Encouragement for Weary Mothers

Republished from the archives…Picture 13

I have been going through a challenging season in my mothering: sparatic insomnia, disciplinary struggles with a toddler, and challenges with getting the kids to sleep together in the same room. I have felt time and time again that I just wanted to throw in the towel and give up. I believe the Lord takes you through these seasons in order to reveal how much we desperately need Him in order to be faithful mothers to our children. I wanted to share with you today some encouragement that the Lord has used to lift me out of those feelings of failure and hopelessness. Mothering is not an easy task, nor is it a task that I would ever do on my own.

Take time to be alone
This may sound impossible, but I believe it to be essential, and possible if you are purposeful! I have found taking regular intervals of time to have a simple short retreat brings such refreshment to me. In this season of life with nursing, they have to be short, but it is amazing how an hour or two away can renew my spirits. I try to get out once or twice a month for a few hours on a Saturday morning or Sunday while my husband watches the little ones to just be alone and read the Word and write out my thoughts. I go to a coffee shop or sit alongside a river bank and spend time with the Lord. I always take my Bible and notebook with me to write out what struggles I am going through and the Scriptures that encourage and strengthen me. It is a testimony to look back upon and see what God has done. God has been so good to me lately through these times. If your husband is not available, seek out a friend to trade watching each other’s children. Schedule these times away and make it a habit.

Find refreshment in Psalms 23
I have been steeped in meditation on Psalms 23 lately…a passage we are all familiar with, but how often do we really meditate upon? It has brought such strength to my soul during this weary season and can bring encouragement to you whatever you might be going through. Here are the meditations that I wrote down that I wanted to pass on to you. It is re-paraphrasing Psalms 23 in part in my own words:

You are not alone
“The Lord is my Shepherd” - The Lord, God of the universe, Sovereign King, is MY SHEPHERD. Did you catch that? He is MINE! He chose to take on human flesh in order that He might adopt me into His fold.

Your every need is already met
“I have all that I need” – He has already supplied my present and future needs. He has already provided for the grace I need for each passing day in my mothering and wife roles. It has been a difficult season in child training – it feels like a dark valley with no light at the end of the tunnel, but in reality, this is only a passing season for which God has already supplied all my needs to make it through. I lack patience. I lack perseverence. Grant me, oh Lord faith and endurance. You are doing a good work in me. Growing me in Christ-likeness. Childbearing and childraising are God’s means of grace in my life to make me more like my beautiful Savior. It will bring great reward!

Let some things go
“He lets me rest in green pastures, He leads me besides peaceful streams.”
Sometimes God takes us through difficult seasons and calls us to simply rest. For me that means we have been eating very simple and easy meals. We keep the house picked up but no deep cleaning is happening right now.

Focus on the goal
“Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life.” I am laboring to bring eternal souls into the Kingdom! That is my mission as a mother! I am co-laboring alongside my husband to serve the Lord and His church. My God is close beside me! He guides me along right paths. He is my Shepherd and Guide. He is my Source that I might bring honor to His name. He is my Enabler.

Be thankful
“My cup overflows with blessings.” It is not just full, it is overflowing! Do you see that? What are these blessings? Write them out. I am thankful for My God – I wouldn’t be here without Him. My Husband – who lovingly leads our family and cherishes me! My two adorable children. My family – for their support and encouragement. My cup truly is overflowing!

For further encouragement from Psalms 23, I would encourage you to listen to Revive Our Hearts recent series on it here. This series was what lead me to mediate on Psalms 23 and the Lord has used it mightily in my life!

May you dear sisters be strengthened today in your mothering! The Lord is with you!

What can you be thankful for today?

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

28 Responses to Encouragement for Weary Mothers

  1. Elisabeth May 9, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    How timely. Thank you.

  2. Stacie May 8, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

    Oh my, I just wrote about this on my blog. Very good post. I am struggling in very similar ways.

  3. Grace May 8, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    Thank you for allowing God to use you! This really spoke to my heart and was a great encouragement to me!

  4. robin May 7, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    I appreciated this post. I too, like so many, am weary. I have 21 children, 16 are still at home. Life is hectic and chaotic but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have to remember that one day they will all be gone from the nest and then I can sleep : )

    • jill May 10, 2011 at 9:35 am #

      21 children!!!! you must be very weary :)

    • lyss May 12, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

      I have to know- are you serious?!! If so, you must have multiples and/or they’re super closely spaced, or some adopted. Totally curious if you care to share! Thanks! :)

  5. Krystalen May 7, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

    This truly has touched me for I am going through a hard time as well…I am fighting depression…I just feel hopeless and useless (I went through this about 3 years ago after my youngest child was born)! But I know God has me by the hand and will lead me on the right path and bring me out of this darkness! Thank you for the encouragement and God bless you and your family!

