When Motherhood is Stressful

When Motherhood is Stressful...Being a wife and mother at home is HARD…can I get a witness?  I’ll never pretend it’s not.  Some days seem to flow rather seamlessly into the next, and other days are full of those “you’ve got to be kidding me” moments.

You know the days…

You’re changing the baby’s poopy diaper when you hear glass shatter on the floor.  You must run because you know the other children are barefooted.  “Get out of the kitchen everybody!” while you go get the broom.  The phone rings.  You let it ring this time, but make a mental note to check the number and call back.  Another child screams from downstairs–not a “help, I’m dying” scream, but a “he took my baby” scream, so you know it needs dealt with but has to wait in light of this glass emergency.  “Here, can you finish sweeping?”, you hand the broom to the oldest.

The scream downstairs was actually, “He threw my baby in the toilet” scream, so you begin to fish.  “Where’s the baby?”  You ask.  Not THE baby, but the next baby up ;-)

“Oh, she’s playing in her room“.  Oh good…you can relax a bit and take care of business.  Oh my word, the other baby’s on the bed without a diaper!  (You know what that means.)

You remember that the seven-year old needed help with her math problem, so you hurry to diaper the baby…the other baby, the one playing sweetly in her room?  Well she was, except she decided to dress her baby doll…with all the clothes out of her dresser.

Maybe it’s a bit of exaggeration, maybe not.  But I didn’t even mention the gourmet meal you must prepare, the shower and sprucing up you’ll do for your husband (c’mon ladies), the phone calls, the appointments, the music lessons….

Now that I think about it, it takes nerves of steel to do this job!  Last night, sitting in our living room, I heard the faint sound of the 2-year old dragging the kitchen chair up to the counter to retrieve a cookie.  My husband was completely unaware.  Now this is not an insult to men…but God gave them a special ability to tune things out, I think.  He asked her, “Where did you get that cookie?”  And I said, “You didn’t hear her dragging the chair?”  He grinned and shook his head.  I said, “That’s it…I have sensory overload.  I hear everything, I see everything, I smell everything…”

But I said all that to say this... yes, motherhood is stressful.  But in the midst of the chaos that can be LIFE, we simply MUST nurture the relationships in our home. How we relate to our children and our husbands is paramount!  It is so easy to let the frustrations, the “overload” squelch our daily joy, but with a little concerted effort, we can demonstrate to our families the peace of God that transcends understanding.

Do what you have to do…deep breath, a walk outside, whatever you need to keep the right perspective, do it.  Relationships are not built in the scheduled “family time” you lay aside; they’re made in the small moments all throughout the day.  How you answer each other, whether you stop to listen and look each other in the eyes, a tender touch on the back or face or arm, all those reassurances that tell them, “I’m on your side, and I love being with you”.

Satan is roaming the earth, seeking whom he may devour.  He would like nothing else than to destroy our families through the little subtle ways we can neglect our relationships.  Remember the song?  “It’s a slow fade.”  Families don’t crumble in a day.  But “greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world“.

A few of my simple stress busters…what are yours?

  • Smile. Whether you feel like it or not.  Force yourself to wear a big smile for a few minutes and it will change your countenance.
  • Sing. A silly song if you have to ;-)
  • Tickle. This works well especially if the children are grumpy too.
  • A funny video. I have been known to look up our favorite comedians on youtube for a quick stress relief–we all gather around and laugh.
  • A walk.
  • Prayer. Pray specifically for those around you who are suffering.  That will bring things back to perspective in a hurry.

Jesus had to get away and rest every now and then, from all the people pulling on him.  But he returned quickly, with a renewed vigor to serve.

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23 Responses to “When Motherhood is Stressful”

  1. VBACwarrior says:

    I really needed to read this today. Thank you!

  2. Wendi says:

    Thank you for posting this, it was wonderful and I really needed to hear that.

  3. Chelsey says:

    Awesome! Actually, while not exact, this describes a few of my days recently!!! Whew. Motherhood – not easy but so worth every moment! Thanks for the reminder that it’s ok to rest everyonce in a while. My favorite simple stress reliever – a hot drink and good spiritually uplifting or spiritually challenging book!

  4. Kelly L says:

    Thanks for the reminder. Piano almost did me in yesterday. OK, it really did do me in, I was not a good mom…His mercies are new each day!

  5. Jennifer says:

    Sounds strangely similar to my house : ) While I don’t wish stressful days on anyone, it IS nice to know that these things aren’t only occurring in my house! Sometimes when I’m caught up in the chaos that raising seven children can be, I find myself listening to Satan’s lies….that I’m the only one, that others are doing a much better job, that other homeschoolers days don’t look like this – theirs are perfect and orderly. I really, really, needed this post today. Thanks Kelly!

  6. This is EXACTLY what I posted about this morning! I had an urgent need to get to my computer last night to type mine up. God must be trying to tell us homeschooled mommies that He does care and He loves us and we are not alone!
    Thank you for helping me know I am NOT alone! And I really don’t think you were exagerating! I have had moments exactly like you wrote about! :)
    Congratulaions on your newest arrow!
    Heather

  7. You know, I’ve actually even been doing this in my life lately, but I STILL seriously needed that encouragement! Even when we’re doing things God’s way, we still get worn down sometimes. Thanks, Kelly!

  8. Kacie says:

    Great post!

    I only have one baby — an 8-month-old who recently figured out how to crawl. He is so GOOD at finding things he shouldn’t have! Hee!

    Yesterday while I was holding him, he barfed up paper. I had no idea when he even ate that.

    I’m learning to delegate when I can and let things go when they can wait.

  9. Word Warrior says:

    Kacie,

    You mentioned a very important word–DELEGATE. And the more you have, the more important, I think delegating becomes.

  10. Angie says:

    Wow, it looks like I’m not the only one who needed this encouragment today! Thank you, thank you!

  11. Tammi Trent says:

    Taking a super-hot bath renews my spirits; even in the middle of the day.

  12. Karen in GA says:

    Perfect timing! I just sat down to the computer teary-eyed and frustrated. I’ll now be getting up to smile, tickle, and sing my way through the last bit of my evening. Thanks, Kelly.

  13. Marie says:

    Can you pass on the name(s)of your family-friendly comedian? Thanks.

  14. Word Warrior says:

    Marie,

    Ha…here’s where it gets fun ;-) Brian Regan is our favorite…except for an occasional, under the breath, *hell*, he is otherwise squeaky clean. We’re hooked.

  15. jess in Peru says:

    Thanks for the reminder. I REALLY needed that. Your chaos example sounded pretty realistic to me. Today as we were eating breakfast, my son dumbed the milk jug ALL over me. Normally I wouldn’t care because I’m home, but it would be the day I was dressed, showered, looking descent for an OBGYN appt. UGH! And all my other maternity clothes either don’t fit or were in clean clothes basket needing a pressing. I was very irritated and let it show. Some days I respond so well and others…out the window. Good reminder! I feel like Paul when he says, “What I want to do I do not do, but what I don’t want to do, that is what I do.” I’m so sick and tired of battling this stinkin’ flesh.

    Jess in Peru

  16. Laura says:

    Boy, can I relate to that scene! That induced maniacal laughter from someone who needs to hear that it’s okay to take a break and REST every once in awhile. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Can you get a witness? Let me quote a church congregation we recently visited…

    PARK IT THERE, SISTER! TELL IT LIKE IT IS! BURN THAT BUSH!

    From the other comments, you hit the nail on the head for alot of moms. It is nice to know these days happen in other homes, too!

  18. Whitney says:

    I’ve been experiencing such grace and mercy from the Lord this week to meet me and lift me up right where I am. This post is one of those ways. I don’t want to hear that these days happen to everyone and that my bad reactions are “o.k.”. I want to be encouraged to rely on the Lord for help with godly and appropriate responses in spite of the circumstances… and boy, has it been near impossible lately. very fleshly. Posts like this and others have been exactly what I need! I also read a very helpful idea over at the Duggar family website where Michelle shared about struggling with anger and raising her voice… she said that she began to purpose to lower her voice whenever she felt anger or frustration rise and it helped her to respond godly to her children despite the circumstances. (paraphrasing)I’ve been trying this technique and it has been helpful this week. Thank you for this ministry! Its a DAILY blessing for this weary mama of 6!

  19. Amber says:

    Our favorite family comedian is Tim Hawkins. I have laughed so hard my belly hurts!

  20. Word Warrior says:

    Amber–we love Tim Hawkins too! Oh, and Chonda Pierce. Her “Honeymoon” skit is a riot.

  21. Kristen says:

    Motherhood is stressful, and what makes it worse is the pressure I put on myself to be perfect – perfect wife, mother, friend. Never yell at the kids, keep a clean house, have perfectly balanced meals 3 times a day, always have a listening ear to whoever calls with a problem. I read somewhere, some snipped of something that said we should concentrate less on perfection and more on godliness. So, that’s been my prayer the last several days – that my kids and husband wouldn’t have a perfect mother and wife, but a godly one.

  22. Lori Ann says:

    Thanks for this! I came to the comments to ask who your favorite comedians are, but I see you’ve answered already!

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