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Thursday, April 30, 2009

I Don't Want To View My Children As Burdens

Do you ever just want to run away from life?

Lately I have been feeling a little crazy...like I'm going to lose it. I know I'm still super hormonal from the recent birth of my daughter, but I don't like who I am some days. My sister-in-law tells me she prays for a new heart. I need a new heart, and a new perspective.

What I want to feel like:

"Don't you see that children are God's best gift? the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?" Psalm 127:3 (The Message)

What I'm struggling with feeling:

"Having children is like being pecked to death by ducks." Harley Davidson sticker


Holly Rutchik said...

Thanks so much for your honest reflection. I too feel like this often--and am working on a blog of my own about it.
As if mommy guilt was not enough, I also feel "Catholic mommy guilt" like I can't ever want to throw my kidieos out the window--that feeling would not only make me a bad mother--but also mean I am failing in my vocation and spiritual life and so on and so on. I don't think we share this feeling enough. Thank you so much for putting it out there!
God Bless you, even on your bad days!

Loren said...

hello friend! Being honest and aware is the best and only way to sit at the feet of Jesus. Then and only then can He help you. I am sure at this point your hormones also are playing a huge role :) as well. I hope you allow yourself to be good to yourself and take a much needed BREAK! from everyone. You are worthy and like the saying goes "HAPPY WIFE,HAPPY LIFE"....just sayin :)
blessings! praying for rest for you...peace too.

Sarah said...

Oh Sarah!
I am so there with you some days! I yelled harshly at my son the other day out of my own hormonal rage and fatigue. Just remember to tell your children that you are sorry. Oh and remember that Jesus loves us and we are weak but He is strong.

Anne Basso said...

Sarah Mae, we all need to read these posts some days, so I'm glad you wrote it.

Being a mother is hard. It's long, it's relentless, and you don't even know if you've done a good job until it's too late to fix what you might have screwed up. On top of that, it's emotional. There's nothing in the world we love like our children, and nothing we feel so strongly that we have to get right.

Remember that God made you their mother for a reason. You have so much that you can teach them, and you don't have to be super-mom to do it. You just have to be you. Sometimes I think the only thing I teach my kids in a day is that God can sustain us when we're totally overwhelmed.

And be gentle with yourself. You have a LOT on your plate at the moment.

Joye @ The Joyeful Journey said...

I just have to chuckle at this (and know that I am laughing at myself!) "Being pecked to death by ducks!" Oh, I've been there! Um, does today count?! But like you, I know that these amazing kiddos are the best blessings God could ever give me! And like you, I'm taking my frustrations to him and letting him mold me into the mommy after His own Heart. He's the best parent. And lately he's been teaching me that a thankful heart will bring the joy I need to sustain me through these baby years. I thank him for the sleepless nights, the dirty diapers, the attention rivalry, and especially the QUIET when everyone is finally asleep! lol!

I am praying for you dear sister, that God gives you grace and strength and breathes the breath of His Holy Spirit into your fading one.


Jacquelyn said...

On days like that I realize that there is nothing wrong with taking a nap and finding someone to watch the kids and take a walk. Jesus knew the need for peace and quiet and set the example for us of going away for awhile without feeling guilty or without feeling like we need to be doing something productive. For some reason when in the midst of taking care of a little baby and breastfeeding I need those periods of time when no one is touching me, talking to me or asking me for something and that's o.k.!! Good luck finding your joy above your circumstances.

Isabel said...

Sometimes I feel like closing my kids in a box and ship them to China!! They like to play in these cardboxes and I always say jokingly 'Ship to China'!

I used to feel like that when my kids were still babies, around a year ago and sometimes I still do. It's very hard having 3 very young children! It' OK to feel overwhelmed, but feelings are just that: feelings! Having these feelings, coupled up with extreme fatigue doesn't mean we don't love our kids, or that we don't appreciate them as blessings. I am learning that the most beautiful things in life are not necessarily the easiest!

I am learning to base my actions and words not on feelings but on right attitude of heart. But it's a looong way to go!
Bless you sweetheart.

Cari said...

Hello! I love your blog, I truly do. I can't wait to read your archives. I am not yet married and am not a mother but I find comfort in your honesty and enjoy reading. Thank you!

The Real Me! said...

