- Overwhelmed by the incessant cries of a colicky baby
- Potty training an obstinate toddler
- Sleep deprivation
- Preschoolers who won’t stay in their own bed… ever
- Sitting through CHURCH!
- Cleaning. And cleaning. And cleaning again.
These are just a few of the struggles of mother’s with young children. These moms are the silent sufferers in our churches. They are the unassisted and often ignored class who needs more ministering to than we realize.
When I crossed my Rubicon and had baby number 3, the weight of motherhood started getting heavier. One Sunday morning when I was standing in the back of church, a crotchety grandmother asked me how I was doing. I made a split second decision to be honest.
I said, “I’m actually really struggling to find the balance of being the mom of three kids.”
With a snarky laugh she said, and this is an exact quote as it was engraved in my memory, “Oh, get over it, I had five kids in six years.”
After I picked my jaw off the floor and put my eye balls back in their sockets, I realized just how neglected mothers are. I wouldn’t wish that feeling of abandonment I was left with that day on any mother.
Well, baby number three turns 11 next month and a lot of things have changed for me. I am now parenting 6 children ages 2 to 15. And my support system rocks! Seriously, these people know how to do it.
This is dedicated to them.
May you be inspired to encourage a mother like they do.
Adopt a kid
Or two or three. God has forged a very special relationship between us and another family in our fellowship. Several years ago, before we lost Azaiah to SIDS, they lost a grandson to the same. When their hearts began to heal, their arms were empty so I filled them with my children.
Now, every Friday is “John and Susie Day.” My little girls look forward to that every week. I am not just getting a break. My kids aren’t just getting looked after. A mutual blessing is being exchanged and I love it.
Not only does Susie take kids, she also comes up once a week do help me with laundry. Folding that stuff is my most frustrating, never-get-to job and the piles start to suffocate me. So she comes up and folds a whole table full of laundry.
During my peak grief season I never had to do laundry. Women from my church came and did it all. For months. My best friend even came and got laundry when we had lice. That’s love.
Sit with them in church
The other day I realized how spectacular my church family is with this. We have some new families, who were visiting with us for a while, and they didn’t know who our kids were because they rarely sit with me. My kids have special people who love them like their own and give them that one on one attention kids from big families need sometimes, even during church services.
Tell her she is doing a good job
Moms are so self conscious about their lack of parenting skills that a pat on the back goes a very long way. Tell her that her kids are great. Tell her those messes they make are beautiful. Tell her you love to hear their chatty voices in church. Tell her not to worry, whatever she lacks the Lord will provide.
Sometimes all we need is someone to see our struggle and acknowledge it. Tell her you see her. You appreciate her. You pray for her.
Now go… hug a mother today.