getting through the valleys of motherhood


I've sort of mentioned it before {and hinted at it yesterday}, but these last months have been pretty tough for me. I'm ready for homeschooling to be over, but we have a couple more weeks left before we change routines and leave behind the lessons for the summer. Just two more weeks. {we can do this, we can do this.}

I'm so ready for a change. The last few months have been exhausting with the baby {and me} not sleeping much at night. It's been a struggle, and even though you know it's going to end, it's still just kind of a hard season, you know? 

If I can remember, there have been at least three periods of major mothering struggle in my life that really stand out in my mind. The first was when I had two children: 18-month and 3-year-old boys; the second period was when I had four: a 5.5, 4, 2, and 3 month old and started full-time homeschooling for the first time; and then the third time has been these last five months of being a homeschooling mama with a 10, 9, 6, 4, and a baby. 

If there's one thing I've learned with five kiddos, it's that some seasons in motherhood are just rough. You feel like you might not survive it at all. You even wonder how you ever thought you could do it in the first place.

You feel like you must have some kind of a blindfold on, because you surely can't see out of this valley. It feels like it's going to be dark from now on. It's there I'm finding you just have to trust that He knows you, and He knows every one of your weaknesses and failures, and that He still has a good plan for you and your little ones. {Even when you can't seem to be patient enough, get up early enough, keep up with the housework, or get ahead on anything, ever...}

He is there with you in the mess of it all, and you can always trust Him to accomplish what He wills.  Sometimes it's supposed to be tough so that you will learn to trust Him- to keep obeying, to keep following Him even when you're in the thick of it and can't see the end result. You may not know what will happen, but you can always know that God is good. He can be nothing less.

As difficult as it is to go through sometimes, it's right there in the valley that you realize this: while the Lord won't always take away the harder times of motherhood, He will always be there to walk with you through them. 

You will make it through the valley, and you will never be alone.


Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. Isaiah 40:11

22 comments

The Fuller's said...

Thank you! I so needed this today.

Life And Loving Our Precious Ms! said...

I am completely with you. I feel the exact same way. I am in school, homeschooling my oldest who is a preschooler who will start kindergarten homeschool and try to keep up with my other two who are 3 and 1. I am trying to work on preschool stuff with my 3 year old as well. And trying to do all that and keep up with the house! Hahahaha, almost feels impossible!! Thank you for making me not feel alone!!

Mandy said...

<3 :) thank you for being there with me!!

Mandy said...

I'm so with you! :) Thank YOU for being on the journey with me!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being so transparent and candid. Valleys are not easy, but I know my God is with me. My daughter is facing her 7th surgery later this week in her journey with chronic illness. I thank God for His love and strength to sustain me during these times.

SBlair said...

I am so thankful for your blog and this post. I am in a different season than you right now. My "baby" is now 19 and has spiritually lost his way. He's made wrong choices and nothing I have tried or said has turned him around. I faithfully brought him to church and taught him and loved him throughout his childhood, but he now has to make his faith in God his own.I battle for him constantly in prayer and faith that our God will draw him back...This is a tough time. You blessed me with much needed encouragement. Thank you.

Angela Thomas said...

As one who did the same thing at about the same age, let me encourage you. It was my mother's prayers for me that brought me back to The Lord. She told me about the simplest, every day things that she was praying for me & as I watched God answer those prayers it was impossible not to turn back to him. Keep praying! A mother's prayers are so powerful!

SBlair said...

Thank you, Angela. :)

Anonymous said...

I needed this. I have been feeling this way the last several months with a 8 month old (who doesn't sleep either) and two year old. Just seems like I am surviving most days and waiting to exhale. One continually in my arms and another always needing me.

Amanda said...

Thank you for this encouragement! So needed now as I am pregnant with #5 and dealing with morning sickness and keeping up with the housework. At least we are done with homeschooling for the year. ;)

Anonymous said...

Bless your heart. This was right on the nose. I am a homeschooling mother of five (12, 10, 8, 3 and 19 months) with baby number six on the way. Neither of my two youngest ones sleep through the night and we homeschool year round. This is hard but this is my calling and so look forward to my eternal reward for being faithful. But certainly don't mistake faithful with perfect. Just trying to do my best every day knowing He fills thecracks and is merciful.

