My eyes flickered open and closed as I lay on the hospital bed after giving birth to my first-born daughter.
The lights above me felt painfully bright as my eyes fought hard to stay open. Almost lifeless, my body had never felt so depleted. I lay there in a dream-like state, watching the world go on in full speed around me while inside I was in slow motion, barely strong enough to partake in the joy of bringing my daughter into the world.
I had given every last ounce of myself, poured out until there was not much left. My body was laid out as a sacrifice for the life of another.
This was just the beginning of pouring myself out for my children and giving my all for them. I knew at this moment what a blessing this calling would be, but I didn’t realize the continuous giving of myself from my empty body, over and over again, that would take place day in and day out.
I can easily get caught up in all the places I fall short in motherhood and how I don’t measure up to the expectations I have placed on myself or how I have let the expectations of the world tell me my worth as a mom.
I cry and get frustrated when I mess up over and over again. Oftentimes, I’m worried my own mess-ups will lead my children to continually fall short in their own lives too. The pressure and stress to get it right can steal my focus from the good things I do as a mom.
When I take a moment to pause and really put motherhood into perspective, I realize how much I lack in giving myself the gift of grace and love.
Women start motherhood from a place of emptiness not only physically, but mentally and emotionally too. So, why do we continually give ourselves a hard time for not being more and doing more? We give it all, each and every day. Why do we feel the need to put ourselves down and carry so much guilt?
We try to figure out this mom gig by the seat of our pants, all from a starting point of depletion. I believe that in itself deserves a standing ovation.
This world will constantly tell moms what we are not, how we should be perfect, and how we need to be doing all the things. Those are lies, and we shouldn’t listen to them. So, are you ready for some freedom-bringing, truth-filled encouragement?
We gave everything of ourselves before we even started to raise our children outside our bodies. That is the beautiful foundation where motherhood begins, showing we gave and continue to give one hundred percent even when we are not perfect and continually make mistakes. This is the truth I need to carry in my heart when I start to beat myself up for everything I feel I lack as a mother.
When I become unraveled to the bare bones, I can find comfort that God is there to meet me and supply me with His beautiful grace. In 2 Corinthians 12:9, God tells us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” These promising words are an invitation to be gentle with ourselves and open our hearts up to receive His grace.
God also reminds us in Psalm 139:14 that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, just the way He created us. I believe this to be true in motherhood as well—He created us to be the mother our children need. As we accept who we are in Christ, we can accept the grace of God where we fall short and recognize how we need him more than anything as we raise our children.
In those moments when you feel like a hot mess, broken, and the feelings of failure hanging heavy over you, remember all those precious moments when you have given your all. If we were to measure the times we poured out ourselves for our children with measuring cups, we would have such a different response to how we feel about ourselves as mothers. There wouldn’t be a measuring cup large enough to contain all that we give.
Whether you brought life into this world through your body or through the journey of adoption or fostering, motherhood requires so much of ourselves. The deep love we feel stretches us in ways we didn’t know we could stretch.
We give, we love, we share, and we keep pushing on. All from a starting place of empty. What incredible moms we are!