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A Note to Harried, Frustrated, Overworked Moms

My wife and I have been parents for a long, long time.  At least, it seems that way.  One thing I’ve learned is that being a parent is a tiring job.  Actually, it can be exhausting.

I likes to observe people.  As we celebrate Mother’s Day this month, I can look around at the mothers of all ages in my circle of friends and at church and reflect on their countenances.  I see the mothers of preschoolers coming into church with little arms and legs in tow.  I see the mothers pick up their elementary age sons from class.  I sometimes see the moms of high school kids as they try to coordinate schedules before or after church.

tiredmomMostly, the mothers I know look stressed, tired, depleted.  They have looks of concern on their faces.  Sometimes I see genuine sadness, especially in the mothers of children who are bending the wrong direction.  I see looks that say, “I’m doing my best, but I’m really not sure I’m doing this right!”

The children they love don’t generally give a second thought to the mental or physical shape their mothers are in.  By and large, they go through life pretty ignorant of the sacrifices their mothers make for them day in and out.  (That’s ok.  They’ll have kids someday.)

Not to say that there aren’t some bad mothers out there.  There are.  I know moms who have spoiled their kids.  I know moms who don’t seem to discipline their children other than speaking an idle threat which everyone around — including the children — knows is a lie.  For those moms, the truth is, they have a lifetime full of grief and misery ahead.  Raise an undisciplined and spoiled child, and you can easily reap a future addict or criminal.

Proverbs 31 talks about the type of mother and woman that is held up as an example to Christian women.  Read it again if you haven’t done so in a while.  She also sounds like a woman who would look tired, harried and sometimes frustrated.  She does a lot of things, good things, for her family.  And those things take up immense amounts of time in any given week or month or year.

When you actually read that section of Proverbs 31, it doesn’t talk about how this mom feels.  It talks about what she does.  She gets up in the dark and makes food for her household.  She buys quality merchandise for her family.  She works with her hands willingly.  She remembers the poor.  She’s even an entrepreneur to help the family finances.  And there’s more.

The key phrase is in verse 25:  “she will rejoice in time to come.”

BEING a mom while you are in the thick of things doesn’t feel pleasant.  That’s actually normal.  Take the good emotions when they come.  They won’t last, but they’re nice.  But think about raising children as being more like you are in training for a grueling double-marathon followed by a triathlon or two.  The real joy comes when you know you’ve completed the actual race.  For moms, this is seeing your child launch out on his own and living out his faith.  It’s seeing your daughter become a mother and realize that she is raising her child to honor God.

So, to mothers everywhere who are giving it their best, scripture says, “Chin up!  You’re making a joy deposit every day.”


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One Response to "A Note to Harried, Frustrated, Overworked Moms"

  1. Bryn Santistevan says:

    Thank you so very much for this! I was recently divorced and thankfully have the children with me, am homeschooling, and working part time. I am always tired and still know that I’m not putting in as much as the proverbs 31 woman. Learning to not give into feelings has been a very slow and gradual lesson but it’s leaning towards victory by Gods grace. I really appreciate what you wrote. Thank you for your short insightful, helpful, Chrisr centered articles. God bless you!

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