“There are days when I feel like God made a really big mistake in making me a mom,” I type. “I feel like I’m in a job I want to quit but can’t. Which is absolutely horrible. But that is how I feel.”
I look at the text message and press send. My eyes sting with tears as I reread the words I confided in my friend.
How could I say such a horrible thing?
A couple of years ago, I met a mom at the playground. She had just gotten off work and we chit chatted for a few minutes about our kids, her job as a full-time nurse, and then she asked me what I did for a living. I pointed to my kids and said, “this.”
She said very genuinely, “I tried staying home and I just couldn’t do it. My kids completely exhausted me, so I went back to work. I commend you for doing what you do all day.”
I smiled. For years, friends had asked me, “when are you going to work?” and I never knew what to say back because motherhood was by far the hardest job I’d ever had. Hearing this encouragement from a fellow mom who was making her way through motherhood alongside me, made me take pride in knowing, I do this all day every day.
But as time wore on, that moment faded. And so did my passion for being a mom.
After years of sleepless nights, dirty laundry, and piles of dishes in the sink.
After years of meltdowns and therapies and autism.
After years of moving, financial strains, and health problems.
I waved the white flag and said, “I quit.”
I had reached the end of my rope, and I could not see any other way out than to run from motherhood.
My husband lovingly told me how much he appreciates me, how much our children love me, how much he wishes he could change the struggles we have faced, but I couldn’t hear him. I was too upset. So, we called our family counselor who made a Saturday visit to our home. I cried through our entire visit. I felt angry and ashamed. I wanted my situation to change, to feel like I was working toward something greater than what I felt my life had become, but I just didn’t know how. And, at the same time, felt such guilt and shame for wanting to quit my family and the life God had given me.
For two hours, my husband and counselor listened as my inner turmoil bubbled to the surface. All my fears, doubts, and anxieties came rushing out until, finally, I felt relieved.
And I didn’t want to run. I wanted to stay.
I wanted to work through the struggles I was facing. I wanted to surrender my doubts and my fears to God. I wanted to find joy in motherhood again.
And day by day, one step at a time, I am finding joy. Finding rejuvenation. Finding solace in God the Father who loves me through my doubt and my fear.
To the mom who feels like quitting, I know it feels like the weight of the world rests on your shoulders and you don’t know how much farther you can go. I know you are exhausted, frustrated, and struggling with fear and doubt. I have been there, sister, and I am praying for you today. Praying that the Lord would bless you with the rest and peace you need. That He would fill your heart with joy and empower you to see that your job as a mom bears great meaning. That He will carry you through the dark times when you want to quit. And that on the days when you want to wave the white flag, you will wave it high and surrender it all to Him.