Encouragement for Weary Mothers

Picture 13I have been going through a challenging season in my mothering: sparatic insomnia, disciplinary struggles with a toddler, and challenges with getting the kids to sleep together in the same room. I have felt time and time again that I just wanted to throw in the towel and give up. I believe the Lord takes you through these seasons in order to reveal how much we desperately need Him in order to be faithful mothers to our children. I wanted to share with you today some encouragement that the Lord has used to lift me out of those feelings of failure and hopelessness. Mothering is not an easy task, nor is it a task that I would ever do on my own.

Take time to be alone
This may sound impossible, but I believe it to be essential, and possible if you are purposeful! I have found taking regular intervals of time to have a simple short retreat brings such refreshment to me. In this season of life with nursing, they have to be short, but it is amazing how an hour or two away can renew my spirits. I try to get out once or twice a month for a few hours on a Saturday morning or Sunday while my husband watches the little ones to just be alone and read the Word and write out my thoughts. I go to a coffee shop or sit alongside a river bank and spend time with the Lord. I always take my Bible and notebook with me to write out what struggles I am going through and the Scriptures that encourage and strengthen me. It is a testimony to look back upon and see what God has done. God has been so good to me lately through these times. If your husband is not available, seek out a friend to trade watching each other’s children. Schedule these times away and make it a habit.

Find refreshment in Psalms 23
I have been steeped in meditation on Psalms 23 lately…a passage we are all familiar with, but how often do we really meditate upon? It has brought such strength to my soul during this weary season and can bring encouragement to you whatever you might be going through. Here are the meditations that I wrote down that I wanted to pass on to you. It is re-paraphrasing Psalms 23 in part in my own words:

You are not alone
“The Lord is my Shepherd” - The Lord, God of the universe, Sovereign King, is MY SHEPHERD. Did you catch that? He is MINE! He chose to take on human flesh in order that He might adopt me into His fold.

Your every need is already met
“I have all that I need” – He has already supplied my present and future needs. He has already provided for the grace I need for each passing day in my mothering and wife roles. It has been a difficult season in child training – it feels like a dark valley with no light at the end of the tunnel, but in reality, this is only a passing season for which God has already supplied all my needs to make it through. I lack patience. I lack perseverence. Grant me, oh Lord faith and endurance. You are doing a good work in me. Growing me in Christ-likeness. Childbearing and childraising are God’s means of grace in my life to make me more like my beautiful Savior. It will bring great reward!

Let some things go
“He lets me rest in green pastures, He leads me besides peaceful streams.”
Sometimes God takes us through difficult seasons and calls us to simply rest. For me that means we have been eating very simple and easy meals. We keep the house picked up but no deep cleaning is happening right now.

Focus on the goal
“Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life.” I am laboring to bring eternal souls into the Kingdom! That is my mission as a mother! I am co-laboring alongside my husband to serve the Lord and His church. My God is close beside me! He guides me along right paths. He is my Shepherd and Guide. He is my Source that I might bring honor to His name. He is my Enabler.

Be thankful
“My cup overflows with blessings.” It is not just full, it is overflowing! Do you see that? What are these blessings? Write them out. I am thankful for My God – I wouldn’t be here without Him. My Husband – who lovingly leads our family and cherishes me! My two adorable children. My family – for their support and encouragement. My cup truly is overflowing!

For further encouragement from Psalms 23, I would encourage you to listen to Revive Our Hearts recent series on it here. This series was what lead me to mediate on Psalms 23 and the Lord has used it mightily in my life!

May you dear sisters be strengthened today in your mothering! The Lord is with you!

What can you be thankful for today?

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

38 Responses to Encouragement for Weary Mothers

  1. Colleen Chao June 26, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    Hello, Lindsay! I’m about four years late to this party ;) but I wanted to thank you for this article and your beautiful Scriptural reflections. They came at just the right time and brought me to tears. I only have one toddler, but I’ve juggled some severe and chronic illness in the midst of my new motherhood, and once in awhile it all culminates into a day like today when I need some fresh perspective and cheering on. :) Blessings on you and your wonderful ministry! (By the way, I found you by Googling “encouragement for mothers of toddlers.” Do I sound desperate or what? Glad I found you!)

  2. Cassie January 8, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    Thanks for posting this. I needed it today.
    I am pregnant with my #4. When this one is born, I will have 4 kids 2 and under.
    Feeling a little overwhelmed today and needed to read this. Thanks :)

  3. Milton Loforte August 16, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    I’m going to bookmark your site for the future. Keep writing great posts like this!

  4. Claire Vorster November 17, 2010 at 4:59 am #

    Love this post Lindsay. Also the practical way you break it down. You are right, we need to take the pressure off ourselves to have it all together all the time. Thankfully He has it all together for us!

