You’ve had that day that makes you want to just give up.

Weary mom, don't give up. | apaigefromourbook.com© Depositphotos.com/RomanovaTatjana

You crawl out of bed still exhausted from the day before and set to care for the children with barely a glance at yourself in the mirror. There is the thought that a shower later might actually happen if everything goes just right, but at this point it remains a mere hope. The children are clamoring for their breakfast so all thoughts about personal hygiene must be set aside. You glance at a devotional calendar on your counter while you pour cereal and milk, hoping that it’s reminder of the Gospel will stay with you during your day. While your littles finish their breakfast, you work to get beds made and the clean dishes in the dishwasher that ran during the night, unloaded. Before you know it, the kids are done eating and two of them are fighting over a Happy Meal toy. You stop your tasks to temper the situation and hopefully bring young eyes to see the Gospel in their own need for reconciliation. Now your other child has opened the door to the backyard and is outside in their underwear. Honestly, a part of you just doesn’t care whether they’re wearing clothes or not, but the idea of slathering a body’s worth of sunscreen on them has you giving it a second thought. 

Shorts, shirts, sandals, sunscreen & shades and they’re all ready to play outside. Somehow that took near an hour of your life and you know you only have limited time to throw a load in the wash, wipe down the bathroom, pick up the living room, load up the dishwasher with breakfast dishes and sweep up cheerio remains {all the while praying that no-one outside dies} before you have to start preparing lunch. Yes, you feel the guilt that you aren’t that mom who stands guard in her yard while her precious youngins play, instead taking opportunity to bring some order to your house, but after all you don’t want to be a helicopter parent, plus the windows and back door are open allowing you to hear and interject correction and mediation. 


Bathroom clean? Check. Living room de-cluttered? Check. Dishwasher loaded? Check. Floors swept? Check. Load in clothes washer? Darn it. You knew you forgot something. You head downstairs to throw it in quick before the kids come in for lunch, but oh yeah. The washer still has a load of towels in it from yesterday and the dryer is holding your husband’s work clothes that need to be re-heated and hung up. UGH.  You turn the dryer on again and turn the washer setting to a quick cycle on hot to get rid of any smell in the towels. Smelly towels. . . yummy. Before you can shut the lid, the back door slams and your middle child is crying because their older sibling won’t share the swing. Seriously? There are two. Just swing on the other one. You send the middle child outside again, explaining that they can seek reconciliation with their sibling by themselves. The screen door slams again and you chuckle and sigh. Walking into the kitchen you hope to get lunch prepared before another argument breaks out, but you hear the distinct sound of cheerios hitting the floor. It appears that your youngest has helped themselves to a late morning snack by grabbing handfuls of their favorite cereal out of the plastic storage container, but more is covering the floor than is making it into their mouth. 
Weary mom, don't give up. | apaigefromourbook.com

You take said child to another room to talk about taking food without asking and disobeying instruction {this isn’t the first time this has happened} and administer the proper correction. You bring the repentant child back to the cereal on the floor and instruct them to pick it up and throw it in the garbage, but you forgot to put away the plastic storage container on your way to the basement to hang up your husband’s work clothes. Your older children have now come inside in search of lunch {you’re pretty sure that food is a constant  thought in the minds and stomachs of your children} and one comes downstairs using dramatic waving of the arms and indiscernible grunts. You remind your school age child to use their words and they frantically tell you that your youngest has taken the plastic storage container of cereal and dumped it’s contents in. the. garbage can. “Good thing it’s just the generic brand”, you think. Right, because that makes it better. You take your youngest back to the other room for more correction since they are definitely old enough to know better. 
Lunch. You just want to get it made and have your littles consume it without another mishap, fight, or any other kind of issue needing correction, but you’re dealing with children after all, so it’s three instructions to sit on their bottom, 2 reminders that they do indeed need to eat all of their cheese, a curt word to the child slurping up their milk and spitting it back onto the table and 25 minutes later before you can call it Quiet/Nap Time. 
Weary mom, don't give up. | apaigefromourbook.com

