The clean laundry is stacked up a mile high, dirty dishes in the sink are spilling over, there’s a floor that needs to be vacuumed from a sweet 3 year old’s breakfast and lunch, and you can barely see the floor because toys almost completely cover it. The days I feel like I have no clue what I’m doing way outnumber the days where I feel like I have everything under control. To society, I would kind of look like a “hot mess” mom that needs to step up to the plate, set her exhaustion to the side and start doing what a “super-mom” does- everything. I should have dinner on the table and all toys cleaned up as soon as my husband gets home from work, and if I don’t, I've failed at being a wife today. My children should always be on their best behavior, never acting out, especially in public, or I've failed at mommying today. (Side note: Yes, I am an advocate for discipline, but I am also an advocate of God’s grace. Children will be children. God disciplines us because He loves us. He shows us grace because He loves us. We are His children, so shouldn't we do the same for the children He's gifted us?). I can’t ask my husband to help clean up the toys or to finish dinner while I go nurse a hungry infant because that would be wrong of me. I’m the mom, so I’m supposed to be successfully doing everything in the home, therefore I should nurse my infant in one arm and prepare the vegetables with the other side of my body....
Sisters, we have an enemy that prowls around like a roaring lion trying to devour us daily- our minds, our hearts, and our souls. This way of irrational thinking indeed devours our souls, depresses our minds, and slowly eats at our hearts leaving us feeling overwhelmed and inadequate as wives and mothers. Here is the simple truth- The Lord never created us women to bear this weight alone; He didn’t create us to take it all on ourselves. And when we do, what happens? For me personally, that overwhelming sense of inadequacy floods my mind, and in these moments, I fail to run to Jesus because, in my irrational thinking, I need to bear the weight of the world to be a successful mommy and wife. This is so far from the truth. In reality, playing "super-women" is killing my soul. The evil one is great at allowing this overwhelming feeling to steady our minds on ourselves and what we aren’t doing instead of steadying our minds on Jesus and what He’s doing in us as parents and inside our homes. Friends, I will admit, I fail my children and my husband daily, not based on worldly standards, but based on pointing them to Christ because of the burden I place on myself- that I have to do it all because I'm "mommy" and because of this, my mind drifts off Jesus and onto my failures.
Brothers, your wife needs your help. Whether she wants to admit it or not, she can not and was not made to do "home" all herself. Pray for wisdom. Continually study her to know her cues for rescue. God created you to be her help-mate. Give her your gift of service. Pray for her as often as you think of her, and pray with her every chance you get. Help her soul blossom in this beautifully hard season of childbearing.
Over the past 7 years of marriage, the Lord has been so kind in showing and teaching Devin, my husband clues of when I am starting to get overwhelmed. He’s graciously learned that he doesn't have to be asked if I want him to do the dishes. If they are stacked up high, he teams up with me to “get-er-done” while I throw a load of laundry in or bathe the kids. Or vice versa the rolls! The first few years, yes I had to step off the “super-woman” stool and humbly admit I needed help. Marriage and parenthood are a team-effort, working both side by side and conversing face to face. I don’t want my children remembering me as a short-fused/discipline queen because I’m so overwhelmed at taking on every task before me, so I'm learning to ask for help; to ask for help from two sources; one being my husband and one being my Lord. Yes, women- ask your husbands for help. Devin knows he can help lighten that burden by praying for me, and he is learning that he can lighten the load by tangibly putting away the clean, piled high laundry or the mile high dishes. Sisters, throw your “super-women” cape away (this mentality is killing our souls) and wake your husband up at night to help with your infant even if he has to work the next day- this doesn’t mean you’ve failed at being a mommy because you need sleep. It means your help-mate/husband is showing you and your precious child an act of love through his service. It doesn’t matter that he just go home from work and has worked all day. Home is not work. Bathing your child is not work. Doing the dishes is not work. These are all acts of service to show love towards your children and your spouse. It’s showing your children that both mommy and daddy can successfully meet their physical need of bathing them clean and the emotional need of being there to enjoy their peaceful presence. Your husband is your help-mate; team up with him. Through the Lord’s miraculous design- it takes a male and female to create a child; it also takes both mommy and daddy in parenthood to hold up a God-centered household. A God-centered household is possible through understanding the redemptive work of Jesus, which has already been done for you. So, because of this redemptive work, through the roller-coasters of parenthood, I know that He’s with me, helping me, helping Devin, and helping our children to see His grace mirrored through us, their parents as we team up to together take on this gift called parenthood.
No mommy- you actually can’t do it alone. Why? Because you were never created to do it alone. So, leave the dishes for your husband to do tonight, go give your kids a bath and instead of looking at it as a task, consider it a gift from the Lord, a gift of your calm and peaceful presence in the lives of your children because your load has been lightened with love from your husband and care from the Lord.