OKay I'll be real. When I was younger I didn't even want kids when I got married. I never enjoyed babysitting or being around younger children. Well God had other plans.And it's been a real struggle for me to be a certain way toward my kids. I watch those Moms who have the patience of Job and I find myself comparing myself to them. I have 3 children and I love them all very much but there are some days I just want to run in my room screaming, lock the door, crawl out the window just so I can be alone and find my sanity. I'm thankful that it's not every day I feel like that! LOL. But I admit that they come more often then I'd like to admit. My children aren't bad or undisiplined, it's mainly me and who I am. I'm the one that needs to change. So just know that you aren't alone and I believe those feelings are very natural and of course sent straight from the devil. He likes to make me feel inadequate. But I know that our God is a big God and I am just where He wants me to be and I will rejoice in that fact!
I love you sweet sister. Hang in there.

Carisa said...

I know how you feel...wanting so badly to feel what we know we should feel, and truly want to feel. But instead feeling, yuck.

Praying for you...

Debbie said...

You are so honest. We talked about this in my Bible study group. We all have those days and sometime weeks. lol! We need to share our feelings more and realize that we all feel this way sometime and it is ok. God gives us these wonderful gifts but they don't come with directions so yes there will be frustration.

Thanks for your honesty and wonderful blog!!!
Praying for my sister in Christ!

Kristy K said...

Okay, I think both of those are true (the verse and the bumper sticker) :).

I think sometimes motherhood leaves us all feeling weary and ragged. And maybe it's not so much a problem of where your heart is, but instead, it's just a combinatoin of hormones (not just post baby hormones, but regular, monthly hormones), lack of sleep, children who know how to push our buttons and husbands who may not understand how much we NEED a little peace and quiet once in a while.

I don't have any answers... I just wanted to tell you that I've been there, done that. More times than I care to admit.

Hugs and prayers to you, girlie!

Melissa D at DropTheBabyWeight.com said...

But they ARE burdens!...Thankfully, though, they are burdens that the Lord helps us bear. In September I'll have 3 kids under 4, so if you hear some screaming, that will be me. :-)

I do know that when I get super frustrated by my kids, underneath it is something I have ignored or left undone or let slide in *myself*. This is usually true as well when my husband irks me -- it's because I've slacked off or tried to ignore one of my own failings, and it's caught up to the rest of the family and made them react unfavorably. Praying for help in these areas (self-discipline, etc) has helped me deal with the kids and my husband in a more gracious way.

MomE said...

So been there...and will probably be there again...It's a cycle of my pride! Thankfully God is faithful and loving...and way more patient a parent than I'll ever be!

HeathahLee said...

Oh, honey, I'm right there with you. And I only have one! The longer he's on this earth, the more I'm realizing that he is a true gift from God...I honestly think that he was a miracle baby...I haven't been able to get pregnant since...Anyway, even though I know in my heart that he is God's direct gift to me, sometimes I want to send him off to military boarding school! Not really, but you understand my frustration. And homeshcooling just adds to the frustration sometimes.

This weekend was our women's reatreat, and I got to talk to the lady who will be my mentor. She encouraged me SO much by telling me that I'm not alone in my frustrations, and to CALL HER! I felt like what I was doing I was all alone in, that no one struggled like I did. She said that was a lie from the enemy and not to believe it. Will I call her every time I want to scream at my son? Probably not, but I know now that I have a resource in an "older woman" (not that much older physically but much more so spiritually).

Robin said...

There are a lot of great comments already on this post. You are loved! and also feeling something very common to us all. I wish there was a button you could push that instantly made everything "okay", but there isn't. This is where God takes you to make you a better mommy, wife, daughter and friend.

Your family is growing, their needs are growing and you are still Sarah Mae, unfortunately you didn't grow extra arms or legs to make up for the extra needs.
What you can do is slow down, rest, prioritize what you are doing (if it isn't helping you and your family, don't do it- do only those things that have to be done), Praise the Lord in prayer and thanksgiving.
I used to have a sign on my refrigerator that said "Act, don't react". It was just a reminder to me to quit reacting to everything in a negative way. Sometimes, it actually helped. ;)

May the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26

Lisa said...

I can only echo everyone's sentiments, Sarah Mae. I've had a ton of those "pecked by ducks" days lately, and when I ask my kids to forgive me for my poor attitude or harsh tone, they always do. This morning, my five-year-old son said, "You're precious and beautiful, Mom." And I knew it was God's way of telling me I'm not completely screwing things up.

I think you're so great. Wish I could reach right out and give you an enormous hug!!!

Pajama Mama said...

can totally relate!

Tara said...

