toddler rebellion.
I remember a desperate phone call to my husband one day:
“I can’t do this. I don’t think I have it in me. I am so angry at her. She knows exactly what she’s doing. I want to scream.”
He talked me off the ledge that day. But as petty as potty training seems in light of Orlando’s tragedy, refugees, and human trafficking, it still felt awfully intense for me.
Are you in that place today?
Do you need some good news?
Sometime after my potty training meltdown, my husband sprung me from littles duty for an evening out with my moms group.
At dinner, I sat next to a seasoned mom, about 10 years older than me. She listened intently with a deep sense of empathy as I shared (dumped) my mommy woes onto her. She had been there. She could’ve finished my sentences for me.
After nodding, listening, and smiling, she said three simple words.
“It gets easier.”
I chewed my salad and nodded my head thinking, “Yeah, yeah. I’ve heard that before.”
She must’ve read my mind because she reached out her hand and gently rested it on my shoulder as if to say, “I don’t think you really heard what I said.”
I picture this moment kind of like those times when Jesus reached out his hand to a disciple or seeker and looked directly into their eyes. He then spoke pay-attention words that underscored their need to listen carefully: “Verily, verily I say to you.”
This seasoned mom’s body language and eyes were telling me to heed the truth she had for me. I was all ears now.
“No, really,” she said. “It gets a lot easier.”
I will never forget her words. They were true then and time proved that it did get way easier. But when you’re about to lose it because of the weighty demands of mothering littles, you’re vulnerable to a very specific pack of lies that satan loves to spew:
“No one sees what you’re doing and all this is insignificant.”
“Changing diapers, making baby food, building blocks, playing dress up. It’s mindless, meaningless work. It’s the same thing every day. Don’t you want more ? You deserve more than this.”
“You used to be attractive and sexy. Look at you now. Does your husband even want to take you on a date?”
“You’re just not keeping up. You need to do more. You’re responsible for getting it all right. If you mess this up, you’re messing up their entire lives. You better work harder, read more books. Do more, so your kids will be more.”
“You’re doing ok, but they’re probably missing out because you’re not doing enough. You better keep up with the other moms so your children don’t fall behind.”
“You’re smart. You have a four year degree! You’re throwing away your skills and value to the world.”
“You’re their only mom and no one loves them like you. If you’re not discipling them correctly toward God, who will? If you fail them, there will be eternal consequences.” (Even though there’s some truth to this, it’s still a half truth. Satan loves to zing us with half truths.)
I think you get the idea. Let’s cut to some truth.
Verily, verily, I say to you moms of littles:
- Your role as a mother is likely one of the most significant roles you’ll ever fill on earth. Motherhood matters tremendously to God.
- God handpicked you to parent the specific children you have. He didn’t choose someone else. He chose you. You have something unique to give these kids that none other can offer them and they have qualities none can offer you.
- God is refining and shaping you through motherhood. He is teaching you how to serve well. Servanthood is absolutely critical to being a disciple of Christ—Jesus came to serve. David Foster defines servanthood as “radical self-denial in favor of meeting another’s need.” Your children, needy as they are, teach you the daily discipline of radical self-denial. Learning to serve this way is a gift (even when it doesn’t feel like a gift 🙂 )
- You can’t do it all. Jesus doesn’t want you to because your kids need to see your need for Him. They need to see you fail and reach out to lean on His strength so they learn to do the same. They don’t need a perfect mom. They need a perfect Savior and mom who shows them their need for Him.
- By abiding in Christ’s strength and pointing your children to Him, you are raising kingdom changers. You may be raising a missionary, a pastor, a teacher, a pilot, a CEO, or even more a servant-hearted, Jesus-loving mom or dad. The generational ripple effects of your mommy work would likely blow you away if God gave you just one glimpse.
So hang in here and hang onto Jesus. And remember. . .
It gets a lot easier.
Seasoned moms, please throw a pebble of wisdom to moms of littles by posting a comment that might ease their burden today.