When Motherhood is Challenging

SAHM

Before we said, “I do,” my husband and I made a decision to wait five years before we started adding a lad or two to our family. We joked and called it our “Five Year Plan,” but when five years had passed, we still weren’t ready, and so five years became ten.

During those ten years we came and went as we wanted, established routines and slept! I laugh and say slept, because it was nothing for me to come home from a day of teaching, sleep three hours, wake up, eat and go back to sleep.

Then we had our first child and life changed. The changes weren’t negative; they just weren’t anything we were anticipating. No longer could we jump in the car and run down the road or kick up in the evening with a cup of coffee and a book. And sleep? What was that? I’m still trying to figure out if we slept the first year of our sweet boy’s life. Through every change though, we fell in love with our little boy, established new routines and laughed at our parenting mishaps along the way.

Then our son turned three and life changed again. I left teaching and became a stay-at-home mom. I expected to transition into my new “job” with ease and elation, but I didn’t. Quickly, I began longing for connection with others. When I taught I would crave a day at home, now I was rarely leaving home. As a teacher I was used to seeing achievement of the goals I had set, now the only thing I seemed to be achieving was changing from pajamas to clothes by day’s end. While I knew choosing to stay home was an investment in my son’s life, an overwhelming sense of purposeless consumed me.

In a world where we are called to make a difference, being a stay-at-home-mom doesn’t always feel world-changing; in fact, it can feel confining.

My new role as a stay-at-home mom allowed me to be more involved in our son’s teaching, disciplining and training, but it also made me wonder if I was doing enough for him. I began placing unreasonable expectations on myself and questioned every decision I made. Should I have set him in timeout? Did I raise my voice too much? Am I doing enough craft projects? Am I taking away his independence? Endless self-questioning began zapping the joy out of being a mom. Nightly, I would fall into bed feeling like a failure.

Days of questioning led me to a place of pouring my heart out before God. I reassured Him I wanted to be home with my baby, but I also told Him how I felt like my purpose had been lost. I told him I felt inadequate at being a stay-at-home mom. Shortly, after our conversation He placed this Scripture in front of me and my heart rejoiced.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 NIV

The words, “Let us not become weary” fell like fresh oil on my soul. God knew what I had yet to discover. He had called me to stay at home, but I was making myself weary with questions and self-induced pressure. His Word was the agent that transformed my thoughts. Before I knew it, the pressure lifted and staying at home became a part of my purpose and joy. My son and I began attending play dates with friends and story time at our local library. Together we pressed through the hard times and discovered joy in the midst of our daily routine.

If an area of parenting has you discouraged, may I encourage you to join me in remembering Galatians 6:9? Let’s choose joy over weariness and trust God to take our efforts and use them to develop our children and impact the world. We may not see it today, but through our love and discipline our children are becoming world-changers one day at a time.

Mommas, let’s not give up! Together we are making a difference!

 

37 thoughts on “When Motherhood is Challenging

  1. mamaw crow says:

    All I can say is AMEN! we are all called for a season. Your children will “rise up and called you blessed” when they look back on these sweet days of childhood. you will always be a mother but the stages are so different. Leigh Ellen you are truly a proverbs 31 Lady! thanx for being a great mother to my grandson! Mamaw Crow

  2. I admire your honesty here. I also appreciate the invitation to not give up. I am pregnant and I have not done this in 11 years. Surely things will change. I’m elated at the prospect. God always renews us from the inside out with each miracle he brings our way. God bless you and your family this week and thank you for linking up to Ipen Mic Monday for the soul at Cisneros Cafe! Xoxo

  3. Oh, friend! I feel your pain on this one! I had a rough time staying home at first. I felt unproductive, a lack of purpose and like an utter failure as a homemaker! No one had prepared me for these feelings, so it took me a long time to admit them! I love that God gave you that verse. I am reaping what I have been sowing into my kids for 18 years. The fruit I am getting to enjoy in my older boys is the harvest I longed for! I look back now and say… It was definitely worth it. You are doing great Mama! God is looking down on you saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” 💗💗💗

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this with us stay-at-home mothers. I have been feeling the same. I used to be such an active, involved, creative entrepreneur and teacher, and then all of a sudden life turned a complete 180 when our baby arrived. I used to serve and influence so many, and now I feel like I am only making a difference with one life. I could barely even serve my husband when our baby first arrived, and I felt completely useless except for the task of feeding our baby and changing her diapers. This all is joy, however! I will keep that verse in mind when I start letting my emotions get the best of me. Our purpose is not defined by us. It is defined by God.

