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Ways to cope with tough days

MomMentorLogoFBCome on in! Each month Graham Blanchard’s Mom Mentors answer a question about faith in the family. 

Q: When days are tough and tiring, what encourages you the most as a mom?

Dusty Shell: Motherhood sure isn’t for the faint of heart and it has its fair share of difficult days. With four children under the age of 8 and a husband who often works long hours, there are certainly times when I find myself at the end of my rope. Whenever these times come, I look to the Lord and ask Him to step in and get me through the rough spots. For encouragement, I look to my fellow moms with children in the same stage of life because it feels good to release the weariness and to have the support of those who understand what you are experiencing.

Another way I refresh myself is to take a rest day. The children and I spend the day in our PJs watching favorite movies, reading books, and just spending time together without the burdens of our normal daily responsibilities.  This helps to reset our clocks, so to speak, so that we can start the next day anew.

Julie Kieras: I love writing about the blessings and highlights of our family life on our blog, so sometimes people make comments like “You’re super-mom!” But make no mistake, I’m no different from any other mom – I get tired, lose my patience, and wonder what I’m doing sometimes! Nobody sees the flopped cupcakes, straggling party decorations, or crying children that don’t make it into the blog posts! 

Simple things encourage me as a mom on tough days:

1.       A Bible verse that inspires me to look up and remember this world is temporary, but my raising my children is an eternal investment.

2.       When other moms are open about their own tough days (in ways that aren’t just a complaint fest!) – it gives perspective and makes me feel less stranded in those hard moments.

3.       A note, phone call, or email – it doesn’t have to be long and drawn out – just a cheerful “I’m thinking of you!” or “Prayed for you today!” is a touching reminder that what we do makes a difference, and we have a support system that connects us to God’s Everlasting Arms!

Melissa Newell: When the days are tough, and they are sometimes, knowing that tomorrow is a new chance to make it a great day is encouraging. Something about the grace that the good Lord puts on us that allows us to be humble and start over. I call it a “do over.”   Home educating our children is one of the most rewarding things I will do in my lifetime, however, it gives me very little time for “me”.  I am not talking about going out shopping or having fellowship time with my gal pals, I am talking about real “me” time…time to pray, read, write, blog, long hot baths or phone calls without interruption.  Thank You Lord for the “do over” days.

Tiffany Malloy: Parenting 4 kids, ages 6 and under, leaves this momma weary and tired nearly every day! After the kids are all angelically sleeping, snuggled deep into their covers, I plop down in front of my computer with a bowl of Hyvee Brownie batter ice cream and see who is on Facebook. Not only is this evening routine delicious, but it’s also life-giving to me.

I check in with a friend from Missouri to see how she’s doing and how nursing is going with her brand new baby boy. My not-so-cryptic status update regarding my rough day and need for prayer leads to an exchange of text messages and then a 30-minute phone call from a good friend in Pennsylvania.  Right before I log off for the evening, a friend from across town messages me to share a funny parenting quote and then asks if I want to meet up with her tomorrow at the park.

It’s the community of other mommas- both near and far- who encourage my tired, weary heart– their kind, gentle words and their life-giving prayers that offer the truth and love of God that my heart so desperately needs to hear.

Susan Heim: I’ve always been a worrier, and when deep thoughts kept me up at night as a child, my mother would sing the old Irving Berlin song to my sister and me: “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep.” Now that I’m a mom, there is even more to worry about, and I often find myself feeling frazzled and exhausted at the end of a long day. But then I think about the lyrics to that song and remember how much God has blessed me. I have four healthy children, a very helpful husband, a home in the beautiful state of Florida, and a career that I love. Most of all, I know that I can turn my worries over to God. Philippians 4:13 tells us, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” When I’m feeling overwhelmed with all I have to do, I remind myself that I’m not alone … and I am blessed. 

Kona Brown: Our pastor once said: “God can do more for your children in their sleep than you can on your best day of parenting.” Truthfully, I don’t have that many “best days!” I might start off well, with vigour, with resolve towards patience and grace, but my resolve crumbles easily, just a few tattled tales and a disrespectful shrug, and an upturned tub of Legos, and the tough and tiring crashes like a wave over me and threatens to drown out what I know to be true. Then I say a simple prayer, mumbled under my breath, that realigns my heart and my spirit once again to The One who partners with me in this most sacred of tasks. “He is Able.” Able to make something out of nothing (Matt 3:9), able to make all grace abound to me (2 Cor 9:8), able to keep me from falling (Jude 1:24). And the list goes on. I say that, pray that, as a reminder to myself, as a remedy for my soul, as a response to the chaos and the questions that accompany the task of parenting.

Thank you, Mom Mentors! Learn more about them here and connect with their blogs. We would love to hear about your experiences, too! Do you have a question for them? Please post it below. And share your answer with us.