    • Krystalen May 13, 2011 at 4:17 am #

      I wanted to thank you! Because of this and a lot of prayer I have been delivered from depression! Praise God!

  6. Linda May 7, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    The verse Isaiah 40:11 is awesome too as I think of myself as one who is “with young”
    “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.”

    The reality is that the season of having young ones is a unique one, and God recognizes that. I give myself a break when I can’t perform up to the things I used to do before kids. I need to have realistic expectations and know that God knows where I am and what I am capable of.

  7. Laura May 7, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    I have to echo all the other comments, this was very good timing to read this. I am 9 wks preg with a 1 year old and 3 year old and some days feel like one endless battlefield of teaching to share and other training! Plus, with the nausea and exhaustion it can be overwhelming. Thank you for the encouragement to get out alone-I feel guilty sometimes, but thankfully I have a wonderful husband who never complains about watching the kids for a while. I have to realize that my family NEEDS me to get out by myself and be refreshed so that I can be a better wife and mama. Thanks!

  8. Jeaniene May 7, 2011 at 1:52 am #

    What an encouragement, thank you. As my husband and I finish out our 4th semester of intensive language study in Asia, seek future direction from the Lord and prayerfully consider potential ministry change as well as some other big decisions I have simply been emotionally and physically exhausted… your words rang true to my heart and encouraged me to keep on pressing on… what a blessing. Thank you.

  9. Maura May 6, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

    I think it is important that we don’t compare ourselves to the rare few “super-moms” out there who have it all together. They work a fabulous career supporting their family, attend all the kids’ games/activities, cook yummy dinners, wear the size clothing they did in high school, keep the house spotless, and attend the super early service at church on Sunday looking so well-rested. ;-)

    Do I want to be *that* mom? Yes, I think we all have this little part in our hearts that longs to be the wonderful, super-mom who has it all together. Reality is that most of us are not. If you have a career, you my dine out more because you don’t have time to cook meals. If you are a SAHM, you may not be able to afford sports and lessons for the kids because you don’t work. If you cook wonderful, healthy meals for your family your kitchen may always be messy. If you work out at the gym and do lot of outdoor family activities, you may not want to dedicate as much time to your career.

    Should we continually strive to improve as moms? Of course, always strive to improve. But realize that you will never be perfect and where you friend may excel in one area of motherhood, you do not. You have your own special mommy qualities.

  10. Megan May 6, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

    I’m really happy about this month’s topic and this post. With 2 year old twins and a seven month old, I have felt weary lately. But I’m encouraged. And God gives me so many reminders to cherish even the most difficult days. And I KNOW that someday we will look back and actually miss these days. And from what every other mother with bigger kids has said to me, they’ll be grown up before we know it. This season is short for us. Thanks for doing this!

  11. Marishannon May 6, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

    This was great and just what I needed! Right now I am grateful (among everything else) to have a healthy 2 year old and to be having a healthy pregnancy.

  12. Kim May 6, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    I am thankful for this post! I, too, am in a weary season of mothering with a high-needs 4 yo and a 2 yo who is a frequent night-waker. Reading the Word, daily devotions, blogs where I find spiritual encouragement, and getting out in nature are things that are keeping me going right now. And I am definitely going to try the peppermint and citrus oils:)

  13. Jill May 6, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    Since this month’s theme is pregnancy & motherhood, are you going to write about prenatal vitamins & supplements??? There are so many out there, and so many different opinions. I was just wondering if you would just list some good prenatal vitamin brands that are fairly easy to find in stores. Or if not, if you could give some advice on which vitamins & minerals are important to look for when choosing one prenatal vitamin over another. Or any other criteria to look for when choosing a prenatal vitamin.

    And the vitamin A concern – is it really a concern, or is the amount of vitamin A in ANY prenatal vitamin safe. I have had 3 healthy children, and thought nothing of the prenatal vitamin I was taking for those pregnancies. Now I’m starting to look into it a bit, and all I’m finding is more and more info. and it’s confusing. A friend of mine is convinced that she miscarried because of the vitamin A in her prenatal vitamin. I didn’t even know that was possible…and now I’m not sure what’s safe and what isn’t.