    Love to you and yours,
    Claire

  5. Leslie October 19, 2009 at 1:50 pm #

    I know this is an older post, but I found it just now as I was searching out encouragement! It has helped me tremendously since I too am braestfeeding and training a toddler!! Thank you so much for sharing.

  6. Jennifer R. September 30, 2009 at 7:51 am #

    Thank you for the sweet encouragement. I think you would also enjoy a book by Philip Keller called “A Shepherd Looks at the 23rd Psalm.” He writes from the perspective of one who used to be a shepherd and expands on each phrase of the Psalm. Very enlightening and encouraging.

  7. Lisa Ashby September 29, 2009 at 9:01 am #

    What a wonderful post, and one I really needed to hear today. Thanks for sharing it. :)

  8. Mom of Two Toddlers September 21, 2009 at 2:11 pm #

    Thank you so much. I needed this today. :)

  9. Mindy September 18, 2009 at 10:59 am #

    This means a lot to me. Thank you so much for sharing. There are many days that I feel far from God, but I still know that he has never once left my side. I feel like I never have a second just to myself. I am going to start trying to find a few quite moments for prayer.

  10. M.I.A in Minnesota September 13, 2009 at 6:14 pm #

    You have no idea how much I needed to read this today! Thank you for sharing!

  11. Stephanie September 13, 2009 at 11:17 am #

    Thanks so much, Lindsay, for this post. I’m facing a difficult challenge right now & this post is what I needed to hear to help me keep my mind in the right place. Thnks for letting God use you to be a blessing to others.

  12. Carly September 12, 2009 at 1:16 pm #

    Thank you so much for this post! So encouraging. I have a 2 year old and an almost 10 month old. I’m right there with ya. When I read a couple days ago that you had only gotten 2 hours of sleep, I wondered if you were dealing with insomnia. I also deal with insomnia . . . sometimes related to my cycle, sometimes related to missing my “sleepy” time and sometimes due to a mind that seems to be running full-speed ahead all on its own. God is so good to sustain us on little sleep, isn’t He? If you ever need someone to talk with about insomnia, let me know. May Jesus richly provide all that you need and continue to sustain you and lift up your heart.

  13. Emily September 12, 2009 at 8:30 am #

    I am thankful right now for this moment of quiet and for your idea of paraphrasing Psalm 23 in my own words. I am going to journal on that this week during my morning reflection times.

  14. Christy September 11, 2009 at 7:22 pm #

    I have also wrestled with insomnia over the past 2 years, ever since my first daughter was born. I have a just-turned-2-year-old (currently with a double ear infection!) and 3 month old, and am often up at night with both of them. I prayed desperately for God to take away my insomnia when it first started, thinking ALL I needed was to get some sleep…but He continually answered me with 2 Cor. 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you…for My power is made perfect in weakness.” I still cling to this promise, and that has become my prayer each morning in this grueling season…that He would grant me grace for the day, and that His name would be made great, because (more than sleep) He is what I need, and He is the one who will sustain me, give me joy, and help me to be the best mommy and wife I can be!

  15. Joanna September 10, 2009 at 8:12 am #

    Thank you for this post…I don’t have any kids running around yet, just one in my belly growing really fast! At 34 weeks, it’s beginning to take a lot out of me, and the last few days I have felt like I barely have the strength to get out of bed, let alone take care of myself and my husband and serve others! These words are very encouraging to me. I just called and cancelled one of the commitments I had today in order to take a nap – which I am going to do right now, meditating on Psalm 23 as I fall asleep. I know that any strength I have comes not from myself but from my mighty Lord!

  16. LS September 8, 2009 at 10:28 pm #

    Most days during my third child’s first year seemed overwhelming. And all of a sudden, now that he recently turned one, I feel like we have turned a corner and life is getting easier. (My first-ever dishwasher has helped immensely with that too!) We also live in a small place where there is much room-sharing and it’s not easy to keep them all quiet or busy in a small space. Being a mom is the hardest thing I have ever done but also the best! I am blessed by your honesty and vulnerability and may God strengthen you for the task!

