I was convinced. We had made a horrible mistake and our great marriage had just gone down the tubes.

What was interesting was that I was not sitting in the rocking chair in my room in tears thinking these thoughts while rocking our first baby. No, the transition from no babies to one baby had been incredibly easy overall—we had been blessed with a baby who slept extremely well, was always happy unless she was tired or hungry, didn’t have any nursing issues or food sensitivities. Yep, parenthood was relatively easy in the beginning.

The hard season came when our second was born. He didn’t like to sleep (unless he was being held, so there went alone time for us). He couldn’t handle mama eating eggs or milk products. He cried a lot. He kept me—for months—from feeling like we could leave him with family so my husband and I could go on the monthly dates we were accustomed to. 

Plain and simple, I thought our baby was ruining our marriage. And, in some ways, he was—the ease and simplicity of it, anyway. But in other ways, he was used by God to actually strengthen our marriage.

Friend, I know what it’s like.

I know what it’s like to love your baby so much it hurts and yet you are so overly frustrated at him at the same time.

I know what it’s like to wish so desperately that you could turn back the clock to before he was born so you could enjoy that peaceful time again, and yet feel guilty for wanting such a thing.

I know what it’s like to cry bitter tears over the changes in your marriage, in your alone time with your husband, in your body—all of it.

I know what it’s like to wish you could find a time machine and journey back to your days as a newlywed and actually take full advantage of them before everything changed.

I know what it’s like to spend all your life believing Psalm 127’s depiction of children as being blessings and then suddenly have a challenging one of your own and begin to doubt the truth of that passage.

I know what it’s like to want to take a long break before having another baby because of how challenging your current baby is, and yet feel like a horrible person to wish that considering all the women out there dealing with infertility who are longing for a baby.

I know what it’s like to have your earth shaken as you go from only ever wanting to be a mom to suddenly wonder what you were thinking.

I know how you feel, because I’ve felt it all.

But you know what else I know? The truth.

I know my marriage has emerged stronger and my relationship with my husband closer as a result of the challenges we faced with our second child.

I know I don’t judge other mamas and their parenting methods anymore like I used to.

I know my husband and I have learned to be even more intentional with the alone time we have together.

I know my husband and I have learned a whole new level of creativity when it comes to being together even in a busy house with active kiddos.

I know God brings good from all things—even the times I spent crying my eyes out in the bathroom at 3 a.m. because my baby wouldn’t sleep.

I know my children are a blessing, not because they are perfect easy little angels, but because they are used by God in my sanctification process to point me closer and closer to Him.

I know there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and no matter what hard season I’m in now, it will pass and I will emerge on the other side.

I know God is with me just as intimately and sweetly in the middle of the night as He is in the middle of the day.

I know I can turn to Him when my heart is angry, overwhelmed, exhausted, bitter, desperate, and empty.

Sweet mama friend, I want you to know that, too. I want you to know that no matter what your challenge is in motherhood right now, no matter how much it feels like your children are ruining your marriage, there is always hope. There is always God, and He is always working to bring good out of even the worst of situations. Look to Him, mama. He’s working. And He’s got you.

Rebekah Hargraves

Rebekah Hargraves is a wife, mama of two littles, blogger, podcaster, and author whose passion is to edify, equip, and encourage women in their journey of Biblical womanhood, particularly with an emphasis on the gospel and its implications for everyday life. Rebekah's first book, "Lies Moms Believe (And How the Gospel Refutes Them)" released last fall, and the "Lies Moms Believe" Companion Bible Study comes out March 30, 2018. You can find Rebekah on her website, Hargraves Home and Hearth, on Instagram, or on iTunes via her podcast.