Motherhood is more than just mustering up strength…
I clinched my jaw and tried to fight the tears from flowing out of my eyes. I turned the radio up to help drown out the loud crying from my almost two-year old in the backseat.
We were both having somewhat of a meltdown together as I pulled out of my driveway to leave the house.
It was one of the most challenging mommy moments I had since Axle was a newborn. I felt weak, tired and like I wasn’t adding up as a mom. I was drained and felt tired from the previous night where he had woken me up throughout the night crying for no reason. That was unusual for him, so the lack of sleep added to how I was losing my cool at the moment.
My husband travels for his job from time to time, so I have learned to manage and handle the everyday tasks of caring for our toddler, our dogs and keeping the household running while he is away. I’ve learned how to juggle being a fitness instructor, running an online fitness and health coaching business, and studying for a holistic nutrition course all at the same time. I somehow have found a way to invest my time into all these areas without feeling overwhelmed with it all.
This particular day was different in the fact that I was going on my fourth day doing all of this solo. Our son was having tantrums a majority of the time, testing his boundaries with me, and wearing me down to be quite honest. I wasn’t getting the sleep I needed at night and I felt pulled in way too many directions. I was struggling this week finding balance being a patient mom, a house cleaner, a cook, a dog owner, a fitness instructor and staying focused in my coaching business. I remember my husband calling me late one of these nights and I barely had the energy to talk with him while I washed another round of dishes.
I hated that …. I was mad at myself for getting off the phone and not even putting forth the effort to have a good chat with my husband who I truly did miss.
I know for a fact there are moms and dads out there who can completely relate to this…. I mean, some of you have multiple children and are managing your days with far more than what I’m describing. So to you, I give credit where credit is due and you parents out there raising numerous children and making it all work , my hat is off to you. If you are a single parent, my hat is way off to you. Raising children comes with overwhelming reward, yet can also be a tough journey.
The greatest road to walk, but tough none the less.
On that fourth solo day as I struggled with my son to buckle him in his car seat, screaming , arching his back and pushing me to my limit. I reached that feeling of weakness. Not just physically , but emotionally. I finally caved and felt like a failure as a mom. I had no patience left and felt I had lost control of all my balls in the air.
As I pulled out of the driveway to leave the house, I felt those tears coming. My throat started to sting and I threw on my sunglasses to hide my eyes.
I was weak and I understood in the flesh what that meant. I myself, could not manage it all, be all and handle all. I needed strength in that moment. I immediately knew this was what God meant when He says in his word, ” my strength is made perfect in your weakness. ”
When I am weak, He is strong…. He will sustain me, He will provide when I have nothing to give.
There was no other source I could turn to for comfort, energy or reassurance …. I was experiencing first hand the quiet desperation of strength. There was nothing I could do to replenish this quickly outside of Him. He is the life-giver and way-maker.
I asked God for His strength while gripping the steering wheel and looking at my screaming toddler through the rear view mirror. I asked him to please give me the patience and strength I needed to be the mom I knew I could be when I run off of His power. He reminded me to breathe and he spoke words of confidence over me while reminding me that the very face that I watched cry and scream, was the very face that I had prayed over when asking for the blessing of a child.
He reminded me that no journey is easy, without struggle or hardship. No task, job or role is free of pain, frustration or hard work. He showed me that day that not every day is pretty, simple or even “fun ” every second of the day. No blessing comes without also experiencing the growing pains and trials from being awarded with it.
In that moment He took over, he showed me grace and that I was fully capable if I clung tight to Him. By myself in the flesh , I was failing…. but with Him breathing new strength in me, I was overcoming. I was Axle’s mommy and I was equipped in sweet amounts of patience that hadn’t been there all week.
The tears flowed out. I didn’t try to prevent them anymore , I released my clenched jaw and I let out a big deep breath and allowed my Heavenly Father to take over. He’s sweet like that when we open up and see our need in Him and allow him to bring forth the steadfast power and strength that only he can provide.
We as parents are weary, and we can get worn down quickly. We are weak in ourselves when we think we can do it all on our own. We cannot …. Our light will dim and our energy will eventually run out. When I count on him to be my provider of every little thing I need, He is there and he is faithful to restore what I need. It can be a hollow, tiring and exhausting way of life to try to live up to the mommy role when we are having tough days, weeks or even months. We are all on that road together in some form or another.
However, I found beauty in the feeling of weakness that day. The word weakness just sounds, well …. Weak. I don’t like the feeling or sound of it. It has a bad connotation to it and no one ever wants to fall victim to it. I fell victim to it that day…I slipped into it and it resonated with me in an uncomfortable and unfamiliar way.
I now see the beauty in weakness, a beauty that transforms ones pride into surrender. I felt the vulnerability of weakness in a way that slapped me in the face and humbled me. Weakness can be ugly , or it can be a beautiful opportunity to provide a desire to climb out of the hole it held you in.
I didn’t want to stay hunkered down in that crippling hole … I wanted to quickly climb out with confidence and with a good fight. He was my source that helped propel me out of the hole, out of weakness and gave me the ultimate source of strength to keep pressing on.
I wiped those tears after a few minutes and soaked his strength in as I slowly changed my mindset. I was reminded that I could and can get through even the most challenging of days. I’ve learned that parenting is not for the faint-hearted, it is a battle and it’s a battle won through the Lord giving you a sword and shield.
I’m a better mom for having gone through that day where I experienced the real and raw feeling of true weakness.
See… the thing about weakness is, sometimes it’s not. It’s growth, maturity and resilience. To all who have shared in these same feelings, allow yourself to realize that sometimes the meaning of weakness simply reveals that we were not made to muster up strength on our own.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the fiercely strong and beautifully weak mommies out there.