Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Hebrews 12:12–13
You know, the kind of mother who kept a perfectly clean house? She who served delicious and nutritious meals? She had fun with her kids and never raised her voice? I wanted to be this mom. I wanted to be the best mom that the world has ever seen. As this school year is drawing to a close, I am tired and I feel stretched. My duties haven’t changed, I have.
Today I forgot to make my child a lunch. Minutes before I walked out the door, I dropped several thoughtless items into a lunch box. Maybe it’s just that I want a pajama day as rest from appointments and obligations. Or maybe I feel the strain of my aging parents. My father is nearing the end of his life and my parents live in another state. I feel relief that I do not have to bear the majority of his care and guilt because I am not there. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and I love my role as mother. Yet sometimes I feel exhausted and stressed out and over tired.
Dear Moms, I am far from perfect but I have concocted a short list of things I will try to prioritize. So, if you feel like me, feel stretched and ready for a loose summer schedule, then look at your activity in the self care department.
Common sense and women’s magazines remind us to look at our sleep patterns. I KNOW! But hear me out. Sometimes we have to let a task be undone or ask for help and try to nap or get in bed earlier. And, we must not forget our food. We wait for hours without water or food and sip coffee and then I wonder why we feel agitated or stressed. You can’t be a good mom if you are depriving your body of the food it needs to function correctly. If you feel completely overwhelmed, consider if your diet may be partly to blame. Look for ways that you can take care of your body with healthy food and plenty of water. And, while you are at it, consider scheduling a physical with your doctor or a therapeutic massage if it has been a while.
Are you making time in your day to remember who God is? Seek God. Listen for His voice. Make study and worship songs a part of your daily routine. You can never be a perfect mom but you can serve an amazing God. He will make you all that you need to be for your family. He can lift your mood when you are ready to give up.
Are you surrounding yourself with Christian friends who can walk this parenting journey with you? You won’t survive on your own. Be humble enough to let your super-mom cape slip a bit and admit to close friends where you struggle. You just might discover that they are struggling, too. It’s a good thing to learn you are not alone.
And last, let some things go, but don’t be a flake. Limits highlight our priorities. One of the ways we learn to be wise rather than hasty in our commitments is by sticking to them. If we stay up late making those pies for a bake sale, we will think twice before we over-commit again. And we will find out that it is not a sin to say no. It’s not a sin to let someone else volunteer. Someone wisely said, “The need is not the call.”
So ride this part out. Finish your commitments by the grace of God. Do not lose heart. Ask God for strength. And then don’t put anything extra on your calendar for a while. Take a breather and pray for spiritual refreshment.
I come to you today, humble and exhausted, and ask that you carry my burdens. I pray that you lift my weary spirit and fill me with your love and peace so that I may be restored and renewed in body and mind. Lord, pour your heavenly nourishment into my soul and give me the energy to sustain me in my role as a mother.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 12:28
Roberta Smith, Faith and Family Coordinator