“Dear God, please give Mommy four sets of arms. Amen.”

My eyes blinked wide open as this prayer rolled off my 6-year-old’s tongue at bedtime.

“Oh, Buddy, I do need four sets of arms, don’t I?” I agreed, reaching over to wrap him up in my biggest mama bear hug and acknowledge I was listening to his tender heart.
He had been listening to mine.

“I can’t come up right now, I’m helping your brother with homework.”
“I can’t come play right now, I’m feeding baby.”
“I can’t go out right now, I’m folding the laundry.”
“You’ve got to wait. There’s only one of me.”

And so goes the familiar ramble as I pick and choose and prioritize my tasks each day.

A mom can so easily feel tugged and stretched in every direction. A mom can feel like she’s failing when she cannot physically carry it all on her one set of shoulders.

But mothers weren’t meant to carry it all.

Moms weren’t meant to be everywhere all at once.

Moms were made to teach and to learn and to trust and try our best. Not race to everyone’s call and resolve everyone’s demands. There are lessons in the “wait your turn” and the “I’ll be there as soon as I’m able.”

And even though I’d like to spend all the quality time I can with everyone who asks for me, I know in my heart they know I am doing my best.

Even though I face frustration when I can’t do what is requested right then, I know they understand we have limits, and I’m giving them all that I can.

I am tired, but I am trying.

I may not always be with you, but I am always for you.

I may get upset, but I am still grateful.

And I’m praying my natural limitations are stretching you, too, little ones. To have more dependence on God and less on mom. He is more than able to carry us all.

He may not have given mommy four sets of arms, but He’s grown my heart in bigger ways than you may know. So many answered prayers, dear ones. I see your faces, and I see so many answered prayers.

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Jaclyn Warren

Stay-at-home mommy of four on mission to encourage parents to savor the meaningful in the midst of the messy. Take your 15 minutes; it’s your turn for timeout. You can find her at www.mommys15minutes.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Mommys15Minutes-543229312706302/.