Let’s be honest for a minute, shall we?
Sometimes motherhood is anything but joyful.
It’s exhausting work, it’s a dirty job and the weight of it’s responsibility oftentimes seems so overwhelming.
I remember the feeling of panic when the nurse was going over our discharge papers to be released from the hospital after my first son was born. And by papers I mean two measly little forms that supposedly covered all areas of how to care for and keep him alive, as well as how to care for myself postpartum.
That was it! The owner’s manual for our TV was much thicker than that yet somehow we were responsible for keeping this little guy alive through the instructions of two little pieces of paper!
Fast forward 4 years later and I was ready to say adios to the nursing staff only a few hours after my third was born but we ended up having to stay in the NICU for seven long days, thankfully he is perfectly happy and healthy now.
I had gained confidence in my parenting capabilities over the previous years, so I wasn’t so nervous to bring the third one home. After all I had two healthy and happy children at home, surely adding the third to the mix wouldn’t shake things up too much?
In some ways it hasn’t but in other ways… oh, my!
Raising three little ones all under the age of 4 has seriously rocked my world. Don’t get me wrong I love my kids with a fierce kind of love that I didn’t even know existed, but even among that fierce love I was completely overwhelmed and was going through each of my days with a lacking presence of joy.
I know I’m not the only one who has lost the joy of motherhood along the way. It happens to all of us, especially in the day-to-day duties and responsibilities, and through surveying a group of women, it’s a very common thing.
It’s easy to get caught up in all that has to be done, all that needs to be done and all that we want to get done but realistically won’t be happening anytime soon.
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by exhaustion and wonder if our children will ever sleep again.
It’s easy to loose our ever loving mind when our kids throw temper-tantrums, whine or complain about things. We are, after all human.
It’s easy to get frustrated with all the messes and the never ending cleaning.
Isn’t it ironic that in the midst of our most important responsibility it’s so easy to fall into these negative, and sinful, emotions? I’m the first one to admit that I am very emotionally driven. Sometimes I don’t even know how to process the feelings that I’m experiencing. The people who I love more than anything are the ones who I am prone to lash out at.
The truth is all the different emotions and lack of joy I have been experiencing can be identified through one absent discipline in my life… time with Jesus.
I know, I know – sounds so cliche`, but it’s the truth. When we are actively cultivating our relationship with Jesus, through prayer, Scripture, praise and worship, our hearts are transformed.
We are able to love out of our exhaustion.
We are able to serve without the feelings that we should be getting something in return, because we already have. We have been given grace upon grace.
From His fullness we have received grace upon grace. ~ John 1:16
Reclaiming the joy in motherhood only comes from one place, Jesus. He has to fill us up so we can pour out and love our kids the way He calls us too.
Yes, there will still be temper tantrums.
Yes, there will still be dirty, sticky floors and messes that are never ending.
Yes, there will many more sleepless nights, and
Yes, there will be days when we just don’t want to show up but as Paul gently firmly reminds us…
I can do all things through Him that give me strength. ~ Philippians 4:16
So weary Mamas, today let’s sit before our King, who has not abandoned us. Let’s ask Him to fill our cup (once he has done that THEN we can grab the coffee!) and let’s let Him transform our hearts to be filled with love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Let’s reclaim the joy in motherhood that can only be found in Him.