The Motherhood Blues

The following post is from Amanda of OhAmanda.com and Impress Your Kids:

source: xshutter_bugx

 

Sometimes I just get in a motherhood funk. The blues. The blahs. The I-can’t-do-anything-right kinda feeling.

All day long I can feel words swirling through my head, “Their behavior is your fault! Why can’t you get the house clean?! You have ruined them! What are you doing? Why can’t you get him under control?”

Am I the only one?

I had no idea how hard parenting was going to be. I thought as I grew with my kids’ physical needs, I’d grow into parenting. I thought I’d get a few good parenting successes under my belt and then those same ideas would work again. I figured I’d be able to build on my successes and kind of get a one up on my kids.

Sadly, that’s not the case. I greet each new season of parenting with the same dumbfounded expression as I did the last. Some days I stare at my children and think, “I have not one good idea. I am totally stumped.”

Again, am I the only one?

What do we do when we feel like our kids are dragging us around by the ankles? That our faces are firmly planted in the ground while our kids dance around on top?

I wish I knew.

This isn’t a practical parenting post. Practicality is not my specialty. I’m the heart-of-the-matter, philosophy-of-motherhood kinda person. And that’s where I start…

What is the heart of the matter?

Why am I letting my kids’ behavior determine my mindset? my self-worth? my attitudes? Why is every parenting situation only black or white? fail or pass?

The heart of the matter for me is that I’m letting my attitude be attached to my situation. I’m allowing my thoughts to be dependent on how another person behaves (another teeny tiny immature person at that!).

I know what you’re thinking, “OK. So, what do I do about it? How do I fix it? How do I crawl out of this?”

I have to fix my mind.

I have to purposefully think and say the attitudes I want to have. I have to stop the “This is all your fault” and say, “My kids are their own singular people who make their own choices. I don’t own them.”

I have to stop myself from thinking, “I can’t do this!” and physically open my mouth to say, “I am their mother. These are my children. I’m the only one that CAN do this.”

Words and thoughts are powerful. It’s easy to wallow in self-pity, in defeat and insecurities.

I see my 5 year old do it all the time — she’s easily frightened my storms, loud noises and recently, scary thoughts. And she won’t give up the idea that she’s afraid. She’ll lay in her bed for hours and be frightened over a thought! I can sing to her, pray for her, tell her stories, and surround her with stuffed animals but if SHE doesn’t actively stop the thought and put a new pure, lovely or excellent thought in her mind, she will continue to be frightened.

From the outside it seems so simple!

But it’s harder when we’re in the middle of it!

As I was writing this post, I stared at the screen completely empty. I had nothing to give or pontificate about motherhood. I felt those self-defeating words swirling through my head.

This post has been an exercise in thinking, believing and speaking the things I know to be true. I have to encourage myself. My kids can’t do it. My spouse can’t even do it. I have to lean into the Truth about myself and my position and purpose as a mother.

“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” Philippians 4:8

How do you pull yourself out of the blues?

Amanda is a stay-at-home mom of two who blogs at OhAmanda.com and Impress Your Kids. In her former life, Amanda was a Children’s Pastor — overseeing, organizing and developing ministry for kids in nursery through middle school, but now that she is a mom, her “skills” are used up on her kids!
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