(((hugs))) All beautiful encouraging replies that I can't add much to other than to say that, if (a BIG if, I understand) you feel like its too much beyond "normal" stress for you, consider the possibility that its beyond stress, adjustment, "baby blues" and into the possible realm of postpartum depression. I founded a postpartum depression ministry (outofthevalley.org) and you can find a chart of symptoms, questions, etc. IF you feel like you are past what is "normal" for you. Wanted to put that out there just in case...not saying you are at all. :)

Jacquie said...

Hi Sarah Mae,

I am daring to make this post, but wanted to give you a different perspective, but please know it is done with love. Oh how I long to feel like you do. I want my house noisey and full of screaming children, tugging at my waist. I have been infertile for years, finally got pregnant last year but miscarried, and have been waiting to adopt a baby from China for 3.5 years already and there is still no end in sight. It will most likely be at least another 2 years due to China's long wait for international adoptions. On the other hand, I can still relate to your feelings of wanting your heart changed and feeling so out of control of your thoughts. I just spent time this morning thinking of the evil in my heart that I want so desparetly to be rid of. I know God is at work in us as we pray for Him to shape us and for Him to be our everything - our circumstances do not have anything to do with it. God bless you my friend.

Denise @ Sunflowers, Chocolate and Little Boys said...

Wow....just this morning I jokingly asked a friend if I could hide out at her house to get away from my kids. I think I needed to read your post earlier. I feel like that and then feel guilty. Thanks for your message.

Sarah Mae said...

You all are SO encouraging! It is such a battle, but I know that as I persevere God is shaping my character and molding me to be more like Jesus. I am also learning that I need to prioritize better...more on that later.

Love you all!

Sarah Mae said...

Jacquie, thank you for commenting. Children are a blessing and I don't want to take them for granted. I hope and pray that your adoption works out...we have friends who adopted from China and their sweet little Mercy has been rescued. You are my hero for seeking to adopt!

Jessica said...

I can totally relate to your feelings. Just this morning I sent my son to school half dressed because I just couldn't fight the fight this morning (I did send his clothes with him). I have 2-year-old twins boys that I tried very hard to conceive, spent a ridiculous time in the hospital on bed rest, and have worked full-time outside the home since they were 6-months old. I often feel overwhelmed by everything surrounding mothering. Thank you for being honest and sharing your feelings. Sometimes this role can be very draining and isolating, so it helps to be able to relate with someone.

Jacque said...

Wow! You have 13 more comments since I came here this morning to comment!
I couldn't comment then. I started to, but it became a novel, and I had to post it on my own blog.
You will find that here: Stressed-out Momma! I Need A Break!
http://jacquedixon.com/?p=3751This is near and dear to my heart. It is actually the topic of my GGM column this next month.
I will be praying for you. God has all your answers. They are not hidden to us. Seek his WORD and you will find all you need.


April said...

Ok, were you looking in our windows last night??!! Definitely me at my worst. BREAKDOWN. I can relate and glad to know I'm not alone. I have 4 wonderful kids ages 4, 3, 1, and 8 weeks. So maybe we do have some hormones adjusting? This mommy job is the hardest thing I've ever done. It can be monotonous...feed, clean up, laundry, repeat..and the work load increases with each new addition. They are very demanding at this stage, someone is always saying "momma". Fights break out over toys, territory, lunch, or nothing at all. It is easy to see how we start to view them as burdens. But this job can also be beautiful. My 4yo daughter (her name is Grace and she really lives up to her name) last night after my "breakdown" she came to me while I was nursing the baby. She had made a card for me with a huge heart on the front. She gave me a kiss. Thank God for his grace. I too want to reflect Christ to my children. I pray He will fill us with His Spirit today and cover us with His grace when we fall short. Thanks again for sharing! We should follow up with this and see how we are doing in the near future!

Buildeth Her House said...

I can relate to that girl! It can get a little stressful sometimes. I usually have to get alone time to refuel sometimes when I get like that. Even a nice bath with soft music and candles or a good book by myself helps me feel better. Then it back to my little ones.

Tiffany said...

I feel like this sometimes. One of our best days was one when we did "run away". It was a pretty day and I decided that morning that we would pack up and drive to the Museum Center, which was a few hours away. We didn't tell anyone. The kids loved the spur of the moment trip. My husband was out of town and even he didn't know we'd gone. I think that added to the adventure. It was a fun day.

Stacie said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing what so many of us feel. We need to be real with each other. Who else understands what you're feeling except other moms? I pray that you will have renewed energy to enjoy your children and see them the way God does. In the meantime, is there any way you can take a break? Go out for an evening?

