I sat on the white chair next to the window in our living room. Actually I wasn’t sitting, my forehead was touching my knees and I was just crying my eyes out. I felt like a failure. This was a feeling that had been building for a while. Who would have thought that, as a 31 year old mom, I would still have identity issues?
For the past seven years I have been pregnant or nursing a baby, or at least it feels like that is all I have done. I have been changing diapers and cleaning messes that I didn’t make. I have been potty training, and asking questions and saying things that I never dreamed I would say. Things like “don’t play with the water from the toilet,” “we go poopoos in the bathroom,” or “we don’t use the window to go outside.” Lol.
It is funny to think about it right now, but it wasn’t five days ago.
This is where I found myself up until Tuesday night. I couldn’t speak words from my true feelings aloud I’m not sure if it was fear of being judged by others or by myself. So I texted Andrew.
“I don’t find joy in motherhood.”
He is my person and I know there is nothing I can say that would freak him out.
My lack of identity was controlling my actions and everything felt very hard to do. I felt annoyed by everything my kids would do. Why are you asking me for one more snack? Why do you need my help again? Why do you need me to go outside with you? I felt like an emotional roller coaster with no way out!
The first step away from feeling overwhelmed and finding my identity was to pray:
Throughout the day I would cry out to God and ask him for help. I didn’t want to feel like this anymore. The mom guilt was so strong.
Motherhood is supposed to be the happiest time of my life…right?
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
I knew that I couldn’t get rid of this feeling all on my own. I had tried many times. I needed God’s help. He is the only one that can help us see the truth through his love and grace.
The second step was to see myself as a daughter:
Tuesday night during one of the times that I woke up with Makana in the middle of the night my mind cleared for a quick 10 seconds and a thought came rushing through.
“your identity is not being a mom, you became a mom but you were born as Anna,”
“You are the daughter of a King, then you are Andrew’s wife and then you are a mom”
“Your kids bring joy into your life but they are not your joy, I AM”
I was looking for my identity and joy in the wrong place. These two things have to come from something greater than me, greater than my kids. I was putting so much pressure on myself and my kids when we are all flawed humans.
Seeing my kids and myself through the lens of Eternity changed my role as a mom:
The next morning during my meditation time I read Psalm 51:11-12
Create in me a pure heart, o God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me
THE JOY OF MY SALVATION. That is where my joy comes from, that is where my identity is!
I woke up a better mom. Not because I became better but because I became free and I freed my kids from providing something that they couldn’t. I woke up feeling compassion for them.
Seeing motherhood through the lens of eternity took my guilt away. Feeling like a failure is simply a lie. Motherhood is hard but we were not meant to go through it alone. It begins with the first two steps.
Let’s talk again soon.