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On Those Days When It All Goes Wrong

On Those Days When It All Goes Wrong  

It’s the end of the day and I am beat. It’s been one of those textbook, almost farcical days as a mom where I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Since the moment my feet hit the floor, it has been one thing after another, and as I trudge down the stairs after bedtime Olympics, my shoulders feel heavy.

Was it waking up to two children fighting? Was it being greeted by a toddler in a messy diaper? Or was it when I went to sip a much-needed cup of coffee only to discover I was out of creamer? It could have been realizing at 11:00 that I had to schlep all six kids to the pediatrician’s office at 2:30—the pediatrician’s office that is an hour away-- and there I stood in my pajamas with a rat’s nest of hair on my head, surveying the breakfast dishes strewn around the kitchen, and the jelly faces on most of my pajama-clad kids.

Perhaps the weight of the world is from the seatbelt that I had to wrestle for 5 minutes, the soccer ball that escaped the van onto the driveway as we were leaving and that I had to race to the end of the road, jump out, grab, and throw in the back. It could even have been looking at the gas gauge 10 minutes into the drive and realizing I had left my wallet at home. It was just one of those days.

It could have been any one of those things, yes. Or, it could be that I failed so miserably to hold it together during those stressful moments. I snapped and ranted and watched my children’s faces fall as they reacted to my sharp tone. The silence I demanded while I struggled to maintain any kind of composure came, but at quite a cost. It came at the expense of my children’s feelings.

As I sit down and take a deep breath, now surrounded by the silence that I craved all day, my spirit is heavy. I do the only thing I can: I lay it all out before my Heavenly Father. I beg Him to forgive me and I thank Him for His grace. I recount for Him in vivid detail all the ways that I fell short that day and all the ways I failed. I can almost hear Him whispering to me, “Come to me when you’re weary, my yoke is easy and my burden is light. I will refresh your heart” (Matthew 11:28, 30; Philemon 1:20).

My heart is still as I take it all in. I screw up. We all do. God tells us that is when His power is made perfect—in our weakness. He gently reminds me of this as well as all the things I did right that day; holding my daughter so she wasn’t afraid at the doctor, affirming my son when he tried something new and sought my approval, and the stolen moments with my three-year-old as we snuggled on the couch that morning.

And He’s whispering the same to you, Mama. The hours that seem to last for years, yet once they’re past you wish you could re-do? He’s there for you. Bare your soul to Him. He yearns to comfort you. Then, once you’ve poured out your heart to the Lord,  lift up your head, wipe away your tears, and tip-toe back upstairs to kiss your babies one more time and tell them you love them.

Tomorrow is another day. His mercies are new and He is already there waiting for you.

Mandy Pagano


Mandy Head ShotMandy and her husband Joe live in Pittsburgh, PA with their six children. When Mandy isn’t homeschooling, changing diapers, and juggling soccer schedules, she blogs at Suburban Stereotype and also with four other ladies as the founder of Deliberate Women. She teaches Sunday school and also acts as the Coordinator for her local MOPS group. Mandy had dreams of being an elementary teacher when she found out baby number six was on the way, and struggled with putting that dream on hold. Since being convicted that staying home with her children was her first ministry, God has been faithful to lead her to amazing opportunities to minister right from her kitchen, sitting behind her laptop and surrounded by her family.

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