This is not a technical blog post, this is a post straight from my heart and it’s not meant to be educational or anything like that. It is meant to speak directly to your heart. This post is not easy to write but at the same time it is all too easy to write. I hope you will understand what I mean by the time you are done reading.
As a young girl and a teenager I never envisioned myself being a mother. I just didn’t. As I got into my college years and met my husband all of a sudden that picture in my head began to change a bit. And then we became married and that picture changed drastically, I wanted to be a mother. I quickly became pregnant with Travis and prepared for him in every way every book I read told me to. Still, when we brought Travis home from the hospital we were so wildly unprepared for parenthood, as most young parents are.
So much of what we were unprepared for, the absolute total sleep deprivation, the horrifying sound of your crying newborn for what seems like no reason at all, and so on, we quickly learned. The one thing that continued to throw me for an absolute loop even as Travis grew from newborn, to crawler, to toddler and now to a preschooler is the anxiety of motherhood.
For me, and for many other mothers I know, the overwhelming feeling of responsibility to raise a healthy, happy, well behaved child is all consuming. It as if at every single turn in your journey as a mother there is another life altering decision you must make. To vaccinate or not, to circumsize or not, to be a traditional parent or follow attachment parenting, to homeschool, charter school or traditional school, to let your child have that GMO filled cookie because they were so good you aren’t sure they are really your child and there isn’t an amazing Pure Pursuit cookie available at the time… I mean really the list is endless.
If I’m honest with you, I feel anxiety every single day. I struggle with not letting it consume me and not allowing it to effect the way I parent. I sometimes feel like the walls are closing in, like I cannot deal with one more thing. I often feel that I will never accomplish everything I need to do. And more days than not I feel like I am failing my children.
I write all of this not to have you feel pity on me or anything of that nature. I write it to tell you, you are not alone. That feeling you get when your child is sick for the 3rd time in a month and you just know that it’s all because you are doing something wrong, I’ve been there. That feeling where your toddler tumbles off the bed while you are trying to just get one quick thing done, I’ve been there. That feeling where your preschooler says something you know you didn’t teach him but rather he learned at school and you cannot believe you sent him to such a place, I’ve been there.
You are not alone in this struggle.
I also write all of this to tell you a few truths. Roll your eyes, dismiss me, think to yourself , “this girl doesn’t know me, how can she claim to know anything about me?” But these are undeniable truths no matter what you think.
You are an incredible, strong and loving mother. How do I know this? Because you care enough to have anxiety in any form. If you didn’t care you wouldn’t feel anxiety.
Motherhood is the hardest area of a woman’s life to feel at easy with because it is truly has the most responsibility, and I’m not talking about housework.
Anxiety is only the enemy telling you lies. Each time you hit a bump in the road the enemy wants to pounce on you and tell you that you are doing X, Y & Z wrong. But you know what? The ENEMY IS LYING! We are supposed to make mistakes, how else can God show us His incredible grace? How else can we see how truly magnificent His love is?
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
So let me encourage each of you, do not let the enemy win. Do not let the anxiety overcome you. Each time you feel these lies creeping up in your soul push them away and lean on these truths. Look into the eyes of your sweet child and know you are not failing them. To them, I promise, you are a super hero with insane powers.
I know this all is easy to put on paper (or screen in this case) and so much harder to do in real life. I know the struggle is real. I know the feelings are overwhelming. But I also know there is hope, there is grace, and there is no perfect mother.
Today I give you permission to be anxiety free. I give you hope that tomorrow will be a better day. And I give you grace to get through that day. You are enough and you always will be!