When Motherhood is Overwhelming

mountain One foot in front of the other. Some days that's what it takes to walk this motherhood journey.

On the days when you don't think you can handle another screaming child, another homework question, another dirty diaper, another sick kid, you just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

On the days when you want nothing more than to sleep in, to go to the bathroom by yourself, to sit for just five minutes without someone talking to you, you just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Motherhood has some amazing rewards -- the hugs, the laughter, the joy of seeing your child learn something new -- but sometimes this parenting thing can seem like a long climb up a very steep mountain.

There are days when the work is piling up, the house is a mess, the kids are disrespectful, and the calendar is full, and you just want to throw up your hands and walk away. There are days, even seasons, when simply putting one foot in front of the other seems like almost more than you can do.

On those days when it seems like it would be easier to give up, those days when nothing you do seems to make a difference, those days when the mountain simply seems too tall, too steep and too overwhelming, remember that it's OK to feel overwhelmed. Parenting is a big job. It's a no breaks, no vacations, always on-call type of job. When you become a mom, you're in it for the long haul, and there are days it's going to seem like more than you can do. There are days it's going to be the most stressful, difficult thing you've ever done.

But as you climb that mountain, remember not to get so focused on reaching the summit that you lose sight of today. The peak of that mountain can seem so far away. You look at it, and you wonder how on earth you will ever get there. You wonder how you will ever raise a productive member of society when you can't even get your child to pick up his room and eat his peas. You wonder how this child who is fighting you at every turn will ever make their way in this world if she's always fighting authority. You wonder if you'll ever get to plant your flag at the top of that parenting mountain.

Though that mountain seems tall and often insurmountable, remember this: You don't have to climb that mountain in a day, and you don't have to climb it alone. You don't need the strength to make it to the top. You simply need the strength for the steps you're taking today.

If you're in a place on your motherhood journey where the path is rocky and steep and the handholds seem too far apart, remember this: God is not going to let you fall. God loves your kids more than you ever can, and He will give you everything you need to parent them today. Psalm 18:32 says "It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect." So, when the path below seems like it's too hard to travel, ask God for the strength to simply get through the day. Ask Him for the wisdom to parent your kids. Ask Him to simply carry you over the difficult patches.

Because this motherhood thing isn't easy, and there are days when the mountain is steep and we are tired and discouraged. But God is simply waiting for us to rely on His strength instead of our own. He is waiting for us to rely on Him to provide our strength for today.

So, if today is a day that you're walking a difficult parenting path, if today is a day that you're overwhelmed, look up -- not to the top of the parenting mountain -- but to the One who can give you the strength to travel the path just as far as you need to go today. If you simply put one foot in front of the other, rely on God's strength instead of your own, that path will become a little easier to walk, a little less overwhelming, and a whole lot less exhausting.