Betsy said...

Sometimes you just need to hear that you aren't alone! I needed this post today. Thank you

Anonymous said...

Wow! I echo everyone who really needed this today - thank you. I am homeschooling a 9th grader and a 7th grader, help my husband run our family business and manage our home. 7 weeks ago I broke my foot and have been non weight bearing ever since. This has been extremely difficult as I watch things just get further behind...we are no where near our goal of ending homeschooling by June, the paper work is piling up and my house is in a bit of chaos! I can not exercise and my weight is showing this! and to top it off I am way off my routine of getting up early to get things done before everyone gets going for the day. I just can not seem to get things straightened out! God, what are you trying to tell me through this season in my life?! I want to be obedient and learn. I have been led to the book Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. Great book about just how much God loves us! (I really needed this reminder!)
I love your blog! I love to see your DIY projects - so inspiring. Your strong faith and love for Jesus is so uplifting! you continue to touch my life as you do many others I am sure! xoxo Jennifer

Felicias Red Door Life said...

I have been through my share of valleys and know what you're feeling. There were times that it was all I could do to walk down the stairs with the baby to lay on the floor with her to keep her from crying. I look back now and wonder how I made it and then remember that God was with me every inch of the way.

(hugs) Be strong in faith, God will see you through to the mountain top soon.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I needed this today & tomorrow, too I'm sure! I have 2 kids (8& 6) with whooping cough...ugh! & a foster baby (10 mon) who is teething & possibly has the cough, too. I also have 2 well kids (16 & 13) & my husband to try & take care of in the midst of all this. I am soo emotionally, physically & spiritually drained. :( Thank you for reminding me that God truly is there, even though I cannot always feel Him. :)

A. Muschette said...

Thank fir this encouraging post! I am right here, right now.

Heather Ash said...

I've been following you for a while now and I've noticed through your hints that this has been a rough time. You've been in my thoughts and prayers. I really appreciate how much you lean on Him during your rough times and you also don't complain or act super happy when you aren't. I appreciate the balance you have here. I have a 3, 18 no and 2 week old. After my last I struggled with PPD that we didn't catch until late. This time I'm doing really good but a lot as been thrown at me. We are moving in two weeks and we've dealt with several deaths within our families in the past two weeks. I'm leaning so much on God right now and I'm pretty sure that is the only way that I'm not struggling with depression. He is the God of angel armies and He is on our side. Prayers for you sweet lady!

Jonathan Bernardon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leslie said...

Our message in church Sunday was that the most important thing a mother can do for her children is pray for them.

Matthew 7:7-11
Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened for you. Everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. And the door will be opened for everyone who knocks. Would any of you give your hungry child a stone, if the child asked for some bread? Would you give your child a snake if the child asked for a fish? As bad as you are, you still know how to give good gifts to your children. But your heavenly Father is even more ready to give good things to people who ask.

God will turn your son's life around. :

JoyBelle said...

Right there with you as a business owner, homeschooling mom of 5 under the age of 9. I'm.... TIRED!!!!!!!!!!! My bambino was up seemingly every hour last night, ugh. I feel so exhausted today especially but I just put my third cup of coffee down the hatch LOL.

Shawn, Kellie, Arielle and Anna said...

Such a timely encouragement. Thank you Mandy! I am in total survival mode right now with my 4, 3, 2 and 6 month old. It is such an incredible blessing to have the little gifts, but some days the needs are so overwhelming that I stop seeing it as a blessing. Praying for renewed vision for all of us mamas; that we would know we really are living out the gospel. We are serving the least of these, learning to love our neighbor (or children) as ourselves. Praying for more grace for all of us and that the Holy Spirit would fill us and sustain us in these hard seasons of motherhood. It is so good to know I'm not alone!

Leslie Melby said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for affirming that I am in a difficult phase of life. I have two boys (3 years and 16 months), and I was so encouraged to hear that this was a tough phase of life for you, too! I like the idea of having more children, but some days I wonder I will even make it through today let alone the coming years! When we go through life's struggles we oftentimes wonder why we are going through them...sometimes it's just to be an encouragement to other people that will go through the same thing. :)