“Please help Mommy to be patient, and the baby to stay alive in her tummy.” It was my little girl’s daily prayer during my pregnancy. That prayer for patience—it stung a bit even though I had told her she could pray that I would be patient. It wasn’t necessarily that she or her sisters were testing my limits, but this pregnancy rage had gotten to be a real thing. If there is one thing motherhood has taught me, it’s that I can’t do it on my own. I need the help of my Heavenly Father, and I need others.
I have often wondered how I can feel such love for my little ones, and at the same time, with hormonal changes or overwhelming seasons, I could be about ready to beat them up. (But I don’t.)
“Mommy, why are you impatient?” she would ask with sad eyes after a sharp reply from me. I am sorry, my girl. Please forgive me. Keep praying, and I will pray and try hard too. It is not your fault. When you push my buttons, I need to enforce firm boundaries and consequences, but the last thing you need is a snappy mom.
Part of loving our children well may include anger. It may come from hormones or other issues, but your children don’t deserve your sharp outbursts. I find my children prefer that I become more consistent with boundaries and consequences than that I give in to snappy outbursts.
When I can’t handle it all, I need to ask for help—from the Father, from others. Don’t hurt your children with angry spillovers, find help, and protect them, from yourself if you need to.
We have probably all heard the story of a mom who loved her children but took their lives. There have been moments I was terrified at how I could almost understand her. I feel for how badly she must suffer later. It’s okay to get help if you start feeling anything like that. You are not the only one.
At most other times, I love my children and am so happy to be their mom, so when I start feeling postpartum or pregnancy rage or overwhelm, one of the things I remind myself is that just feeling that does not make me a bad mom. It will pass. Meanwhile, I had better find help.
Her prayers are paying off. Some months later she looks over, “You are more patient now.”
“You really think so?”
She nods. It melts me.
The part of her repeated prayer about keeping the baby safe in my tummy hit home too. It started after a previous miscarriage, no pregnancy symptoms this time around (before the feelings of rage started) had me worried for this baby too. After an ultrasound showed a healthy heartbeat I relaxed, but her prayers continued.
Then the day my son was born I woke up to something feeling different than my previous three labors. The miracles and guidance that got us to the hospital and into the emergency operating room with minutes to spare are too much to share in this space.
Later as I lay in my hospital bed recovering from the emergency C-section, I remembered the daily prayer, “Please keep the baby safe in Mommy’s tummy.”
The next day a big, burly, tattooed doctor confirmed, “Five minutes later would likely have been too late. It was God.”
I stand in awe of the Heavenly Father who has helped me through the toughest of mothering moments, from anger to emergencies. My heart is so grateful for my children, my husband, and all the others who have come alongside me as I go through things I can’t do on my own.
I am so blessed with my girl’s prayers, so thankful we are through that season. Now it is me who keeps praying for patience during the trying moments with these four little dears who call me Mommy. I am so blessed.