You’re the glue that keeps your family together. You:
- manage everyone’s schedules,
- comfort your daughter when she skins her knee,
- prep supper,
- research online for solutions to your child’s health struggles,
- answer the tough questions of life that your teenager springs on you before bed,
- drive your son around town for his paper route,
- organize household chores,
- pray at night with your children when they feel afraid, and
- keep everyone’s drawers full of freshly laundered clothes.
You do it all. And as if the stress of #momlife isn’t already too much, another crisis falls upon your family. Life never stops throwing punches. You’re left wondering:
Am I the only mom who’s struggling to bear all of this? I’m so stressed. Who’s going to comfort me?
When Life Becomes TOO MUCH!
Last fall, the kids were sent home from school on a Friday afternoon with backpacks full of assignments. Shortly after they arrived, my inbox began flooding with emails from teachers and Principals, full of instructions and new procudures for home learning.
I felt like my head would explode.
The following Monday, our family entered a chaotic world:
- of juggling devices between children to accommodate their virtual meetings and online schoolwork,
- where I tried my best to be the intermediary between my kids and their teachers,
- in which I snuck away to my room to cry so I wouldn’t scream,
- where the kids wished they were back at school, and I wished I had back my quiet house to write,
- that felt – both for me and my children – like a horror pinball ride from 9am to 2pm.
I was a mess.
Virtual Comic Relief
By the last school day of that first week of home learning, I felt we were improving. We’d found a bit of a rhythm, although the schedule was still ridiculous, and my neck and shoulders were rock hard from built-up tension.
I sat down next to my daughter at our living room desk. Together, we watched the laptop, waiting for her teacher to begin the Grade 2 virtual morning meeting. One by one, her classmates joined; a little square would pop up on the screen and a new face would appear.
Most of the children had their mics muted, as per the teacher’s instructions, but one little girl didn’t. She was quiet, though. The only sounds we could hear through her mic were her family members moving around somewhere off-screen.
Suddenly, we saw the little girl shift. There was some movement. Then a glimpse of her hand swished across the screen in front of us, quickly followed by a woman’s strained voice:
“No. Don’t touch anything. I said, don’t touch anything!”
I can only assume this was the little girl’s mother. Then, all was quiet again while the little girl dutifully sat further back in her seat, hands on her lap, waiting.
“All the Moms are Stressed!”
I looked at my daughter, and she looked at me, eyes wide. She tried to stifle a giggle, but I didn’t bother. I burst out laughing and cried:
“See?!? All the moms are stressed. It’s not just me!”
We shared a giggle in the few seconds that were left before the teacher started the meeting. We weren’t laughing at the little girl on the screen, or at her frustrated mother. We were laughing with relief – relief that we weren’t the only ones feeling the pressure of this difficult season:
- I felt relieved that this other mom understood what I was going through, that she wasn’t handling the pressure perfectly, either.
- And my daughter was relieved that there were other little girls who had to deal with tired, snappy moms, too.
This moment – this relief in knowing we weren’t alone – was a great comfort to me.
Are you a Stressed Mom in Need of Comfort?
What’s your struggle today? Are you weary from the day-to-day responsiblities of motherhood? Or is there an additional burden you’re carrying, above and beyond your usual mom-load? You’re not alone.
The truth is that although moms are usually the ones comforting others, we need comfort, too.
There are many ways we can find comfort. Here a just a few:
- Moms can draw comfort from from other moms through stories like the one I shared today.
- Moms can find comfort in an encouraging book. (Just don’t read “How to Be a Perfect Mom.”)
- Moms can seek comfort through professional counseling.
Our Best Source of Comfort
But above all these comforts, you and I have an even greater source of comfort available to us. A comfort that will never abandon us in our crisis.
God is the perfect Comforter. He loves you, sees your struggle, and knows your burden. He wants to be a comfort to you.
“As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.”Isaiah 66:13a NIV
Often, when I’m exhausted and all I want is for someone to comfort me like I comfort my children, I crawl into bed, wrap the covers around me, and pray, “Lord, come comfort me. I need a hug.” This is everyday faith in action. Believing that Jesus cares about me and my struggles. Believing that he will comfort me when I ask.
When life is heavy and you feel you have nothing left to give, I know it can feel hopeless, like you’ll never gain your strength back. But you will.
God will never leave you or abandon you. Keep returning to him with your stress, pain, worry, and exhaustion. Keep asking him to comfort you. Wait expectantly for him to renew you. He will; He’s faithful.
“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;Isaiah 40:31 ESV
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.”
And one day, you’ll realize that what was once unbearable has passed. The season is over. You’ll look back, and clearly see God’s faithful comfort. And then you can comfort other moms with the comfort with which he comforted you.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ESV
Can I Pray for You?
Before you go, I’d love to pray with you:
Dear Lord Jesus, When the world isn’t good, when my friend can’t cope with the pressures and stresses of this life, help her to remember that you are good. You never stop being good. Holy Spirit, would you please fill my friend with your strength, power, and comfort today? Whatever she needs to make it through, would you be that comfort to her? Let her feel your love wrap around her like a hug. Let her know deep in her heart that she is enough because Jesus has redeemed her. Give her the courage to tackle whatever responsibilities await her today. Boost her energy so she can make it through. We give you all glory, honour, and praise, Father. We love you, Jesus. We’re so thankful for all you’ve done for us. We welcome you, Holy Spirit, to come fill us. We don’t want to do life without you. In Jesus’s name, amen.