    • Rachel, thank you for stopping by today! Your visit is such a blessing to me. I enjoyed reading your story and can relate in so many ways. Thank you for the reminder that our purpose is defined by God, not us or anything we do. 💜

  5. Veronica says:

    I love your words! When I read what you write I hear you saying them and i see your mouth as you say every word. You are such an inspiration in everything you write. Thank you so much for writing these things and sharing them with me.

  6. Thanks for this encouraging message. Mothering can be so discouraging if you distance yourself from others. We all need that community to thrive! Blessings from your neighbor at the #RaRaLinkUp this morning!

  7. Thank you for your encouragement here. I recognize a lot of what you share here and am thankful for your reminder to not grow weary of doing good and seeking joy in motherhood. I stopped teaching at the end of 2014, when my girls were 1 and 4. So far, God has used this time powerfully: growing me through my kids and through other opportunities to serve He has put on my path. I have my bad days, but am always encouraged by God’s grace and wisdom.

    • Anna, isn’t it amazing how much we learn about God and ourselves through our children? God is gracious for sure! Thank you for stopping by! You made me smile! Blessings to you on this journey!

  8. Amen sista! Although I worked outside the home most of my kids growing up years, I did have a few years off for my youngest and I can totally relate. Thank you for the words of wisdom and encouragement!

    • Thank you for stopping by, Kelsey! It’s hard for sure, but I know it will be a million times worth it, and like I told my husband, I am certain I will never look back and say, “I regret staying home with our son.” He’ll be in college before I know it. 🙁 Big blessings to you, sista!!

  9. Leigh, you ripped this right out of my heart today! As I already am worrying about when I will have time to maintain my writing schedule when my kids are home for the summer …I have to constantly remind myself that I was called to be mom first. I was specifically called, very loudly, to stay home with my girls. I have to trust God’s plan and prioritize according to His agenda, not my paranoia in “lack of achievement.” I loved this post. It really encouraged my heart today.
    Happy Tuesday!!!!!
    Megs

    • Megs, I’m so glad you were encouraged! I will be the first to say writing with children at home is an incredible challenge, but somehow God makes it all workout – it might be at midnight, but He does! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by! Your visits and encouragement always makes me smile!

  10. An excellent verse! I remember how difficult it was to stay home with our kids for a year–mostly because I felt that my husband just didn’t ‘get it.’ After he stayed home with them for the next three years (whilst attending graduate school in the evenings), I would have gladly stayed home with them because I felt he understood what staying home with kids was like ;). Treasure the moments and don’t forget to take time for yourself. If it’s any consolation, my kids are 22 and 23 and when they come to visit they STILL only seem to need me when I’m in the bathroom…

  11. I remember when I quit my job to stay home with my first-born girl. Goodness, what a transition, but I’m so grateful God made a way for me to do that. Thanks for encouraging mommas well with this post and linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday.

  12. Your encouragement here does me good, Leigh Ann. I’m a few years down the road ahead of you with a soon-to-be 19 year old and a 16 year old, but tonight I’m feeling mighty weary! So that Galatians verse is good medicine!

    • Lifting you up in prayer, Betsy! May the Lord bring strength to your spirit and joy to your heart! Thank you for stopping by! Your visit and words made me smile!

  13. Oh how I love that verse! And never are the words “let us not grow weary” more applicable than when we have littles at home! Love your perspective and insight Leigh! (Your neighbor at #livefree!)

  14. Motherhood doesn’t stop , ever!!! My four 30,29,24,21 know they an call anytime. At age 19 the youngest was diagnosed with schizophrenia and so a new challenge has arisen but motherhood and the grace of the Lord keep us(all mothers and fathers) strengthened and rested when we trust in Him

  15. Love that verse! I stayed home with my girls until this year, with them in second and fourth grades. Being home was definitely not what I was ready for, but who can be ready for change?
    You are doing great, Mama!

  16. I remember asking God why He put me through university for my teaching degree only to have me be home with my kids…if only I undestood at that time how important my job of mom was. I wouldn’t have it any other way – I share my experience on my site with a post titled ‘How God Changed My Plans For My Life’. Thanks for linking up with Grace and Truth.

  17. Leigh Ellen,

    This was a lovely word of grace today. I remember those days of early momma-hood, where getting dressed felt like it may be a luxury or at least feeling like we made it to the end of the day alive and accomplished. I also remember the day that the very same verse you mentioned became an anthem for my heart.
    Though our journeys are different and I am on a different side of parenting, the momma heart still beats the same. I love that you shared the power of His Word being a change agent for us. It is without a doubt the single most important tool in our arsenal.

    Thank you for sharing this at the #GraceMoments Link up a few weeks ago. I am behind in my visiting but blessed to partake of your words.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

    • What a sweet note, Dawn! Thank you so very much! Your words certainly blessed me. Thank you for stopping by. It is a blessing to link up with you at #GraceMoments. May you have a beautiful week!

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