Summer has come to an end and fall is well on its way. For those of us with children, that means that 2017-18 school year has begun. If your family is anything like mine, that means structure and order has, once again, returned to your home.
Summer, for many families is, more or less, a free-for-all. We do away with the schedules, the bedtimes, the homework charts, the PTA meetings, and the soccer practices. We stay up later, sleep-in more, and have more time for family fun. Perhaps you go camping, visit out-of-state relatives, or take a family vacation.
Summer, for many moms, can also be a nerve-racking time. Your days may be filled with groans of, Mommmmmmm-ma, we’re borrrrrreeeedddddd-da.” Or, perhaps you’re awoken to a demanding inquiry of, “Are we doing anything fun today or are we just gonna sit in the house?” At some point, perhaps, you’re beyond ready for your children to return to school.
I can feel that way during the summer. My oldest daughter gets it in her head that every moment of every day of her summer should be a trip to Disney World or a day at the beach. She doesn’t seem to realize that I still have to work and tend to domestic duties. She also doesn’t seem to understanding that much of what she wants to do costs money. The idea of her just spending a day at home is like cruel and usual punishment, in her mind.
But, the school year begins as do the fall activities. We go from a free-for-all to organization. This is exactly what I was praying for, right? Then, it doesn’t take long before moms get pulled into the wave of monotony and they feel the boredom set in. Between packing the lunches, signing the forms, driving the kids to practice, and folding the laundry; your weeks can start to blur together.
We’re not happy in the chaos; we’re not happy in the order. Are we ever actually content as mothers? Or do we grind through each day?
This was a question I had to seriously ask myself. Am I enjoying motherhood? My children? Or am I merely surviving? Am I trudging through each moment praying for bedtime?
Now, let me just clarify something. There are moments of motherhood where you have full right to be annoyed, overwhelmed, and aggravated. My youngest daughter, Quinn, loves do dump things on the floor. Whatever she can get her hands on: coffee, dish soap, her lunch, whatever; it’ll go on the floor. I get the lovely task of cleaning it up. It’s not fun. It’s not a moment I cherish. However, I’m talking about the big picture. Do we, overall, enjoy our roles as mothers?
I see so many women who seem so overwhelmed, stressed, frustrated, and bogged down by motherhood. They aren’t enjoying it. They aren’t enjoying their kids. They’re grinding through it all. If children truly are a blessing from God, as Scripture says, why would moms constantly feel this way?
Partially, I believe part of the problem is our culture’s obsession with romance. We’ve over-romanticized marriage and children and have stripped it of all reality. Life is nothing like a romantic comedy. When our lives cannot live up the the standard Hollywood has created, perhaps, we’re left feeling disappointed.
I also ask you, and I say this with grace and love, is God still first in your life? Of course, a mother’s children will always be a priority in her life, as they should be. That being said, it’s very easy to become completely encapsulated by motherhood, to a point where you’re nothing else. Before you are a wife, before you are a mother, you are a daughter of the living God.
God comes first, always. We are to love God with all of our heart, all of soul and all of our mind. He demands all us, not part us. But, when we love God first and we love God most, we love those around us better. We become better wives, better mothers, and better Christians.
If our aim is to love God, keep His commands, and grow as Christians, we will be producing good fruit, right? As mothers, we will be patience, kind, loving and gentle with our children. As we abide in God, and begin to produce good fruit, the bad fruit will wither away. Impatience, anger, and discontentment are bad fruits. As is the case with most things, experiencing these things, as mothers, is a heart issue which we should take to God.
If you’re facing struggles as a mother, I ask you to examine your walk with God first. It’s pretty incredible how having a Godward focus can effect every aspect of our lives. Before you turn to mommy bloggers, who probably just tell you to have a glass of wine while you take a bubble bath, go to the One who created you. Go to the One who designed family. Go to the One who is brilliant and whose plans are perfect. Examine your heart.
Lastly, even the most God-fearing moms are going to face challenging moments. To quote Timothy Keller, “Every single emotion you have should be processed in prayer.” Again, this goes back to having a Godward focus. Every moment, every emotion you experience can be taken to God.
Take care and God bless!