I think many mothers can relate when I say motherhood is hard. It is harder than I could have ever imagined.
Before becoming a mother, I was a teacher. I excelled at my job– I had excellent classroom management, I had a good rapport with students, parents and staff and I was passionate about what I was doing. All in all, I felt extremely successful in this role. I just assumed that these feelings would transfer over to motherhood.
There are many times that I look back over a day and think, “Man, this day was a total failure on my part.”
It’s those days when 9am rolls around and already one child is having a meltdown in their room, the other child is standing in the corner for timeout, and the third child is going around getting into everything they know they shouldn’t. I am a firm believer in discipline and I have a system in place, but some days everything just hits the fan before you can finish your first cup of tea. You’re already exhausted and pray that the rest of the day will go up from here, but you’re just not sure how that’s going to happen.
It’s each one of those challenging moments that tests my patience. It’s those moments that bring out the worst parts of me. It’s my temper, my belittling words and uncompassionate response that rear their ugly heads.
Before becoming a mother, I would have said I was a person that people would enjoy being around. I am not one to yell or scream if I am angry with someone. I am able to hold my tongue in an argument. I extend compassion to someone who’s having a rough day and give them the benefit of the doubt. So why is it, when it comes to my children, this darkness comes out of me?
As I reflect on this journey of motherhood, I’ve come to understand a couple key points.
- Our children are a blessing from the Lord. He has given them to us to train in His ways to fulfill His good purposes.
- He has given them to us to aid in our own sanctification to fulfill His good purposes. As much as, we are here to help our children grow and mature in Christ, our children play an equally important role in helping us grow and mature in Christ.
The Lord uses my children to expose my inner sin. It is sin that I would have otherwise not have known existed in my heart. I would never have addressed it or brought it before God, yet, He knew it was there and needed to be exposed. The Lord knows all of me and He knows the deepest, darkest parts of my heart. I know that Jesus’s blood has washed me clean before the Lord, yet this does not excuse me from repenting from all of my sin. As much as I feel like a failure some days, I sit here thinking to myself how thankful I am for these moments, because it is in these moments that I have the opportunity to become more Christ-like. These moments are so incredibly humbling because He shows me such incredible grace time and time again for my failures, which I desire to extend toward my children. These moments lead me to seek His Word, delve into prayer and lean into Him as my source of strength. I pray that each day I will be a better mom than the day prior.
I encourage you to bask in this passage of Scripture and repeat it to yourself daily as a reminder of His sufficient grace.
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
So, the next time you’re having one of those days, I hope you will see the blessing in each one of these moments. What defines these moments is what you do with them- do you dwell in your failure or do you rival in what the Lord can do through you if you lay it all at His feet.
READ: The next time you feel like you’re failing as a mom, read Psalm 139 as a source of encouragement and a reminder that He knows all of you, loves you and has great plans for you.
Lord, you have examined me
and know all about me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I get up.
You know my thoughts before I think them.
3 You know where I go and where I lie down.
You know everything I do.
4 Lord, even before I say a word,
you already know it.
5 You are all around me—in front and in back—
and have put your hand on me.
6 Your knowledge is amazing to me;
it is more than I can understand.
7 Where can I go to get away from your Spirit?
Where can I run from you?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there.
If I lie down in the grave, you are there.
9 If I rise with the sun in the east
and settle in the west beyond the sea,
10 even there you would guide me.
With your right hand you would hold me.
11 I could say, “The darkness will hide me.
Let the light around me turn into night.”
12 But even the darkness is not dark to you.
The night is as light as the day;
darkness and light are the same to you.
13 You made my whole being;
you formed me in my mother’s body.
14 I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way.
What you have done is wonderful.
I know this very well.
15 You saw my bones being formed
as I took shape in my mother’s body.
When I was put together there,
16 you saw my body as it was formed.
All the days planned for me
were written in your book
before I was one day old.
17 God, your thoughts are precious to me.
They are so many!
18 If I could count them,
they would be more than all the grains of sand.
When I wake up,
I am still with you.
19 God, I wish you would kill the wicked!
Get away from me, you murderers!
20 They say evil things about you.
Your enemies use your name thoughtlessly.
21 Lord, I hate those who hate you;
I hate those who rise up against you.
22 I feel only hate for them;
they are my enemies.
23 God, examine me and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any bad thing in me.
Lead me on the road to everlasting life.