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What to do with Mom Exhaustion

June 22, 2010

This past weekend, Jeremiah and I agreed that we won’t do a garage sale again with a toddler.

Curious John was into everything and we should have known. The china cups, clothes hangers, picture frames. He was into opening and closing the screen door to our friend’s house, exploring the lawn, and to top it off, he darted out into the street to follow me as I was loading stuff into the car (marital miscommunication among who was watching him). I was frantic and felt like an awful mother for that to have even happened.

I should have never expected to do anything else with the sale but to keep my eyes on him and train him on what not to touch. Jeremiah already said he would organize everything.

At the end of the day, I left the sale frustrated, exhausted, impatient, and my feet were killing me being 21 weeks pregnant. I began to think, Is this life as it is? Cause I’m going to go crazy if it is!

Lately, I’ve had a hard time adjusting to the amount of energy required of a 20 month old toddler. At times, I feel there is nothing left to give at the end of the day. I don’t know where the strength comes to cook, clean, write, love my husband well, catch up with friends, or be on mission in serving others.

Yet often the real problem is me. I don’t go to the Source of all strength.

That evening as I sat in bed and John was sound a sleep, I came to my senses again. This season of life for him is so precious and before I know it, it will be gone. He will no longer be a toddler, but a big Kindergartener. This is his stage. His season of life. And it’s my job as his mommy to treasure that.

As mother’s, God understands the exhaustion we feel. He knows the ever-changing moods and emotions. He knows the pressure put on our marriages when not only raising children, but raising them well. He understands when we just need to vent and cry and hide in the closet. He has reminded me that his strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). His grace is always available.

I’m so thankful he understands, especially when I somehow think that no one else does. I’m thankful I can draw to Him through His word and prayer so that he can meet my spiritual, emotional and physical needs. When I’m listening and confessing my inadequacies, it’s then that I’m renewed to help meet the needs of my son. I’m more patient, loving, and understanding.

The garage sale was a good lesson for me and I know other hard days will come. But I also know that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. Thank goodness!

Do you ever experience Mom (or Dad) exhaustion?

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris Tomlinson permalink
    June 22, 2010 8:42 am

    Not yet. Maybe in 4 months =). Thanks for the heads up, and for the reminder we’ll need when we get there…

  2. June 22, 2010 8:47 am

    Yay Chris. So excited for you guys. Can’t believe it’s 4 months away!

    By the way, I’ll be emailing you soon and posting the review of your book on my blog soon (it’s about time.. right? I’m just saying!)

  3. June 22, 2010 12:24 pm

    “This is his stage. His season of life. And it’s my job as his mommy to treasure that.”

    I needed to see that today. My toddler didn’t sleep last night, and she’s a mess today. So am I. And my six-month-old is not much better.

    Thank you for being out there, living this. It helps not to be alone. It helps to be reminded sometimes of what I already know.

  4. June 22, 2010 2:06 pm

    Uh yes, why just today I suffered from Mom exhaustion. One of my little dudes is going through quite a defiant stage, which culminated in knocking over a display at the post office today. I have to say I’m weary of disciplining him and tired of resistance. It’s in those times I know how much I NEED God!

  5. June 22, 2010 4:36 pm

    Absolutely, and be ready for cycles of exhaustion that comes with the different stages of life for the kids. With now a 7th grade daughter and a 4th grade son, we know there are new challenges ahead (like how do I parent a ‘tween girl????)

    But I take comfort knowing that God has called me and my wife to this ministry…the ministry of family, and that He has entrusted two of His children to my wife and me.

    Man…it’s exhausting and terrifying to think of it that way…. 😉

    • June 22, 2010 9:25 pm

      Thanks for your thoughts. Kelly and Danielle- I so appreciate your honesty when it’s tough. Lack of sleep, defiant little boys- in the end, the hard work will pay off! And most of all, it will pay to lean on Christ for strength 🙂 Some days, it’s okay to admit it’s a mess!

      Andy brings some good wisdom to us all- since we’ll eventually be in the tween years! Thank you for the reminder that we will ALWAYS be depending on the Lord. Man- how could I forget that?

      Anna- hang in there! Before you know it, he will be sleeping through the night!

  6. Anna Lewis permalink
    June 22, 2010 9:14 pm

    I, too, needed to hear this! And just give yourself a little extra slack for parenting while pregnant. 🙂 It’s good for me to be reminded to go to the “source of ALL strength.”

  7. June 24, 2010 9:19 pm

    Mom Exhaustion? All the time! When I am asked to rank the Princesses in order from my least favorite to number one girl, when I am asked to watched the same trick on our playset for the 100th time, when I have to hear, “Mama, mama, up, up, please”. However, I do agree…this is their stage and soon no one will want to talk princesses. Good post!

    • June 28, 2010 9:32 am

      that’s so cute Amy. I’m expecting a girl next so I bet we’ll have similar conversations. Crazy to think how fast the princess stage will go by…

  8. June 27, 2010 5:13 pm

    I’ve got three girls and a boy, ranging in age from 16 down to 8. The physical exhaustion eases up as they get more independent–those early years are a huge challenge. So I just want to be a voice assuring you that unless you have a special needs child requiring long-term physical assistance, it will get better. …though as Andy points out in an earlier comment, new challenges arise. My eldest has her driver’s license, which frees me up from driving her to every destination, but leaves me praying for safety in a new way.

    Your principles apply to parents facing any stage in their child’s development–every stage is precious; I can turn to the Lord at every moment as my source of stregth; and, He knows everything that’s going on. He knows, He understands, He cares, and He can help. You offer good words.

    I’m so glad you’re part of the High Calling Blogs community!

  9. June 27, 2010 5:14 pm

    I’ve got three girls and a boy, ranging in age from 16 down to 8. The physical exhaustion eases up as they get more independent–those early years are a huge challenge. So I just want to be a voice assuring you that unless you have a special needs child requiring long-term physical assistance, it will get better. …though as Andy points out in an earlier comment, new challenges arise. My eldest has her driver’s license, which frees me up from driving her to every destination, but leaves me praying for safety in a new way.

    Your principles apply to parents facing any stage in their child’s development–every stage is precious; I can turn to the Lord at every moment as my source of strength; and, He knows everything that’s going on. He knows, He understands, He cares, and He can help. You offer good words.

    I’m so glad you’re part of the High Calling Blogs community!

  10. June 28, 2010 9:35 am

    Thank you Ann! I had read some articles of yours so it’s nice to “meet” you! Great wisdom to here from your side of things. I’m always so encouraged by those who have been there and done that.

    It’s probably safe to say that all of life will have its challenges, but great things come from those hardships and sacrifices 🙂

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