*cause you matter too Mama!*
As I sent my two bigs outside in the chilly 32* weather all bundled in hats, boots and shovels, I plopped on the sofa, eager to eat lunch…. but Cameron needs me. I sighed and set my stuff down and picked him up. Greeted with a giant smile and a happy “ah-goo!”. I smile back and say “hey bubby”. I’m tired. I’m wiped out from a poor nights sleep and feeling depleted. I hung my head and whispered- “God, please help me keep my cool. Give me just a little more – cause I have to keep giving and I’m really tired.” This whole 45-60 second event got me thinking. How can we care for ourselves while also caring for a million other things grabbing at our attention?
It’s so common to hear how mothers give and give… then give some more. Our stories include busy days of diaper changes, potty trainings, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a million snacks. This may also include work from home or even work outside the home. We are the schedule keepers, bill payers, homework helpers, teachers, laundry keepers, cleaning the toilets (and if you have boys you know this is no small task- especially while potty training), and scrubbing the floors. Self-care (and I’m not talking the indulgence of mani-pedis or cocktail hour with your crew – also a good act of self care, but not what I am referencing) often goes to the back burner. We rush through showers with half shaved legs, or skip that extra minute brushing your teeth and only half doing your hair and/or make up because Homeboy (or homegirl) is crying…. again. It’s in our nature to give until we are depleted then try and give a little more.
This is a common occurrence in my home. As I’m sure it is for every mama with tiny littles. We’re in the throes of intense parenting and teaching and regulating a lot of emotions, in both yourself and the littles.
I used to have this idea in my mind that prayer time needed to look and be done a certain way. With this whole mom-gig I’m finding that “picture” of what I thought it would look like- is not totally doable or feasible. So this list, it’s totally applicable in the midst of changing a diaper, stuck under a nursing or sleeping baby, or about to discipline an extra cheeky kiddo. These simple, yet powerful prayers can help ground us and keep us connected to the source that will ensure we don’t run on empty all day everyday. It’s the best kind of self care we could ever do.
So here are 10 simple prayers that you can pray for yourself each day, God sees you too mama, and you are so important to Him:
◦ Help me be a student of my children, careful to be attentive to their needs. Give me wisdom and knowledge to know their needs and how to put it to action.
◦ Thank you for giving me 3 (or however many kiddos you have) beautiful, healthy, spirited children who challenge me and stretch me to build character in myself to model for them.
◦ Show me the joy and purpose in the mundane tasks of tidying up, wiping tiny tushes and serving my husband and family in our home. (Especially if you work outside the home during the day and serving the family at night!)
◦ Place praise and worship on my tongue all day long. So that I may sing your praises in all circumstances, especially in moments of tantrums and feeling like a referee.
◦ Teach me to be intentional with my time with my family, friends and my quiet times with the Lord, even if it’s only 5 minutes at a time and sporadic.
◦ Help me hear His voice louder than the little ones in moments of frustration and overwhelm. And when we get those rare quiet moments, that He meets us with his still, small, quiet and gentle voice of confidence and trust and loving kindness!
◦ Thank you for the gift of being home all day to be with the kiddos (or the gift of work, whether that be in the home or away from the home).
◦ Thank you for the spirit of teamwork within my marriage that you thought of well before my time. I need him and he needs me to raise these children well.
◦ Thank you for loving me in all my mess (both literally – hello spit up! – and emotionally) and loving me despite my short comings.
◦ Thank you for affirming me and knowing each tear I cry with my toddlers (or bigs!) and knowing and valuing each vulnerable deep breath in and big sigh out.
While it’s good to pray for others it’s also not selfish to pray for ourselves. We need the Holy Spirit, we need Jesus, and a heck of a lot of His mercies and grace. And, like I mentioned this before in my last post, this is where we start if we’re to model this following Jesus thing to our kids. It also simultaneously cultivates a heart of gratitude. Especially when sometimes the exhaustion wants to steal it away and we become less than overjoyed about our kids and families. Trust me, it’s not easy to admit, but I bet I’m not the only mom who has cringed at the sound of little feet pitter pattering their way to our bedroom at 5am. I bet you I’m also not the only mom who rolled her eyes when she heard “Mom” for the 100th time in 20 minutes… cultivating gratitude starts with me!
I’m so glad we don’t do this mom life alone. We have a whole community of moms surrounding us- whether we get to see them face to face or just knowing other mommas have gone before us! I’m also so thankful that Jesus has given us the tools and resources at our fingertips and that He’s given us the gift of others moms who are in the thick of it with us!