"I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come?" -Psalm 121:1
The responsibility of being a mom is greater than I could have ever imagined.
I should have known, really, since I had a great mom myself. I should have known, when laundry was always done, when food was always made, when barf was always cleaned up, when hair was always combed, when rides were always given, when songs were always sung....it was my mom. All that stuff didn't just magically get done. It was a super hero who slept in a room just down the hall from mine. My mom.
The responsibility of being a mom is harder than I could have ever imagined.
It makes sense now, looking back. My mom never ate a hot meal. She never finished a movie. She was always the last one to get a shower. She was always the last one to go to bed at night, and the first one to get up in the morning. She made sure my dad had breakfast and coffee, and a lunch packed. And she worked full time outside the home, too.
The responsibility of being a mom is lonelier than I could have ever imagined.
When I was four, my family moved from California to Pennsylvania. My mom had to say goodbye to all the friends she'd known, and raise 3 kids without the support of her own family. Yes, she had my dad, but husbands aren't meant to fill certain needs, like the friendships of women. I remember her crying once when she was listening to song about friends. She missed her girlfriends terribly. She was lonely.
Today was rough. Sundays often are. The last day of the weekend. The last day my husband is home with us. The day before Monday, which is the first day that it's just me and the kids in this house. Great, hard, lonely.
My husband asked me if I was ok and I told him, "I'm just weary." And it's true. My kids are wonderful, and I love my family. But being a mom is work. Anyone who thinks that moms who stay at home with their kids have it easy is sorely mistaken. I've had a lot of jobs, more than I can even remember, but I've never had a job like this. I've never had a job that doesn't come with mandatory lunch breaks, and two 15 minute breaks on top of that. I've never had a job where my coworker's lives and well being depend on me. I've never had a job where I'm on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And did I mention that I don't get paid?
I won't compare myself to my mom. I can't remember her ever complaining. She had the biggest influence on my life and the person I am today. When I think about that, my heart gets caught in my throat. I am the biggest influence on my kids' lives and the people they will become. That feels too heavy. I feel crushed under that weight. I'm absolutely inadequate and unable.
So I look up. Where does my help come from? If I was able to do this all on my own, I wouldn't need Him. Jesus, the ultimate example of sacrifice, which is, after all, what it means to be a mom. Sacrifice. I think about Him. His whole life was a sacrifice. People followed him wherever he went. He was exhausted. "Feed us! Heal us! Pray for us! Save us! Die for us!" The people never left Him alone.
If Jesus could sacrifice all He had for those He loved, even His life, and I have the same spirit in me that's in Him, then I can sacrifice my life for those that I love. I can get out of bed and make sure that the kids have breakfast. I can play games, sing, dance, read, hug, clean, cook, love till I feel like my bones are breaking from exhaustion.
Being a mom is great, hard, and lonely, and trying to do it on my own strength is useless. So I borrow the strength of Him whose shoulders are more than strong enough.