As mothers, it’s much easier to talk about all the joy and extraordinary blessing that comes with being a mom. Being vulnerable about what hurts isn’t on anyone’s bucket list. Plus, our good days typically far outweigh the tough ones giving us plenty of bandwidth to share the positive.
But when the bad days mount up during a challenging crisis or a gut-wrenching season, the emotional toll can almost break us. Sometimes it does.
It’s a lonely road walking through the storms of motherhood. I’ve been through more soul-bending seasons over 27 years than I care to admit.
I had a kid who stopped breathing at five days old and had to have risky eye surgery on both eyes at five years old. I had a kid who was bullied relentlessly in middle school. I had a kid who was demeaned by coaches for almost a decade.
I had a kid who sunk into darkness and rebellion in the early teen years. Another who battles severe anxiety. Another who was suicidal because of her journey through sexuality.
I’ve had a kid who barely spoke to me for months. Another blame me for all of their weaknesses and downfalls. And another who continuously broke the rules and didn’t give two shits about it.
I had three kids survive a school shooting.
We also had to “kick out” two of our kids at one point in a show of tough love.
Only another mother can understand what these types of scenarios do to your insides. Only another mother can comprehend the mental and emotional overload:
how you lay awake for hours battling debilitating fear and worry
how your heart breaks and bleeds and longs for a solution
how your stomach turns from swallowing the rejection
how the self-blame, guilt, unworthiness, and despair coils up in your insides
how the emptiness and loneliness eat you alive
We are never prepared for it.
Yet, we continue to put one foot in front of the other. We continue to find enough strength to press onward. Love is a powerful thing. Motherly love something powerful beyond measure.
Love propels us forward even when the weight of the world sits on our chest.
Love medicates the pain and agony enough to make it bearable.
Love wills us to continue seeing the best in our kids even when they choose to see the worst in us.
Love builds up our self-esteem and provides the strength to keep fighting for our family.
Love floods in like a high tide filling the voids.
We are never prepared for this either.
We aren’t prepared for much when it comes to motherhood–for the ecstasy or the grief. The paradox is palpable.
Yet, we warrior onward, fueled by this inconceivable force within us yoked to the heartbeat of our children.
What a journey. What a mystery.
What a gift.
This was a contributed post from Shelby Spear. Shelby is a sappy soul whisperer, sarcasm aficionado, pro-LOVE Jesus adoring mom of 3 Millennials writing stuff & doing life w/ hubs of 25 yrs. She is the co-author of the book, How Are You Feeling, Momma? (You don’t need to say, “I’m fine.”) You can read her open heart about the revelations, screw-ups, gaffes, and joys of motherhood on her blog shelbyspear.com, around the web, and in print at Guideposts.
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