With my sweet babies. Caroline was still in the mind of God.
Anxiety struck me immediately.
It was too early to be up, but “too early” didn’t matter to my sweet little boy who was ready for the day the minute the sun shone through his bedroom window. My daughter Caroline needed milk and a new diaper, and all three of my little ones were, of course, hungry.
After forcing myself to sit up, I stared at the wall, then fell back down into my bed. I pulled my knees to my chest and the blanket over my head as tears came down and these words tumbled out to my God: “I can’t be a mother today, Lord, I’m just too tired.”
Getting awakened multiple times a night, every night, is enough to make anyone crash, but add the weight of having to function throughout the day in order to take care of a one, two, and four-year-old, and this mama was spent before the day began. Just knowing the strength and energy that would be required to make it through the day was enough to sway me to stay balled up under warm covers. Serious sleep deprivation combined with the constant giving of myself, soothing cries, breaking up fights, training, disciplining, and trying to stay calm and gentle in the middle of it all was breaking me. I needed help. I so badly needed someone to call who could come and rescue me, just for one day. But that wasn’t my reality.
My mom was ill and living in Florida, my mother-in-law had a full-time job, and there was no money to hire someone to help me out for a couple hours a month, so I could get a break. My husband took over sometimes, but he was tired too, and we wanted weekends to be with each other. Plus, there was nowhere to go even if I could get out because money was tight; coffee at a coffee shop was a luxury out of my reach. It sounds like a lot of excuses, but the point is that I felt very alone, and very, very tired. Depression snuck up on me; there was a shell of a woman where I once was. My ideals, my hopes, my joy were snatched away before I had a chance to notice. Pleas for help aimed at heaven seemed to be met with silence. The message was clear: this was my life, and I needed to just deal with it.
Adjusting didn’t go well. Anger and resentment were living just under my skin. Exhausted, out of my mind, and still hormonal, every day felt like a fight. Feelings of desperation were like an everpresent shadow over the good in my life. Experiencing hope in Jesus felt like chasing gold at the end of a rainbow . . . getting to it was always out of reach. Motherhood was something I planned for, something I wanted, so why was living it out so drastically different from my expectations?
Down to the bone, to the deepest part of my soul, is the love I have for my children. Every day of my life is imperfectly offered to them. But the little years, they’re hard and oftentimes lonely. It’s like a secret we fear sharing, just how life-altering motherhood is, especially when you don’t have training or support. Let me pull back the curtain on the idea that just because you love and are thankful to be a mother, parenting will come easily or naturally. The lifetime commitment that is motherhood will, many days, stretch you beyond what you think you can handle.
We moms don’t need an instruction manual. We need physical help.
If you’re a mom of little ones and you don’t have very much help, I know you’re struggling to breathe. Your days morph into your nights and mornings come too quickly. You’re bone-tired and would give just about anything for a break, a soul-filling, relaxing, quiet break. You need to be pampered. I’ve been there. I get it.
My children are older now. They not only sleep through the night, they sleep in! They can can fix themselves snacks and play independently. It’s good. I’m grateful for the reprieve.
Looking back on those desperate days and looking at where I am now, I can confidently say, “It gets better!” If only I could have seen that during the hardest times, hope would have been so much easier to grasp.
I just wanted you to know that you’re not crazy. Motherhood is so very hard. Yes, beautiful and such a gift, but exhausting. Hang in there. They grow up so fast.
You just read an excerpt from Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe.
Now I know I can’t pamper you like I’d like to, or clean your house or bring you a meal (unless you’re local – hit me up!), but I can offer a little something. Keep reading…
Giveaway For You Tired Mamas Out There
Today I’m giving away my book (co-authored with Sally Clarkson), Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe to three winners. One of you will also win The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, a bundle filled with encouraging, practical resources, to help you keep on in your mothering (Read more about the bundle HERE). And a copy of our eCourse, Discipleship & Discipline, a four-part video teaching series that offers practical help and encouragement for mothering. Read all about it HERE.
To enter the giveaway, just fill out the form at the bottom of this post.
This giveaway has ended and the winners have been picked and emailed!
Keep on mamas! You’re not alone.
Love, Sarah Mae
There are affiliate links in this post. Read my disclosure policy here.