Finding Joy in the Exhaustion

The last year has been so crazy. Between July and December we had our fourth baby, put our house on the market again, started homeschooling, I started a book club, started instructing a women's fitness class, made a groom's cake (my first- it was soooo stressful!), was a bridesmaid, hosted a wedding shower, and threw two big birthday parties. Add in exercising 1-2 hours a day, holidays, and feeding and caring for five other people (including a colicky one who needed to eat every 3 hours), and you have a recipe for exhausted mommy.

Some of it was definitely self-induced, like the book club and the exercise class. In January I cut back on some of my commitments and exercise sessions so that I wouldn't feel so overwhelmed. Other things like the wedding events I wouldn't trade for anything- they were once in a lifetime things that I would never want to miss.

I'd love to say that homeschooling is just perfect. I'd be lying if I said I loved it. There are things I do like about it, such as the flexibility, the advanced level of teaching for the age range, and the sheltering aspect. The hard part is the managing of a home and two very needy little girls while trying to teach reading and math to two little boys who need constant help. The boys can't really work well without my continual direction, mostly because they can't really read yet, and they just need my help. The last month has gotten better for sure. God has been good to me.

The other day Kim from Life in a Shoe (mom of 10) wrote that it eventually gets easier, and that you won't be fighting falling into a teary heap on the kitchen floor. That's about where I am in this stage of motherhood. When people say, "Enjoy it- you're going to miss this," I think, there is no way on God's green earth that I will miss this. I practically can't wait for them to get big enough to do things for themselves. To never have to wipe up poop. Ever again.

But when it's quiet, I look at them, and I KNOW I'm going to forget the exhaustion and the tears and the feelings of defeat. I'm going to look at their precious chubby faces in pictures and remember how they would tell me I love you out of the blue. And how their eyes lit up at something as simple as a cookie. Their squeaky little voices, their high pitched giggles. The sweet, sad little weed flowers they brought me so proudly.

I've been praying so much for God to give me more joy during this time, to see what I should be enjoying, not just wading through, waiting for the next big thing. He has. It's a daily struggle, and I find myself crying out to Him for help and patience. Some days are better than others. This is harder than I ever expected it would be. But He is there. When I keep knocking on the door, when I keep seeking Him, He responds. My day is better, and I find His joy. He sustains me.

10 comments

mandyBH said...

Oh wow! You go mama with #5 on the way! :) Love it! I know that overwhelming feeling all too well. You're definitely not alone on this journey! :D

BekStraughan said...

Thank you. It is good to be reminded of our need to be joyful in the 'mundane'. It is such a privilege to be blessed with children. We should certainly cherish each flourishing moment.

Tjplastow said...

I really needed to hear that! Thanks so much. I am a mom of 4 girls and number 5 girl is on her way in 3 months! My oldest is 6 and it has been very overwhelming lately. Thanks for helping me remember I'm not alone!!!

mandyBH said...

Oh that's cool! God is so good! and it's nice to know sometimes that we aren't alone in these struggles! He is so faithful to help us, isn't He?

mandyBH said...

Oh awesome! So close to the ages of mine! It's such a unique struggle, it's nice sometime when there are others who are in the same place. Thank you for stopping by and sharing that with me!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this encouragement! I am a mommy of 4 little ones, too. (all boys, though) I can toally relate to your feelings and this post is just what I needed today!

Sarah said...

I'm sharing this with my sister who has 4 - ages almost 7, almost 5, 2 and 8 months and she just started homeschooling last year as well as ssold their house and then had to live with my dad while finding their next house ! Bless you! I'm enjoying looking through this site, thanks!

Alison Wood said...

What an encouraging post! I have six kids raqnging from 2-10 years old. It does get overwhelming at times, but there are so many things to take joy in! Homeschooling is also a challenge. Good days and not so good days. Thanks for your blog! I'm a follower now!

I would love for you to visit my blog http://pintsizedtreasures.com/

Feel free to critique anything, as I can always learn something from another blogger!

Keep up the good work!

Alison Wood

Lisa Suit said...

I know I'm commenting on this way late, but I so so so so needed to read this today! Thank you for being so honest and transparent!!

Briana Runde said...

Do you still homeschool?