When You Don't Want To Be a Mom Anymore
Let's be honest. We know it's not all butterflies and rainbows over at the Ereddia household these days. Those tiny Instagram squares might tell a different story, but you can trust me when I tell you that these past couple of months since my youngest's birth have been HARD. Harder than anything I've ever done. Harder than anyone could have prepared me for. Harder than I even imagined.
Having two kids in under two years? What in the world were we thinking?
Yes, two under two does mean double the love. Of course I wildly love both my child and my baby.
But two under two also means double the exhaustion. Three times the diapers. Four times the meltdowns (and I'm just talking about my own here)... I'm sure you get the picture.
I have been so embarrassed and afraid to admit out loud what I've been thinking these past couple of months: I don't want to be a mom anymore.
Between the crying and whining and the constant breastfeeding and toddler disciplining, I'm having a hard time remembering why I wanted children. They're just sucking me dry -- and one of them quite literally.
If I think too hard about my former life -- the one where I had money to spend, a skinny body to dress, and a sex life to enjoy -- I end up just wanting to cry. Because this life has stripped me of so much, and I'm not just talking about the physical things. It's stripped me of my freedom. My identity. My control. There are times when this life requires more sacrifice than I even know how to give.
And yet I know with all of my being that I'm right smack dab in the middle of the Lord's will. I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be.
Motherhood is my holy ground, and I'm being asked to take off my sandals and bring knees to the earth before his refining fire.
Losing my freedom in the pursuit of having kids has led me to a new kind of freedom. Freedom in Christ. Freedom to shed my past mistakes and failures. Freedom to walk in grace. Before these two babies came along, I didn't know how to take off the chains of perfectionism from around my wrists. Now I walk in victory.
Losing my identity as I've become a mommy has shown me who I really am. My identity is not found in the clothes I wear or the things I own. It's not found in my body shape or the shape of my marriage. It's not even found in the way I parent my kids. No, my identity is found in my Abba Father. Turns out there's so much more to me than the roles I play or the labels I wear now that I've learned how to be wholly his.
And losing my control the minute I welcomed these babies into the world has taught me that nothing was in my control to begin with. Everything has always been and always will be in the Lord's hands.
Just when I think I'm about to break into pieces, he holds me together by his peace.
There are many days that I have sorrow in my heart. Sometimes it sneaks up on me and I feel like I can’t escape it. Like when we're in the car and all I can hear is the baby screaming from the backseat. Or when I've yelled and snapped one too many times because one is deliberately disobeying me and the other is incessantly needing me.
But then there are also such sweet moments of joy. Joy in the Lord. Joy in parenting. Joy in getting to love such amazing, beautiful babies. And if there's anything that I've learned from this season of having two under two, it's that I have to cling to that joy and actively choose it with all of my might.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance (James 1:2).
I learned this week that the original Greek word for "consider" in this verse is hēgeomai, and it can be translated to mean "command." How absolutely fitting -- because Lord knows this joy isn’t just happening on its own! I have to FIGHT for it, knowing that my hardships are worth pressing into because of the fruit, faith, and endurance it's building in us.
It’s these hardships that are teaching me how to fight back against the enemy’s lies and schemes and become a warrior even -- a warrior mama -- which looks less like winning every battle and more like getting back up each time we fall.
I’m realizing now that even when I don't feel like being a mom anymore, I'm not failing. I'm actually being asked to fight. To fight the lies and push the darkness back. To fight for my joy and to fight for my faith.
These kids will make me a champion yet.
This is how I'm surviving this season of motherhood. This is what makes the hard so, so worth it. This is why I know I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be.
Dear mama, if you feel like you are fighting for your life these days, I long to be able to look you in the eyes and say to you what I wish somebody would say to me: