Life is really messy right now. When my daughter hit six months old I got hit with a really bad case of Postpartum Anxiety. I couldn’t even leave my house without being sent into a panic. I was scared to stay home alone. I was scared to go out alone. I was scared to drive. I was scared to be alone with the kids. I was just plain scared. I was having extreme dizzy spells multiple times throughout the day and I was worried I would pass out. Things were really scary. When my daughter hit 11 months old and I still hadn’t seemed to get over this, I reached out to a counselor. I walked in seeking help with Postpartum Anxiety to come out and realize the source of my anxiety had a lot to do with unresolved childhood trauma.
It seemed like my life was spiraling out of control and things just got really messy.
I sat in one of my early sessions with tears streaming down my face with only one question on my heart and mind, how was I supposed to be a mom when life was this messy? How was I supposed to walk through this really dark season and be the mom that my kids needed me to be?
Life doesn’t stop for motherhood, it keeps going. In fact, sometimes it collides right in with motherhood and gives you a jumbled mess. Sometimes our brokenness, sometimes our defeat, sometimes our unanswered questions all collide and create a little bit of chaos and we can’t stop mothering until it passes. Sometimes we have to mother right through the storm. But how? How do we mother when life gets messy?
Grace. Grace, upon grace, upon grace. You need a whole lot of grace, and then some. This right here isn’t easy. We moms, we tend to be pretty hard on ourselves. We want to be perfect. We want to be the best. We want to be everything for our children and then some. And sometimes, when life throws us a bit of chaos, we can feel like we aren’t measuring up. Mama, when life is messy, embrace grace. Give grace and embrace grace. You need a whole lot of it. We aren’t perfect, and that’s okay.
Time. You need time. Time to yourself, time to process, time to heal, time to question, time to get through the messy part of life. You have to give yourself time. When life gets messy, sometimes you need to steal moments through the day to breathe. Do everything you can to carve out that time. Get up earlier than the kids, stay up a little later, and refuse to do anything but focus on yourself during nap time, or have a moment in the middle of the day even if your kids make a mess. Remember that grace thing, this is where it comes in. Even if your children throw beans all over your basement floor while you steal a moment to cry in God’s presence (this may or may not be a true story), take that time.
Patience. You need to be patient with yourself. Life can get messy for different reasons. Maybe you’re suffering a loss, maybe your marriage is taking a hit, maybe you’re struggling with infertility, maybe your finances need a breakthrough, maybe you just need life to give you a break. Mama, I know what it’s like to feel like you’ve lost all hope. I know what it’s like to feel like you are stuck in this moment and there is no end in sight. Mama, I am right there with you in the trenches. I don’t have the answer, but sweet friend, be patient. Let’s vow to be patient with ourselves. Motherhood isn’t easy, and when life throws a curve ball it can throw everything you know out the window. You have to take a deep breath and be patient with yourself and trust that this storm you’re in, it won’t last forever. Be patient with yourself.
Freedom to be. Just be. Don’t worry about getting through it, don’t worry about your plans that are falling apart around you, don’t worry about everything that isn’t happening the way you thought it would. Mama, just be. Just be, right where you are, and give yourself freedom to be. If you need to cry, then cry. If you need to be angry, then be angry. If you need to rock your baby a little longer, then rock that baby. If you need to leave the house, then leave the house. If you need to say no to things a little more, then you say no. Give yourself freedom to be what you need to be when you need to be.
Hope. Rest in hope mama. Rest in the hope that the darkness doesn’t always stay, and morning will one day come. I don’t know why your heart is hurting, I don’t know why your life is messy, I don’t know why your heart is questioning, but I do know that there is hope. There is hope and you just have to hold on to that hope. Even when it’s hard, even when it seems impossible, hold on to that hope tight and don’t let it go. Hope mama, because one day you’ll get through this and things won’t be so messy.
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Hebrews 6:19
(Print this free printable here).