There are moments when I feel more like a mom than others….like when I desperately want to end the day and go to sleep but can’t. Why? Because I am a mom.
Tomorrow is my daughter’s birthday and I am baking brownies for her to bring into school. Unfortunately, the mix I chose serves only 16 brownies, so I had to go back to the store to buy a second box. I realized this, of course, at 9:00 p.m., just after I had put the kids to bed, finished washing dishes, preparing next day’s lunches and launching one batch into the oven. Have you ever had to gear up to do something when all you wanted to do was collapse into a horizontal position?
When I am tired and longing to end the day by dropping my head onto the nearest pillow, I have to remember to thank God for the gift of motherhood He has bestowed onto me…it’s now an integral part of who I am. Motherhood doesn’t completely define my identity but brings definition to how I spend my time and prioritize responsibilities. And I have responsibilities that I didn’t have before…because I am a mom.
There are moments when it’s natural to feel tired…tired of having one more thing to do and feeling as if you can’t possibly add one more task to the nearly-toppling-over pile on your plate. We add and add and by God’s grace, we are able to take away from the pile and reduce its size. But in that adding and removing, we must pray for wisdom and discernment and ask, “Do I really need to get this particular job done or can it wait? Does doing that task mean that I won’t be able to spend time with my child in a meaningful way or perhaps nurture my soul in a meaningful way?” Maybe the task at hand is truly time-sensitive, in which case, something else has to wait in an effort to prevent your day from becoming a jog-a-thon through the to-do list. God knows our abilities, what we can handle, what we can accomplish and gives us His strength to draw on in that process. We have endless responsibilities because we are moms, and we are moms because we have children.
The next time I am longing to put my head down when I am trapped in a kid-related task, I need to remember that the task is at hand because I am a mom. Then, like in the case of waiting for a dozen brownies to finish baking at 11:15 p.m., wait for the oven timer to go off with a yawn and a smile.
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:29)
Brenda Quinn says
I think TIRED is one of the main words of motherhood, for me at least. 🙂 But, God always does renew me. He is faithful. I have also learned that I can do more than I thought I could. Sometimes we surprise ourselves, and then we also realize that God has been supplying what we need.
So true, Brend, and yes, tired is the perfect word. He can often stretch our time and stretch our energy when we feel our tank is on empty. He truly does come through for us when we depend on Him. 🙂
Linda, I sure needed this post today and that quote from Isaiah, which I have copied down to walk around with. I only have one child, but he has high functioning autism, he used to be much lower functioning but with the right services and tons of my time, he has become almost imperceptible as having needs to most people. He turns 10 this coming month, and this past weekend we told him for the first time that he has autism, which was very difficult for us to do, but we didn’t want him hearing it from someone else at school. Even tho we emphasized the positive attributes (he is very focused, bright, able to “see” things, details, that no one else can and has a dynamite memory, besides being a kind and caring kid), he still knows he is different and it’s at times like these that you realize, as a mother, you ARE THE ROCK PROVIDED BY GOD FOR YOUR CHILD. As in, I have to be positive and upbeat and encouraging, even when I feel like crying inside myself. When God gives you a child, you are asked to become greater than you ever imagined you could be—entrusted with the responsibility of bringing up this little person to be a big someone in the world someday. It is daunting….until you realize, you do not do it alone. God is ALWAYS there, guiding, helping, supporting and being a shoulder to cry on so you can get back up and keep going. I see this in every single mom in my parent support group, and also in all the moms of typical kids at my school. Everyone goes through challenges that make us want to stay in bed under the covers!! And sometimes we need a break. Sometimes we want to say, as David does,”I am sad and tired. Make me strong again as you have promised” Psalm 119:28. It’s at these moments we can learn, “when I am weak, then I am strong” 2Cor. 12:10, when we turn and give it all to God. For me, this other quote from Isaiah also builds strength so I can keep going and doing the “Mom Job”:
“You Lord, give true peace to those who depend on you, because they trust you. So, trust the Lord always, because He is our Rock forever.” Isaiah 26:3-4
Thanks Linda, for your wonderful, insightful blog.
I can remember a Kindergarten classmate named Forrest, and his Mother crafted the most amazing birthday cake my five-year-old eyes had ever seen. It was in the shape of a train with a series of different cars, colored frosting, and candies for the wheels and parts. Something about that experience helped to shape the vision of the Mom I wanted to be.
My own Mother, a widow with a young child, had to work. A birthday or holiday never when by where she didn’t do something special, although it was limited by funds and what could be done in the few precious hours between work and school-night bedtime. Boxed cakes and the occasional splurge at a fast-food restaurant marked our special occasions, but the love, effort and time spent showed her love just the same.
When I’m making Halloween monster eyeball truffles or birdseed covered bagels for tree ornaments in the wee hours of the morning for my son’s classmates, I am reminded that God bestows different talents and circumstances upon each of us and that we gain pleasure and satisfaction from using those talents and experiences for the benefit of our friends and loved ones. When I’m tempted to curse myself for taking on yet another “creative” project, I stop to remember that I am blessed to have been given the opportunity to be home with my child, to volunteer in his classroom, to know his friends and their parents. I choose to spend my time showing my love in that way and I am grateful.