What to Do On the Hard Days of Mothering

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There are days we drag through this thing called motherhood. Our hearts are heavy, our bodies weak. Our heads hurt from juggling schedules, to do lists, and the shouting---oh, the exuberant sounds of childhood! There are days, if we’re honest with ourselves, we just don’t feel like mothering. We need a personal vacation. Or maybe just time to breathe without being a constant necessity.

There are days we look at the mom calmly pushing her grocery cart through the store with quiet, obedient children. They joke and laugh. The older children help with the shopping list, while the littlest giggles in the cart. And you look along in quiet disbelief and wonder, What possible secret does she carry? But you can't stay there too long, since your own little ones are dragging their feet and lamenting about how they just have to have the Fruit Loops.

There are days when we find ourselves in the midst of mothering and we think, I’m failing. Surely someone else could be a better mom.

No, friend, there’s not a better mom out there.

You’re it. You’re enough.

I know it’s hard to believe on the days you feel like you’re failing, you’ve lost your temper, still haven’t started the laundry, and have no idea what’s for dinner. But you are the mom God meant for your children, whether there’s one or eight. You’re it.

What do you do when you feel you just can’t make it through one more day?

Breathe. Literally stop what you’re doing and breathe. Close your eyes, count to 10, and take deep breaths in through your nose and out your mouth. If you need to step away from your children for a moment, then do so.

Pray. The best prayer for a mother to prayer is Jesus, help me. I can’t do this on my own. Short and to the point. It’s so easy to forget we’re dependent creatures. Just cry to Him. Lean into His strength and release your weakness.

Perspective. Think on what’s true. Are you really failing as a mom? No. Is today hard? Yes. Do you need a break? Probably. God has chosen you to raise these children. He thinks you’re enough and He will equip you.

Identify. In this crazy moment, what is your children’s most urgent need? Maybe it’s a hug, a diaper change, lunch, or for you to play with them. This is not the time to think about the dance recital in two weeks or how you’re not saving for their college education or whether you should be cooking their meals from scratch. Do what is necessary and needed, leave the rest for another time.

Change the scene. Sometimes you just need a change of scenery. Take the kids out to the park. Sometimes wide, open spaces gives us the room we need to breathe and feel refreshed. Meet up with a friend and let the kids play together. They’ll entertain each other and you’ll get some needed adult interaction.

Sometimes motherhood comes in broad, planning strokes and then there are days where mothering is the dot, dot, dot of a paintbrush. Small, deliberate strokes. On the hard days, take it moment by moment.

Breathe in grace and remember you’re enough.

This post was featured at: Modest Monday Link-Up, Welcome Home Link-Up, Soli Deo Gloria, Titus 2sdays, Domestically Divine, Gratituesdays, On Your Heart TuesdaysLiving Well Wednesdays, Welcome Wednesdays, Works for Me Wednesdays