    There are so many different prenatal vitamins on the shelves and it’s overwhelming.

    I am hoping you will write a post or two about these concerns. Thanks:)

    • Lindsay May 8, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

      I have discussed prenatals and shared my recommendations here.

  14. Kory May 6, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    A good day to see this re-posted. Being 31 weeks and exhausted, along with a two year old who woke up in the middle of the night crying and throwing fits and didn’t stop for hours (but still woke up at normal time of course… crying and whining). *sigh* Yes, a good day for this reminder.

  15. [email protected] May 6, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    What a beautiful reminder! I have three kids under five and twins on the way, and I have been so easily overwhelmed lately! But God is good and gracious and really does supply everything we need. Thanks!

  16. Lisa @ Bight Mama May 6, 2011 at 8:37 am #

    great article! i have a 6 month old and 2.5 year old and i sometimes feel like throwing in the towel, especially with the 2 year old!! you know any good books on raising toddlers??

  17. melissa May 6, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    This post could not have come at a more perfect time! This has been a ROUGH go lately. I look around and think I do the same thing all day everyday and there is never any progress…today it is 11:30 and we are STILL in our PJs…put on a movie–I know we try not to watch much tv but momma needs a rest…I feel like no matter what I can’t keep it all up right now…with a 3 year old and a 10 month old life is CRAZY. Thank you for posting and having the reassuring scriptures listed this was a huge refreshment for my soul!


  18. Brandi May 6, 2011 at 7:34 am #

    I am thankful for my husband and children! Thank you for this post. I just had an emotional breakdown yesterday, just over a lot of the stress that comes with being a wife and a mom to two young boys. I tend to be an introvert with my feelings, and have a hard time expressing them even to God because I am feeling a lot of things at once. I will definitely listen to that and read psalm 23. I can use that as an outline for my prayer since that is what I’m feeling. Thanks for being so honest, the Lord is using you!

  19. Jenniffer May 6, 2011 at 7:16 am #

    Thank you for sharing. Having an almost 9 month old and 3 year old has been a trying time and this article is just what I needed!

  20. This Good Life May 6, 2011 at 5:39 am #

    I am not a mother yet, but God willing will be one day. This is in fact one of the things that I feel apprehensive about having children: the constant exhaustion. I think it is very important that you stress the need of ‘alone time’ and ‘spiritual regeneration’. A good mother is not a perfect mother, but a mother who knows when to take care of herself.

    Of course, this sound advice applies equally to overburdened professional women (and men). Taking time out with a little notebook is so wonderful. Personally, I find a lot of comfort in writing handwritten correspondence. It allows me to collect my thoughts and bless someone with the gift of a handwritten letter or card. Two birds with one stone!

    I like your analysis of Psalm 23. I think the beginning and end of the verse are also significant. ‘I walk through the valley of the shadow of death’ is a poignant reminder of our vulnerability. It is OK to acknowledge our pain, our exhaustion, our hurt and anger. God’s infinite vessel of love can contain all these emotions. And so, ‘my cup overflows’ is the answer to that existential worry: it is through the abundance of Grace that we can find the strength within ourselves to traverse the valley and walk alongside ‘peaceful streams’. In a genuine relationship with God, there is room for both anger and gratitude. This reminds me of another psalm: Psalm 36:9, ‘for with You is the fountain of all life, in Your light we see all light’. Through the prism of Divinity, we see the Divine in ourselves. Through the example of our Father in Heaven, we are given the strength to be better parents, perhaps.

    Of course, my thoughts on parenting are at this point hypothetical :) But my thoughts on faith, I can attest to (which I also share on my own blog).

    Thank you for a lovely and intentional blog.

    This Good Life

  21. Kirby May 6, 2011 at 4:37 am #

    How appropriate this post is! I spent some time away from my family last night and meditated on this very Psalm. Thank you for posting this and letting me know that I am not alone at this very difficult, exhausting time in my life!

  22. Marleah May 6, 2011 at 3:02 am #

    I needed to hear this encouragement today. Thank you for sharing!

  23. Lizanne May 6, 2011 at 1:46 am #

    Thanks for this Lindsay – I REALLY needed to read that… I’m going through a hard time too… feel drained, with a 5 month old who doesn’t sleep and is teething… and now I’m fluey too… so this touched a cord with me. Thanks for your awesome blog!