  17. Kim September 8, 2009 at 5:01 pm #

    Lindsay, I only have a minute but I wanted to say thank you. There are so many mothers of all ages all over our nation who find you as such an encouragement and inspiration. It is very helpful for us to see that you struggle; that your house is not always sparkling and that mothering and all that it implies is not always easy for you. It is so easy to look at others and think that they have it all together and that we ourselves are the only ones who just can’t seem to get it together! I have been very blessed by you. Thank you for ministering through this blog. BTW lots of families in my church are being inspired by your frugal and natural ideas. Several families have already switched to baking soda shampoo etc. Just want you to know that your ministry is like a wave traveling to more people than you can even begin to realize. God bless you girl! I’ll be praying for you!
    One more thing…when you are done with Psalm 23 spend some time in Isaiah 40. You won’t regret it!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Jenn September 8, 2009 at 1:30 pm #

    I have been reading your blog for some time, and find you to be quite an inspiration. Right now I am running my self ragged running after a toddler, and selling my house (fielding an offer, and preparing for a showing) Often I feel that I cannot take much more, Psalms 23 brings me such peace, thank you for reminding me. Through your link to “Revive Our Hearts” I was also recently brought to Luke 10:38-41 In which we are advised of where our priorities are best laid. These two verses have helped me to revive my energies by refocusing me on what is truly important. God is truly using your voice to reach people, you are very blessed.

  19. Heather September 8, 2009 at 1:13 pm #

    Exactly what I needed. I’m saving this post! Thank you allowing God to speak through you.

  20. Heather@WoolandFlax September 8, 2009 at 11:10 am #

    What a wonderful and timely post. I love what you said about letting go of perfection and focusing on the goal. For me that means letting go of being a perfect mom and focusing on raising godly kids rather than kids whose behavior is outwardly perfect. A sinful mommy trying to discipline a sinful child is bound to be messy without God’s wisdom. Thanks for sharing.

  21. stephanie September 8, 2009 at 10:37 am #

    This topic (discouraged / overwhelmed / exhausted motherhood) has been coming up a lot. I’ve been reading “Holiness for Housewives” by Hubert van Zeller as well as listening to a tape on “Homemaking, Housework, and Heaven” plus I just read a post from another Christian mom who realized, “These kids are driving me crazy” is just another lie Satan wants us to believe. She recommended “Lies Women Believe (and the truth that sets them free) by Nancy Leigh deMoss. God bless!

  22. Shelley September 8, 2009 at 7:07 am #

    Very timely for me. I have been trying to be a better partner, and at the same time find my patience with my boys waning even more. It is hard with a toddler and young baby, and some encouragement from other mothers is often the best support. Thank you.

  23. Amy September 8, 2009 at 6:59 am #

    Funny thing! Last night I was talking to my husband about feeling overwhelmed lately. We are going through a home renovation and having my house out of order really messes with me. Also, being home in it all day and trying to keep my 14 month old out of the work places has been challenging me. I opened up your blog and saw that title and thought “Thanks Lord you knew this was just the day I needed this!”

  24. Lindsey September 8, 2009 at 6:35 am #

    wonderful, thank you so much for sharing.

  25. Tamara September 8, 2009 at 5:26 am #

    Thanks for sharing this Lindsay! I appreciate your honesty and vulnerability. In the early months of my son’s life, God also led me to Psalm 23! It was as refreshing and renewing for me as it seems to have been for you! I’m so thankful that God meets us just where we are!

  26. Courtney September 8, 2009 at 4:45 am #

    Thank you so much for this post! I have a 4 1/2 year old and 3 year old, and some days I feel so weary! Some days I feel like a terrible mother as I just yell at them all day long and other days I can step back and really appreciate their antics. But, I know that on those bad days, I am listening to lies — lies that I’m not a good mother, that I need to be doing so much more, that others have it all together, etc. I know that God does not see me that way, but it’s so hard sometimes to hear Him in the midst of small-children-madness :) Thank you so much for your encouragement!!

  27. Christie September 8, 2009 at 4:44 am #

    I echo the other ladies’ sentiments! God so brought me to this post this morning. My two year old woke at 6am with a bad dream (she normally wakes at 8am)and being 9 weeks pregnant, I am trying to get all the rest I can get! Motherhood is tougher than I ever imagined, but we are training troops for the army of God!! Let’s put on our armor, ladies!

  28. Lisa September 8, 2009 at 2:20 am #

    Where was this post 18 years ago when I was a new mother?
    Eight children later, I can say that these seasons seem like you are in the trenches now, and you are. But the Lord is faithful and never gives more than you can handle, if you will avail yourself of His sweet grace and mercy through His Word and the sweet communion with Him that trying times seem to encourage. Keep on keeping on, sisters. This time is so short and realize that every work you do(chastising, training, role-playing right responses, teaching, more training, instructing, reproving, snuggling, and smiling)is a work of cooperating with the God of the universe in bringing this little soul(or these many young souls) into conformity with His will, and working out your sanctification, too. Parenting is just as much for us and our well-being as it is for our dear children’s benefit. He is there with you, watching, whispering words of encouragement, and offering streams of refreshment. Pray as you go!

  29. Rebekah September 7, 2009 at 6:57 pm #

    Blessings on you for posting this! I have been discouraged lately also, just with the monontony and loneliness of being a new stay at home mom, with a hard-working husband who can’t be home very much. It’s good to hear from other moms who have struggles and trials too … it makes me feel not quite so alone!