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You quickly push out of your mind the grandiose ideas you had earlier of vacuuming and completing 3 to four loads of laundry during QT and pray you can finish hanging up your husband’s work clothes and get the load of towels dried, folded and put away after you eat your breakfast/lunch. While you are devouring your bowl of granola your oldest child comes out to tell you that the youngest has come out of their room and is playing in a small puddle of water in your room that they created from a neglected water bottle. Deal with small child, wipe up floor and remind oldest child to go back to reading books quietly in their room.  What were you doing? Oh yes, eating. You take your dishes to the sink and head down to the basement to finish hanging up clothes and finally get the towels in the dryer.  In the middle of this task  you hear another child yelling, “Mama — I went poop!   Mo–om, I went poop!   silence. . .  Mo–om, I went poop!  Mama, Mama, I went poop!   Mom, I went poooop!”  You bring the hanging clothes upstairs and force a kind whisper to the yelling child that you will be right with them after you hang your husband’s clothes in the closet. 
Butt wiped and child back in their room, you go back downstairs to put another load of clothes in the washer, telling yourself that in the interest of not rewashing any loads tomorrow, this will be the last load of clothes to be washed today. Well, you got 1 new load of clothes washed today. Hey, it’s better than none!  Finally you sit down in a quiet house. You could vacuum, but chances are the noise would disrupt the rest of QT, so instead you work on paying bills and returning emails that are several days old. The dog decides that instead of letting you know he needs to go out, that he’ll relieve himself in the corner of the living room. You set aside the emails, let the dog out and clean up the poop while trying to remind yourself why you have a dog.  
Weary mom, don't give up. | apaigefromourbook.com

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Weary mom, don't give up. | apaigefromourbook.com© Depositphotos.com/RobHainer

Your emails are finished and you’re delving into a book you promised a friend you would read with them when your non-sleeping children decide that QT must be over for them. They ask you what’s for dinner and if they can have a snack. Dinner? Oh right, that meal you feed them before bed. What are you going to make for dinner?!  You get them a quick snack and turn on a movie so the house stays on the quiet side while your younger child remains sleeping. Dinner. You have to come up with a plan for dinner. You remember your husband has meetings after work and won’t be home until late. Sigh.  At least that means dinner can be an easier fare since it’s just the kids and you. You wake your youngest child so they will still be able to fall asleep at bedtime, put them in front of the TV with their siblings and get to work prepping dinner.

By the time dinner is finished and the kids are in bed, you feel depleted and just want to veg. You have little more to give and if you look around at the state of your house, you might just cry. What is the point of trying to put it in order when it will just be destroyed again tomorrow? You feel like you’re drowning in the sea of trying to manage a home while raising young {mess creators} children. The day of greater balance on the scale of mess to cleanliness seems a million years away and the idea of a time when your children will either not make messes or clean them up without being asked is nearly laughable to you. You’ve had that day that makes you want to just give up. And right now you might do just that.  << GIVE. UP. >>


Does this resonate with you? Have you had a day like this recently? This has been my reality a lot lately; I think it has something to do with summer and either a struggling routine or the lack of a routine. But let me encourage you with the encouragement I have received from the Holy Spirit. Don’t give up! Life isn’t measured by how clean our homes our kept or by how much we accomplish start to finish in our day. Our job as moms is to pour the Gospel into our children, through our words and our gracious example. When we respond to our children with grace and patience despite their childishness or sin, we show them the love and grace our Heavenly Father has for us. Romans 2 tells us that it is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance. We have been granted much grace in Jesus’ death on the cross to suffer the wrath of a holy God in our place.  I don’t know about you, but I know that I can grow in responding to my children with grace during days like the fictional one above.

Our job is also to train and raise up children who will become responsible, contributing members of society. We don’t realize it, but much of that training comes from the mishaps, the arguments and the correction of disobedience. We also exemplify perseverance to our children when we don’t throw in the towel after an extra busy day. We often want the satisfaction of seeing our work completed at the end of the day, but our main job is such that we won’t see it’s fruit; it’s “finished” work for many years. 

One last thought and encouragement. I’m learning that our day is much more successful if I don’t get overloaded with my to-do list. 1 load of laundry is fine for a day, if I see it through completely.  Don’t overlook the little moments throughout the day. Trips to the park, or the library or just 30 minutes  here and there of tickling and horsing around with my kids makes the summer much more enjoyable. The smiles and gut laughter my son gives me when I tickle him every day before his nap make that one of my most cherished moments each day. 

Weary mom, don't give up. | apaigefromourbook.com

Don’t give up. The days go by so fast and soon our children will be grown and gone. Our homes will be clean, but the love and laughter from our children will only come by to visit. Instead of finding your validation in a clean house and to-do list completely checked off, find value in the adorable faces that look up into yours as they hug you and exclaim, “You’re the best mom in the whole world!”  Why? Because you are their mom.
Hugs for you weary mom; I’m praying for you today. We’re in this together!
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Written by hmbrachle@gmail.com

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