Being a mom is hard work. You’re “on duty” 24/7, are more emotionally invested than you ever thought possible, and have no idea what the heck you are doing.
It doesn’t matter what parenting style you choose, what books you read and follow, your discipline plan, or your family history. We all need help when raising young children. One baby will sleep through the night from day one while other children take a year (or two). Your kid might never cry or throw temper tantrums while your friend’s kid has broken the world record more than once. Some children learn to read before kindergarten and others are slow to pick it up.
And that is O.K. Every child is different. Don’t feel guilty or embarrassed or disappointed in yourself because of difficulties you are experiencing with parenting. You aren’t alone in needing help.
Asking for Help
Have you ever read about the amazing friendship between King David and Jonathan? They helped each other, looked out for each other, and had no reservations between them. I encourage you to read 1 Samuel 18-20 and be inspired by their genuine love for one another.
Even the great Moses got in over his head and needed the wise counsel of his father-in-law to point it out that he could use some help. (Exodus 18:14)
I bet there are more people willing to help you than you may even realize. Sometimes, people want to help, but don’t want to overstep boundaries. Lay down any pride you may be clinging to (Proverbs 11:2) and invite people into your life. Give someone else the chance to be helpful and you’ll likely gain a more meaningful and deeper friendship.
After having my first baby, I had a really hard time adjusting to being a mom. Between extreme sleep deprivation and difficulty breastfeeding, it was awful. I had to let people help because I wasn’t functioning as a normal human being. Friends went grocery shopping for me, cleaned by bathrooms, folded my laundry, cooked me dinner.
Fast forward a year and half. When I moved across country, my husband left a few days earlier than me and our 18 month old, which meant I was pulling together the final to-do list by myself. Friends and family helped me deep clean our soon-to-be rental property, drop off car loads of stuff for donation, finish packing, and more. I would not have been able to do it without them.
Fast forward another year and a half. When my family went through a major health crisis, it was those same friends that sent food, money, toys, games, chocolate, and drove hours in the car to visit my family. I can honestly say that those who have helped me over the years are those that I still keep in touch with and consider my very best of friends. If you never let people into your real life, you are missing out on abundant blessings.
That said, there must be a balance between asking and giving. We are called to “serve one another humbly in love” (Galatians 5:13) and boast only in Jesus.
“14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”
For those of us that are quick to hand out advice, myself included, remember this: We ALL need the help of Jesus. And the Bible is clear that we should only be comparing ourselves to Jesus, not other moms and definitely not their success or failures. It’s easy to think, “I did XYZ and my kid sleeps through the night.” or “Potty Training was so easy because I followed the exact steps of XYZ.” Or “My kid never back talks because I XYZ.”
What happens when another mom tries your method and comes up short of the goal? They may feel defeated, like a failure, like it was something they did to cause their child to be a bad sleeper, take forever to potty train, or disrespect you. We need to frame our words carefully and with much consideration.
“29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
Pray about anything that may be stopping you from letting people into your life: pride, control, or selfishness for example. Also prayerfully consider any self righteous or judgmental boasting you may be doing, even if stays in your head. Lay it before Jesus’ feet and ask him for the confidence and strength to humble yourself and let people in. Quietly sit in his presence and listen. You may just open up a completely new chapter of your life!
This is part of a series called The “Being a Mom is Awesome (& Hard)” devotional. Click here to read more of the series. Messy Tired Love devotionals connect everyday mom moments to the truth of the gospel. Learn more here.