As I considered another more compelling title for this article, I decided to rest on “Help! I Have the Mom Blues.” The other title would draw in readers, and I know it would resonate with many because of the conversations I’ve had on the topic with friends. It really was how I felt in the moment, but when I got out of the moment, I realized the mental title I had created wasn’t the right one for this article.
Should I have kept the original title? I don’t think so. I have touched on some of the heart of the topic I’m looking at today when I wrote the post “I Have Everything I Ever Wanted. Why am I so Unhappy?” I’m going to unpack some of this a bit more now.
First, I want to explain why I landed on the current title I chose for this article rather than the other one:
- The other title was reflective of a deep emotion I felt (or sometimes feel) in the struggle of the moment. It is not indicative of how I feel overall about parenting. Admittedly, I was hormonal when the initial title popped into my head. That said, I said to my husband, “I know that I’m a little PMS right now, but it doesn’t negate these feelings. I still have these feelings at other times, it’s just harder to control the response to them right now.” That said, I didn’t want a dramatic title to overtake how I really feel about parenting, painting it all in a negative light. It just isn’t really reflective of truth.
- I would never want my kids to doubt how I feel about them and motherhood. I love them deeply. They are bright, fun, assertive, caring, and I am blessed to be called their mom. Just because I struggle doesn’t mean I would ever give them up. I would never want to exploit my high emotions at the risk of damaging them if they were to come back through my blog and read my deepest thoughts. It’s a fine balance to play as a blogger – the desire to be candid and real and yet protect my kids and their personal journey.
I saw a video a blogging friend put together, and I seriously could have filmed the video a week before she did. I was in a dark spot. I spent a few days in a row crying…a lot. I doubted myself and my ability to do this job well. I questioned myself as a blogger. How can I even give advice and inspiration when I feel so lost and frustrated?
Help! I Have the Mom Blues
Parenting is a journey. It is not easy. It is not for the faint of heart. I have tried to be candid about my own personal struggle at times while also inspiring and equipping parents to do this very important job better. In pursuing being the best parent I can be, I run into a couple struggles:
- Parenting Exposes my Weaknesses – I have been so humbled on this journey. I have been exposed to my own selfishness, pride, stubbornness, impatience and weakness. Parenting (and marriage quite frankly) are a mirror into my soul, and sometimes I just don’t quite like what I am seeing. I want to do well. I work hard to do well, but I feel like I’m never living up to my own expectations. I don’t want to yell. Sometimes I do. I don’t want to feel so frustrated yet I find myself in this state too often. The parenting process is refining. It bubbles to the surface everything I still have to work on to be a better me. Yes, I have to give myself grace. However, I’m not going to be content to continue in sin. I need to ask for God’s grace and help while also living in the tension of working to fix myself…to be a better wife, a better mom, a better human.
- Passion Breeds Emotion – I am extremely passionate about this job. I am keenly aware of the blessing and responsibility I have in raising these fabulous children. Wanting to do this job well, I pour who I am into it. My desire is to see my kids succeed and thrive. When I get lost in the day to day challenges, I doubt whether I am doing a good enough job. I don’t look at the big picture but rather panic. “My kids aren’t showing the self control I thought they’d have right now. If they can’t do it now, it’s going to be so much harder in a few years when they are going through the teenage temptations with peers.” Panic sets in. Maybe I’m not cut out for this. I can run through all kinds of scenarios where I doubt myself and the kind of job I’m doing.
What I Need to Realize
- These are Not my Kids – These are God’s kids. I need to not worry about tomorrow – “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34. Yes, I have been gifted the job of raising these kids and must do it to the best of my ability. However, I need to learn to release them to God. They have choices and their own journey. I need to strive to do this task well but ultimately they have free will, and they are God’s children. Getting on my knees to pray is one of the best solutions that I have. Realizing that in my power I will not do well, I need to commit these kids to His perfect care.
- Thankfulness is the Recipe for Discontentment – I do a Bible Study with my church, and we have been studying Philippians. During this week of falling apart, we were looking at Philippians 4 and discussed verse 12, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” What’s the secret? We need to only jump back to verse 8 and 9 to discover it – “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Ironically, this is my life verse, but as I sat in misery, I failed to claim it. After studying it again that Sunday morning, I took the secret recipe for discontentment and put it into practice. I have so much to be thankful for in this life. Really, I have little reason to complain. Yet, I do tend to spiral into the abyss and let dissatisfaction take over. I have to combat my “mom blues” with thankfulness or I am likely to remain in the pit. I am thankful for my husband. I am thankful for my kids. I am thankful for my church family. I am thankful for my extended family. I am thankful…thankful…thankful…thankful. The song, “My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music really is a solution for combating discontentment and worry. It’s about taking “every thought captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5) and living in gratitude.
Some of you are living in deeper misery and depression that really should be tackled by professionals. However, there are many of you out there that are more like me. You struggles with bouts of frustration, discontentment, sadness and worry that can be transformed by a strategy that can change mental perspective and reaction to the common struggles and grind of parenting. You are doing a great job, Mama. Your path as a mom will continue to challenge and grow you. Let’s all work on embracing the refining process and choosing joy in our circumstances.
More Parenting Help