Proverbs 27:19 said...

Hey Sarah. Good of you to admit your honest feelings. This is the only way, in my opinion, that we can really assits one another.

Too often we will not reach out to anyone because we think that we are the only ones with the feelings that we have. This is so not true, we feel this way because we are not honest with eachother.

So, I feel the same way you do. I want to recognize my three as the blessings that God intended for them to be and not as they are causing me to put my life on hold.

I want to always feel grateful for being able to stay at home with my kids and not wondering where I could possible volunteer!

I want to always want to be with my children and not wondering when my parents will come and get them for the week again so I can have a break.

I could go on somemore but I do believe this is just suppose to be the comment section! :)

Keep on sharing so that the tie that binds will become tighter!

I love you!!!

Melissa said...

I think that is so funny, probably because all of us feel like that more than we want to admit. I can tell you that yesterday I was feeling more like the Harley sticker, but today, by God's grace (and a quick break from the kids this morning), I feel more like the Psalms. Thanks for sharing!

Laurie Ann said...

I totally get what you're feeling! I am at this point right now with my grandchildren. It's almost like their parents think we are non-custodial parents, on a rigid every other weekend schedule. And the other set of grandparents gets them on the weekends we don't. We also see them several times during the week for visits.

I'm praying for a new heart right now. I love my grandchildren but I am completely smothered with no end in sight!

Laurie Ann said...

I said that out loud. I'm so sorry if I sound ungrateful for grandkids. I love them but I'm just weary.

Please know I'm praying for you. I can't imagine how you must feel, having them as your own children. I'm told it gets better if that's any encouragement. I think those seasons wax and wane.

Your honesty is admirable.

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Sarah Mae, I think all moms struggle with these feelings at some point! Bless you for your honesty!

I will be praying for you and know that God will give you strength and patience.

Is it possible that your hubby or a friend could help you out by letting you go out by yourself even for 30-60 minutes for some alone time? I know it's not always possible, but it can be very helpful.

Love you Sarah Mae and I'm praying!

Muthering Heights said...

Hang in there! We all have rough times. Motherhood is one of the highest stress jobs around, so you're completely normal if you feel overwhelmed from time to time. If it were EASY, would it be such a high calling? :)

I hope you feel better soon!!!

Jenni Saake (a.k.a. InfertilityMom) said...

I think every mom feels this way sometimes. Coming into motherhood through way of infertility, I struggle with great guilt any time I feel less that "blessed" by poopy diapers and sleepless nights, and hotdog vomit and tracked-in mud. My verse/prayer in those times is Psalm 113:9. He has already made this barren woman joyful at the gift of motherhood, now I pray this verse back to Him asking Him to make me truly joyful in the daily grind of mothering. {{{hugs}}}

Please visit me at http://www.InfertilityMom.blogspot.com or drop by my Virtual Spa Weekend May 1-3 at http://InnerBeautyGirlz.com :)

Sarah said...

I have nothing smart to say. But I totally get it.

Heather said...

I just wanted to let you know that I've left you an award over at my blog. You can stop by http://heathershodgepodge.blogspot.com/2009/04/award.html to pick up your award, if you'd like.

Composing Hallelujahs said...

oh i've been feeling the "pecking" thing lately. it's the nonstop questions and requests and lack of quiet. but i know that there can still be peace in the midst of it all.

Reborn said...

LOL! Growing up in a large family, I can totally identify with the feeling of be "pecked to death"!

The struggle you describe is EXACTLY why I'm apprehensive about have children.

But, I do think it's true that there's no sin in temptation-- so long as your actions and words toward your children remain loving.

Debbie said...

Sarah - I join you in this, shoulder to shoulder. My 2nd daughter added so much joy to our lives - and a lot of other things, that make it hard to rejoice in every day... Praying with you here - being a mom is a serious responsibility - but God does not give us our children without purpose, and does not give them their mothers without purpose!!!

Tania said...

We just had our 4th BOY 3 months ago. He is a wonderful baby and I am loving having a baby again. BUT I have had it hard this time with the baby blues and have even been taking some herbal supplements to help.

I have found that although I Love my boys so much I haven't been liking them that much lately. It makes me so sad.

The supplements have helped though and some days I am in survival mode and just don't plan much so I don't get overwhelmed.

So many good things have been said I won't say more except that I understand. And although I don't rely everyday on the Lord like I should, I do have a comfort in His presence in my life and keep trusting in Him to give me more grace. (-: