Occasionally, I stumble upon a message that really hits home. I may read it in the newspaper, on another blog, in a passed-along book. The wisdom seems to be just what I need to hear, or read, just at the right time. More often than not, the comfort comes from knowing that there are other people in the world who feel or think or worry about the same things that I do.
When the subject matter has to do with being a Mom, there is an additional emotional impact that serves to strengthen the message and my own reaction.
I am blessed with happy, healthy kids. These kids are five and eight and aren't babies anymore. I have a great husband, a job that I love and terrific friends. So why is it, I wonder, that some days are so difficult? Why am I angry with my kids? Why am I frustrated by the amount of work I get done? Why can I see only the stresses and not the joys? Why is the hour between dinnertime and bedtime so hard?
For these reasons, I'm sharing an exerpt from a message entitled "Six Reasons to Never Give Up." It's written by April Perry, and taken from the Power of Moms site.
I’m not sure who is going to read this post, but if you have ever felt like giving up on motherhood, here are six reasons to stay strong:
#1: We are not alone.
Every mother (even if she looks totally put together) has discouraging times.
We might need to look deeper . . . and get past all the talk about room remodels, vacations, and parties, but if we look carefully (and encourage honesty), we’ll see that everyone else is just as human as we are.
Finding a trusted group of friends and reaching out to other moms has literally been a lifesaver for many, many women. (Have you heard of Learning Circles?) When we know that others are going through similar circumstances, it just makes life easier.
#2: Children would rather have an imperfect mom who is struggling to be better than no mom at all.
Deep down we all know this, but we need to remember it . . . and really believe it.
I heard a story about a young man who went to live with his extended family after his mother took her own life. At his first back-to-school night, hundreds of miles away from his former life, he paused outside the doorway of his classroom and quietly said to his aunt, “Can you please just tell my teacher that you’re my mom?”
This story touches my heart every time I think about it. I ache for each mother who will never get the chance to straighten her son’s tie before the prom or see how handsome he looks with his new haircut.
And I think about my children, who see me at my very worst, but love me anyway. They are so quick to forgive.
I never want my little ones to have to explain to anyone why I gave up. So I won’t. I just won’t give up.
#3: There is beauty all around us. We just need to train ourselves to see it.
I have the opportunity to speak with mothers all around the world, and I know this life doesn’t always feel beautiful.
What’s beautiful about being so exhausted that you can’t even get everyone out of the house? How is it beautiful when your bank account has $3.23, and it’s three days until the next paycheck? Where is the beauty in children arguing over who left the milk on the counter?
It’s beautiful because it’s yours. Because it’s real. And because it’s full of potential.
#4: We have a purpose that’s uniquely ours.
But here’s the thing, it is so easy to get confused about our purposes. We start thinking we have to look a certain way, dress a certain way, and have what everyone else has. We read an amazing blog and yearn to replicate what we see. We get frustrated with our children for “getting in our way.” I have to remind myself daily to cling to my purpose–not to get distracted by the siren call of all those “extras” that look so appealing.
#5: This life isn’t just about us.
... the second I choose to get outside myself–even if it means just talking with a neighbor who is struggling, calling to check on my mom, or considering the needs of my spouse and children–I immediately feel stronger.
Some days are long and stressful, and we have to work frantically just to keep up, but during those times,we can remember that our work, whether appreciated or not, is sustaining the lives of our children. That is noble. That is beautiful.
#6: Today is not forever.
My friend told me the story of a mother who took a bath with her newborn baby one morning. I won’t elaborate on the details, but the baby made an explosive mess, and the mother had to yell for her husband to bring a towel and help her get cleaned up. We’ve all had those really gross moments.
But in the midst of the “yuck,” she heard a little voice in her head say, ‘Today is not forever.’
Fast-forward a couple of hours, and that same mom was sitting on the couch with her preschool son, who was climbing on her back and laughing while she tickled his legs. His arms wrapped tight around her neck, and smiles covered their faces as they enjoyed the moment.
Then she heard that same voice, reminding her of the same truth, ‘Today is not forever.’
Whatever it is that we’re cherishing at the moment–or praying we can simply overcome–our lives won’t always be the way they are now.
We have choices and power to change in areas where we are weak. And we have the fortitude to get through those days that feel impossible.
CHALLENGE: Somewhere in your sphere is most likely a mother who is wondering if she can go on for even another day. Perhaps you could give her a call, text her some words of encouragement, or share this post.
It’s my hope that each of us can accept the simple challenge to never give up on this beautiful life.
Today, I loved reading this message. I will never give up.