Yesterday, I met my friend Crystal for iced Boba tea (without the Boba – haha). She brought her 2-year-old daughter on our date and we talked about the struggles of motherhood and parenting.
“There’s no manual for it…” she said.
I nodded my head and shared my stories of survival when the kids were 5 and under. “I was just trying to keep them alive,” I told her.
Flashbacks of potty training, temper tantrums, sleepless nights, and wearing my old maternity pants all year ran through my mind. I told her my recent challenges with my 13-year-old now being the oldest. The challenges are different, but they still loom. Oh, do they exist!
Sometimes, I’ll sleep 8 hours and still wake up with bags under my eyes and a caffeinated cup of coffee doesn’t help the drag. The sibling rivalry and competition are through the roof. Arguing and challenging my authority is difficult. And the sass with girls? Don’t get me started. I told my husband last night I was taking a time-out.
Mornings don’t always look like me sitting down with coffee and reading my Bible. Some days do, but most days it looks more like me playing drill sergeant and putting out emotional, hormonal fires before going to school. It looks like disciplining name-calling and making sure lunches aren’t left on the countertop.
Every season in mamahood from infancy, toddler-hood, to teenage days has its highs and lows, mountaintops and valleys, blessings and disappointments. There’s no arrival where it’s bliss. Don’t get me wrong, God does give those days that can feel like heaven, but those are rare.
Every mama also has seasons when a child gives her greater challenges and it can feel like she’s parenting 5 children instead of 1.
Motherhood has shown me my sin as nothing else has. It’s revealed my desperate need for the gospel. In my weakness and brokenness, I need rescuing. I need my Savior. I simply cannot be the kind of mom I desire to be in my own will-power.
I don’t have a guide or a book that can fix all my broken pieces but I have His word – the only Guide I’ll ever need in life.
I fall short every, single day and He picks me back up again. I sin every single day and his mercy is new as the sunrise. I’m not a good mom, but his grace makes me able to be who I otherwise could not be on my own. I’m a broken mama attempting to make something beautiful in parenting, but in order for that to happen, I need his Healing power.
Crystal said there was no manual for motherhood, so she asked her aunt whose kids are grown for counsel and guidance. And I loved that. We need mamas who’ve journeyed ahead of us and get it. We need family and friends to fall back on for support. We need to be okay with calling or texting the appropriate reinforcements.
Never forget – it’s not weak to admit you need help – it’s actually incredibly brave. And it’s okay to admit you just need Jesus.
Samantha Krieger is wife to Jeremiah and mama to 2 boys & 2 girls- 13 and under. She loves iced coffee, TJ Maxx, and mascara. She’s the author of Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches. Her work has been featured on the Today Show online, Love What Matters, and Cafe Mom. She writes from Florida’s gulf coast and enjoys connecting with readers on her personal blog, Facebook and Instagram.