  30. Hallee September 7, 2009 at 6:21 pm #

    I have been doing a series on Titus 2 and recently blogged about the Blessings of Loving My Children. Perhaps it can be an encouragement to you: http://greggsgal.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/the-blessings-of-loving-my-children/

  31. alli September 7, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    Lindsay, I am one of those people who can’t go to bed until the house is tidied up, even if we come home late at night. I’m learning that there are some things that are not so important as I think. Is is more important to me to get those few dishes washed before I retire or to crawl into bed with my hubby (while he is still awake!) and just be with him? We have three little girls – 3 years, 2 years and 5 1/2 months and my days and our evenings can be hectic, loud, frustrating, or beautiful. I believe that mothers are so influential in creating the level of peace and calmness in their home. So I am constantly checking what and who I am giving my attention to…if it’s housework before family than I have to check myself. What good is a worn out mommy?? Or wife for that matter? So your note on taking time for ourselves ALONE is so true. I know I need to more. I should just praise my hubby too who is so willing to let me go for a bit and have his little girls all to himself :)
    Thanks for a great post :)

  32. Lauren September 7, 2009 at 5:11 pm #

    Thank you for the sweet and encouraging post! We all struggle in our own areas, and go through seasons that are more tough than others. But mothering is no simple task! And to be honest with you, I think that all of us who have toddlers are experiencing disciplinary problems. :) I used to really feel frustrated about it, especially when I would see (well-behaved) children of my friends who are not believers; then one day the LORD revealed to me that Satan is not engaged in warfare for those children. So it’s sometimes wearisome, and sometimes it feels like 1 step forward and 10 steps back. But as you said, we are not striving alone, and – the thing I must remember – I am not striving for my own sense of pride at my children’s ability to behave in a nice restaurant, or obey immediately at the park and impress my friends with their training. Our training, discipline, and teaching is done for the sake of their very souls, to the Glory of the God of the entire universe! :)

    A couple of years ago a beloved aunt sent me a sweet email of an excerpt from “The Invisible Woman.” I found the author “performing” the excerpt as a monologue on YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YU0aNAHXP0

    It really blessed me, and I go back often and re-read it to encourage me.

    Thanks again for the fresh look at Psalm 23. Another thing that I have done is to write in my journal my own paraphrase of 1 Cor 13: “Love is patient…with teething babies. Love is kind…when my toddler makes a mess when I send him to wash his hands by himself.” It’s an idea I got from a wonderful book, “A Mother’s Heart” by Jean Fleming. It’s neat to see the things that the LORD lays on my heart as I meditate over that passage as well! :)

  33. Krista September 7, 2009 at 5:08 pm #

    This was just what I needed to read today. I have been reading your blog for awhile, but this is my first time to comment. My son is 17 months old and very strong-willed and I just recently starting taking care of a 2 month old full-time in my home. It has been quite a transition for us and very difficult for me to find peace in my heart right now. My toddler is really reacting to the change by pushing my buttons every second and the baby is not a good sleeper so I find very little time to just relax during the day. Thank the Lord that His love endures and His promises are sure. I am definitely going to be meditating on Psalm 23 this week.

  34. alexis September 7, 2009 at 4:38 pm #

    thanks for the beautiful post. I’m having the same struggles right now too, so this was encouraging for me.

  35. Melody September 7, 2009 at 4:32 pm #

    Thank you for your very real and encouraging words. As I read your post, I remember feeling those very feelings so many times during any given week, if not daily. I have an almost 2 year old, 10 month old, and another on the way — being a mother to my children definitely is a means of sanctification in my life. I know that when I am not hungering and thirsting for God alone and for time in His Word … that is when I am most vulnerable. I think all moms go through these valleys at times, but are too afraid to share. Thanks again for the encouragement!

  36. Charissa September 7, 2009 at 4:12 pm #

    This really hit the spot today. We’re struggling with toddler discipline as well, and it can seem overwhelming and impossible (especially since I’m expecting and already exhausted). But, I know that my God is big enough to enable her obedience to us and our obedience to Him. Thanks for the words of encouragement!!

  37. Jeannie September 7, 2009 at 3:45 pm #

    Thank you for this encouraging post. Your suggestions are timely and I think a wonderful reminder to be sure to have time dedicated to our Lord without distraction. My husband and I just started reading the Bible together and I love it, but know I must also do my own reading/studying as well.

  38. Christina September 7, 2009 at 3:43 pm #

    Thank you for the encouraging verses and post. I have a 3 year old and another on the way, and I am going to save this post so I can read it when I need to remember to keep my eyes on the Lord! God Bless!