Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Encouragement for Burnt Out Mom and Failure Mom

In looking at the keyword activity on my stat tracker I have learned an interesting thing. Almost every single day, someone(s!) comes to Surviving Motherhood by searching the terms "failure mom" or "burnt out mom." That's a lot of hurting moms, if you ask me, so today I want to devote this blog to encouraging moms who are nearing their wits' end.
If you find yourself here as a result of an internet search for one of these terms(or a similar one), Welcome! I am so glad you're here and I do hope you find the encouragement you need today.
And if you find yourself here because you are a regular reader, Welcome to you, too! I trust God will speak to you as well. Because if we're honest, each of us moms has days when we're burnt out and feeling like a failure.

First, a word to Failure Mom:
OK, I realize this may be the first time you've met me, but will you trust me when I say, You are NOT a failure?
Mothering is hard. I know it! Believe me, I have felt like a failure many, many times.
But by the grace of God, alone, I have come to understand that I am not a failure. And you aren't either.
Yes, there are days we fall short.
We lose our tempers.
We do things wrong.
We disappoint our children.
And ourselves.
We wonder what God was thinking when He made us mothers.

But in those days I have found the grace and mercy of God to be richer and sweeter than I ever imagined possible.
My friend, God does not look upon you as a failure. He doesn't expect you to be perfect. In fact, Perfect is His Name alone. And He, being Perfect, is able to extend grace and mercy to you in the midst of your struggle.
He knows you cannot do this mothering thing - or any of life - on your own. Truthfully, He doesn't want you to do it on your own. God, Himself, will help you.
Yes, Perfect will carry you through. Just call out to Him!

Second, a word to Burnt Out Mom:
Oh, friend, I have been in your shoes, too. Let's see, today I'm guessing you might be feeling tired, frustrated, overwhelmed, irritated, alone, angry, ready to quit.
Have I missed anything???
Mothering is hard!
Yes, I know, I already said that. But it's true! And sometimes we feel like we have to give and give and give, and we simply don't know from where the next "give" is going to come. We are sucked dry, over-worked, under-appreciated, fed up, and burnt out.
And we want to quit!
Is any of this resonating with you?

Well, Burnt Out Mom, may I suggest that there is one item from the list above which is not true - no matter how much you feel like it?
Regardless of how you feel, you are never alone.
You are not alone in your struggle - all of us mothers struggle in one way or another.
And you are not alone in your striving - God is with you. Always.
I have faced days in which I have wondered how I was ever going to make it to "tomorrow," and somehow, God always brought me through. At times I have been certain I did not have the strength to deal with one more request, the patience to listen to one more complaint, or the kindness to play one more game. I have wanted to cry out, I can't do this, God. It is too much for me!
But that is when He reaches out and says, Allow Me. And He gives me the strength, the patience, the kindness - to do what I cannot do.
Burnt Out Mom, God will help you, too. Just ask Him!

And to both of you, to all of you - Failure Mom, Burnt Out Mom, Overwhelmed Mom, Frustrated Mom, Desperate Mom, Irritable Mother *grin*, or whatever other name suits you today, please accept my invitation to receive a copy of the Irritable Mother's Survival Kit. The Kit is something I wrote - a collection of ideas - about the things that help me make it through my irritable moments. It's absolutely free, and you can sign up for it on my homepage.

And now, may the grace and mercy of our faithful and perfect God carry you through this day.

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Leah said...

I've got a few moms I'm going to share this with. Thanks, Karen.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful, Karen!! And let me just say to anyone reading for the first time, this site has helped me so much to realize that He is on our side, ALWAYS!!! And will definitely see us through!! :)

Hugs to you, Karen, & thanks for lifting us up!
Patricia in nyc

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

Such good words. You know, I noticed on Twitter yesterday that a lot of women were discussing "difficult" ages their children have gone - or are going - through. I kept thinking how THANKFUL I am that our kids have stages and phases. Because the "good" or "easy" stages are a delight, but those difficult ones make us appreciate the easier times!

All that to say - there are definitely times I feel like a failure. But I've noticed they coincide with the more difficult stages of my daughter's development. So if I can just hang on - to God, to her, to my family - I think we'll all survive!

Proverbs 27:19 said...

I was feeling like tagging myself as, "I Need Some Me-Time" mom.

Thanks Karen.


Anonymous said...

Well said, good idea, and I linked you today!

Whitney said...

It's 3am, and after a long and tearful battle, my 14 month old is finally asleep. Tonight I lost my composure and just broke down and cried. This just upset her more, but I couldn't take it anymore. I'm tired and now I'm feeling like a failure as a Mom because I can't get her to go to sleep at 8pm like every other child. I searched "burned out mother" and was led to this blog. Your words really touched me and reminded me that God will help me be an excellent mother if I let him. I'm a Unitarian, but my faith in God is very strong, and your words offered comfort on a difficult night. Thank you.