When Motherhood Feels Like a Setback

Family + Lifestyle

mother and baby. motherhood feels like a setback

Does anyone else simultaneously scroll through tik tok and wonder why they are scrolling through tik tok as if real, actual life hasn’t already placed their precious time under copious demand? I know it’s not just me… motherhood setback

One of these such times, I happened upon the video of a mom who had toddlers wondering aloud how we are possibly supposed to do anything we want to do when our time and energy is spoken for pretty much 24 hours a day 366 days a year (even when it’s not a leap year). She mused about how she was a bit older and the unfairness she felt having to have all of the moments of her day spoken for – how was she to accomplish anything? Or feel fulfilled as a woman apart from motherhood? 

And before anyone danes to judge this perplexed woman, I have to out myself – I’ve been in that very same boat, I just hadn’t submitted these queries to strangers.

I understand it because I’ve always felt called to purpose, to work, to achieve. Admittedly, I almost let that keep me from even having a kid – so glad I didn’t. Here’s the deal, tho: motherhood setback

That feeling of high calling in itself, is ok.  If it’s in you, it’s because God put it there – but, unchecked, we can let the world influence the importance we place on achievement outside of God’s purpose for our season. If He has given you kids – you are in kid season, sis. And it’s uncomfortable sometimes – but discomfort doesn’t mean wrong – it means your flesh is bein’ fleshy and you gotta decide if you’re going to give in or go to God for the proper perspective. And, if you’re anything like me, some weeks you’re really great at giving it to God, and some days you have to remind yourself a couple/few times that you need to take some stuff to the altar because you’re doing too much and it’s beginning to give bitter. motherhood is a setback

As I walk through this myself, God continues to be faithful and reveal ways to approach this season of life. Here are some I’d like to share with you: motherhood is a setback

mother holding baby
Realize you have God-given responsibilities and self-given responsibilities. 

Sometimes we tend to make an idol out of “calling” – when what we are really longing for is from someone to affirm our abilities, work and achievements. Affirmation is not bad – but when we seek it at the expense of our God-given responsibilities (family and home particularly) we are out of alignment. Your calling or work is not your savior. God is. When we are humble enough to accept that the work he has put in front of us at present is the work we need to attend to – he promises to be faithful in the rest of it. 1 Peter 5:6

Serving your family IS serving God.

No matter how mundane the task or weather or not any one will notice or thank you is of no consequence. We want so badly sometimes to be in service to God, we miss the fact that he has given us the opportunity every day. We are to be Christ’s representative – that counts at home just as much (if not more) than anywhere else. When Christ called us to himself, to be a light on a hill – he didn’t say it would come with perks or thanks or any manner of glamor. We can either let bitterness and resentment take root or we can decide to rejoice in all the opportunities we have to present an image of Christ to those around us. Colossians 3:17

Recognize the season 

I heard this amazing quote from what I would consider a successful working mother. It humbled me, disappointed me and freed me all at once, “You can have it all – just not at the same time.” We have to recognize as moms, that our life seasons ebb and flow with that of the small human we produced. It can certainly be frustrating. But when we accept the season we are in instead of trying to wish or work it away – it provides us freedom. Particularly the freedom to be wholly present in the short season of intense influence we have in our child’s life and to get all the snuggles ever without the competition of all of the “I could be doing…” thoughts we give ourselves. As much as I feel out of patience sometimes, I try to remember that there will come a day when all I want is for my child to be in my presence because it’s not a given anymore. We will have all God has ordained for us – in its proper time.   Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

God STILL knows the plan he has for you – and He’s STILL working on it

We are the one who label things, particularly motherly duties as an “interruption.” To us it’s a “detour,” to him it’s a design. And it’s been there from the beginning. God always knew this season was coming and He is choosing your steps. Proverbs 16:9

His plan includes rest – it’s a whole commandment after all

I had this awful cycle of being so tired I could barely remember my own name and, when I had the opportunity to actually sit down or sleep, I would grab some caffeination and think that I needed to push myself – it’s the only way things were going to get done. But there will always be things. And God’s plan included the rest he already knew you would need. So just take it and quit making productivity your god.  Psalm 127

Our true fulfillment is only found in Christ. 

We will never be, do, have enough to feel like we finally reached where we are “supposed” to be. I used to fight and claw to get something, anything, done. I’d compare my progress to imaginary standards and perceptions of others. And when I’d get to a day or week where everything went in the crapper and I got 1/85th of anything I’d planned achieved – I’d sulk and it would affect my self-worth. Now, I’ve adopted the knowledge that where I get to on any given day is good. And the only “supposed to” I have is that I’m supposed to be is in His presence & His will. That’s where contentment lives. Chasing it anywhere else is a lie. Philippians 4:11-13

Let me encourage + challenge you (and me): motherhood has not set you back. It has taken nothing away from you. It is a ministry that God has placed in your life – in concert, not competition – with the other things He’s called you to. Please go forth and work, create, and be productive. But also understand that it looks different for now. It’s supposed to. And, even with that fact, God has not changed His mind about where He wanted you to be all along.

Do you have faith to believe that? If not, what’s stopping you from taking Him at His Word?

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