There have been many days gone by where I have regretted becoming a mother; I just was not happy. I thought, if this is what being a mom entails, I need a way of escape.
But of course we can’t change the past so I should have resigned myself to be satisfied with this new reality. I’m not much of a dreamer and yet even in my matter-of-fact personality I find it hard to be happy as mom. Just the facts and the desire to be a good mother – to give my kids the childhood I did not have – was not enough to move me to a place of contentment, and certainly not to happiness. I have wondered
what is wrong with me, why is it so hard for me to be happy as a mom?
I choose to become a mother and find it difficult. How about those women who did not choose motherhood, at least not when it happened? When the frustration of yelling, whining, back-talking kids come about, what do those moms do? Some give up, but many don’t. They go on unhappy and despondent. It’s hard to get out of bed, it’s hard to feel emotion towards life. You are just dragging through, hoping and waiting for little one(s) to grow up. Perhaps you spend a lot of time away from your little one(s), desperate for breath, life, and identity.
Maybe, possibly you have found this blog post because that is you. You look around, as I have many times, and have see mothers who (at least) appear happy and content with motherhood. They look in control and ready for any thing. Appearances can be deceiving, however, if they do have a handle on things it’s because there’s a secret …
It is the secret that Paul tells us about in Philippians chapter 4.
verses 11-13 says
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Paul was in jail (expressing the same the trapped feelings known by unhappy moms). The jails back then was nothing like the ones now. There weren’t fresh sheets, clean quarters and decent clothing/covering. He probably had no shoes, no floor and no sufficient lighting, amongst many other missing things. But he didn’t cry out about his needs, his dreams and desires. He “learned to be content in whatever circumstances” he had. Not only that but when the Philippians were able to send him aide (some scholars say it could have been 10 years since they were able to help him) Paul was thankful, not whiny. He was not throwing a pity party, complaining about how little he had, or having a where were you attitude.
He actually excused them in verse 10
indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity.
The secret that Paul had learned and that we would do good to learn is God is in control, ultimately, of our lives and that He is our Provision.
He will provide what we will need to manage what He places in our lives. The One that created us is the same One that will enable us. Enable us to mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically handle motherhood.
There will be times when we just don’t know what to do and that is the perfect time to go back to our Provision and ask Him what to do.
Ask Him how, what, when, why and where. Be specific and keep going back to Him.
Seriously, being content is finding your sufficiency in Him, not in yourself. The discontentment you feel as a mom is due to trying to find your sufficiency either in yourself or the life you feel you can make for yourself apart from children. But they are there! You know you love them, even if it isn’t a touchy-feely, they are always lovable, type of way. You cannot make a life apart from them and honestly you cannot make life the way you’d like for it to be.
You can try to make a wonderful life with many options, travel, sports, hobbies, education. Yet the most important education you can give yourself is to learn contentment by knowing He is our Provision and He will provide all you need to do what He’s given you to do. Paul’s mission was very great and trying. Most of us will never have to endure the challenges he had before him and yet he was satisfied in plenty and in lack because he found consistency in God’s care.