When Mothering Is Hard

'When I pray and ask His forgiveness for my own misbehaviors, I feel the same message being whispered back to me as God says "I love you even when..."'   Four Ways To Keep Your Perspective When Mothering Is Hard | Through Clouded Glass

As a mom, every now and then (or sometimes more often than I want to admit), I end up having one of those days.  Every mom of young children has experienced one of "those days" at some point in their mothering journey (and if you haven't yet - you will).  The days when the kids seem to be crying or disobeying constantly, and you find yourself counting down the seconds to nap time.

Usually by the end of that kind of day I am beating myself up for not handling things better - for not being more patient, more loving, through the whole ordeal.  Because when it comes down to it, I love these little people so much.  I know that no matter what they do, I will never stop loving them.  My goal is to show that to them by how I treat them, even in the difficult moments.

It can be hard to take a pause in the middle of a frustrating moment to remember to be loving to our kids, but I think it is something we should be constantly trying to do.  There are a few strategies that are great for helping improve my patience when one of "those days" is looming.

When Mothering Is Hard | Through Clouded Glass


Start the day off right.  

When I do not start my day with my devotions, I notice the whole day seems to be more stressful and frustrating for me.  This makes the little, normal difficulties of mothering three (soon to be four) young children seem like more of a burden.  When I take a few minutes - literally, sometimes just a few minutes - to read my Bible or pray, things tend to go smoother and it's easier for me to remember that this is a ministry He has given me, instead of focusing on my frustrations.  It's not a magic formula, but I think trying to focus on the Lord in the morning helps me keep things in better perspective.

Keep your to-do list flexible.  

If at all possible, I try to be a little flexible with my to-do list, and I think this is essential when you have young children at home.  The kids don't tend to run on my schedule.  If I am coming up on a deadline, or have a more rigid schedule for the day, I find myself getting more frustrated than normal when things don't go perfectly - and let's face it, they rarely do go perfectly!

Take a break and do something with the kids.  

We are all busy moms, and whether you work outside the home or not, we all have things on our plates in addition to mothering.  But sometimes we are just too busy.  Sometimes we need to stop everything else for a bit and spend some quality time with our kids.  This may not always be possible, but try to not get yourself backed into a corner with your schedule (see previous point).  One of the most effective ways to show our kids we love them no matter what is to make them a priority and spend time with them.  Go play outside together, sit and actually watch that kid movie with them, or read them books for a while.

I Love You Even When Book Review | Through Clouded Glass

I Love You Even When Book Review | Through Clouded Glass

If you are building your children's book collection, Tommy Nelson recently came out with a book that is perfect for this topic, called "I Love You Even When".  This book is a companion to "I Love You All The Same" by the same author, and it follows the same bear family through the three little bears mishaps and misbehaviors.  Each time the parent bears assure them that no matter how they act, or what mistakes they make, they will aways love them.  I think this book is a great opportunity to remind your kids that you will always love them too, no matter what they do.  Plus the illustrations are adorable and so interesting to the Pre-K age group!

Remember that mothering is your most important ministry.  

I think in order to keep a good perspective during those frustrating moments, we have to remember that motherhood is a ministry.  It is easy to forget that, because this ministering to our kids is not visible to anyone but us, our kids, and God; but the greatest thing you can do for the Lord is steward this task of motherhood well.  Ministry is messy. Ministry has challenges.  We shouldn't expect it to be easy, and we should also realize that those moments when our kids are misbehaving are some of our greatest opportunities to show God to them by actively showing them our love in the midst of their wrong actions.


Even though I think all these things help me keep perspective, I would be a liar if I didn't tell you that  I often go to bed wishing I did something better.  Not infrequently we have a disastrous day, and I wish I did all of these things better!  But it's in those moments, when my mothering mistakes are glaring, that I realize most deeply my need for God to help me.  When I pray and ask His forgiveness for my own misbehaviors, I feel the same message being whispered back to me as God says "I love you even when..."

That is the bottom line.  We can love our kids "even when", because God loves us "even when".  Through the love that I show to my kids, I pray that they also see a reflection, imperfect as it may be, of God's for them.  

Do you ever have one of those days, where you feel like a mothering failure?  Please tell me I'm not the only one!

I also have a little giveaway going on Instagram for a copy of "I Love You Even When" - follow me there and follow the instructions to enter!  Winner will be announced on Monday (the 27th)!          

Note: I received a copy of "I Love You Even When" from Tommy Nelson in exchange for a review.  This is my honest opinion.

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veronica said...

"Motherhood is a ministry" ... I think I need to put that phrase on some kind of wall decoration for my bedroom. Being a new mother, I easily forget this truth. Thank you for the sweet reminder :)

Callie Nicole said...

It is so easy to forget that, even when you are a few years into motherhood!

Donna Keith said...

Thanks for the comments about my book I Love You Even When! I had so much fun writing this story and I believe the message in it is one we all need to hear and apply. We have five beautiful grandchildren to whom we try to show unconditional love, though it isn't always easy. I praise God for His grace and forgiveness and His unconditional love toward me! May God richly bless you and your family. Donna Keith

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