Saturday, June 1, 2013

When You Want to Quit Motherhood

I am going to be brutally honest with you. Sometimes I want to quit motherhood.

Sometimes the dirty diapers, the midnight feedings, the endless laundry, the selfish toddler, the overtired baby - sometimes it gets to me. And I want to quit. Sometimes all I really want is a bubble bath. And polish on my toes. And quiet.

Ever felt like that?

When my sweet Selah was born, I brought her home with a gleam in my eye. I had a 22 month old son and, now, a precious little girl! Could life be any better? Nathan was a complete joy as a newborn; very easy and very mellow. Then came my feisty little girl whose name means "pause; rest; peace" and she shook things up! For the first two months, I experienced near-constant crying. We saw three doctors and got three different "reasons" for her crying. I was at my wits end. I thought I was going to go crazy. Literally. I put on a brave face, but deep down I didn't want to do it any more. Motherhood, that is. I wanted to quit.

I don't know if you have ever experienced anything like that. My heart goes out to those parents who endure 'round-the-clock screaming. I knew I did not have much left inside me. I also knew that I needed to run to Jesus. And I did. While pacing the floors, nursing around the clock, and trying to keep my eyes open, I prayed. I prayed for my baby. I prayed for my little boy who was a real trooper while mommy had to care for his new sister. I prayed for my husband who had to come home every day to dirty laundry, a dirty kitchen, and crying - from me and the baby! And I prayed for me. A lot.

Motherhood is hard. When you are expecting your little one, you think of baby cuddles and baby clothes and baby cooing. You don't think of colic or nursing problems or going days on end without a shower or sleep. And honestly, nothing can prepare you for motherhood. It's a learn-as-you-go kind of thing. And it's hard. It is a messy, gruelling, bring-you-to-your-knees kind of work. And that's the best part.

When I was at the end of my rope, I had nothing but Jesus. And it was then that 2 Corinthians 12:9 became "my verse" yet again. "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." The word "infirmities," I discovered, means - get this mothers! - feebleness (of body or mind); frailty; weakness.  Oh what comforting truth!

His strength is given to us in our weakness. Because of this, we can say "I glory in my feebleness and my frailty as a mother!"

We can take delight in this because the Word of God says that when we want to quit, His grace - His strength - can rest upon us.

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