Principle 8: I Know It’s Not All Up To Me
Wow! Hands up if you ever felt like everything in life was all up to you as a mom, even for a
minute. I honestly don’t know of any mom who hasn’t. Honestly, we have so much to do every
day to make sure our children are physically, emotionally, and spiritually well that it can feel truly
overwhelming, especially if any of those areas are challenged. Even though we are moms, we
are still mere mortals, so we cannot possibly do everything perfectly.
The interesting news is that independent perfection is not expected of us. Scripture reminds us of this many times in verses such as Genesis 2:18, “It is not good for man to be alone." and “Where one alone may be overcome, two together can resist. A three-ply cord is not
easily broken."- Ecclesiastes 4:12.
Jesus sent his disciples out in pairs for a reason. We need others to help sustain and strengthen us. God consistently steers us to work together, and especially in cooperation with the Holy Spirit, in all we do.
Yet as moms, it can be challenging to accept help. We can feel a lot of pressure to
prove to ourselves and others that we are fantastic moms who can do everything
wonderfully. Our pride can get the better of us and keep us from asking for help. But on
top of that, we have to grapple with the fact that no one knows our children as well and
as intimately as we do. Because we know them so well, we know when we need to
make adjustments in our daily lives and behaviors to keep our family life and home
running optimally. In that unique moment, and taking time to explain how to do that to
someone else (even our spouse) can seem like precious time that would be wasted
when we can just do it faster and better anyway.
But it is exactly because we are so important to our children that we need to ask for and
accept help when possible. Without it, we can burn out emotionally and physically,
leading to resentment and/or sickness that damages our ability to mother well.
The most important thing is to always, (and I mean in every big and little thing) be
asking for God’s help and guidance. Too often we mere mortals hold God at arms length
until we’re absolutely desperate. We don’t have to wait. He wants to help us every
second of every day. God wants us to share our hearts, our fears (and aren’t there a lot
of those to be found in motherhood), our struggles, as well as our joys, gratitude, and
successes. It’s not all up to you. Your kids are his kids. Honestly you are his kid too. He
wants what’s best for each of you. But we have to let him in and express all our needs
and concerns to him so that He can help and we can work in cooperation with His help
and guidance minute but minute, day by day.
I can personally testify to innumerable times when I did not have the strength or the
personal resources to do something in my life and when I remembered to talk to God
about it and ask for his help he would lead me to the resources that would help me with
my situation, and always in a way that let me know it was absolutely Him. Don’t be
afraid to talk to Him all the time about everything, and then take the time to listen for His
inspiration. New ideas, thoughts about how to employ different virtues and skills to help,
as well as inspirations on who to ask for hands on help are ways God takes us toward
the next step to the solutions we need.
Sometimes God gives us the humility to admit that we cannot do it all by ourselves and
inspires us to seek the help we need. When asking for help, start by seeking it for the
areas that support your mothering and family life instead of areas that undermine your
time and relationship with your kids. For example, help with housework, laundry,
cooking, and errands frees up your time and gives you more space to be present to
your kids and enjoy them. Whereas help with child care, so that you can get all those
chores done, can actually leave us feeling drained, disconnected, and out of sync with
our kids. It can be good to get child-care help from a trusted person to give you time to
tend to your own needs or the needs of your marriage. Just be aware that when you do,
you will probably need to build in extra time afterward to resync with your kids, and
that’s perfectly normal.
Next, of course, is enlisting help from the family members that share your home. A great
way to do this is to work together on tasks rather than assigning tasks. Working together
works well because it gives you time together while the task is getting done, and it
keeps you all in the same space so that keeping everyone on task is easier for you. It
allows you to teach how the task should be done and see it through as it’s happening,
cutting down on the time it takes to get the job done. Most jobs, like making and
cleaning up meals, dusting a room, folding laundry, and many more, can be done
together and give families time to talk in a non-pressured way.
Working together allows you to teach your family skills they will need for a lifetime and
keeps you from bearing the entire household workload.
If your the children living under your roof are teens or young adults, or you have a
spouse that needs to step up more with the workload, don’t assume they have a clue of
what to do or how. Keeping it all ticking along has probably been your super power for a
long time. Now that you a needing/wanting for everyone to help, there will be a learning
curve. Use the working together technique, teach them what to do, have written step by
step notes to help them along and, for the sake of your family, do your best to keep it
pleasant. Remember, your home is temporary, your family is forever.
Coming to the realization that you can’t do this mom thing all by yourself is a spiritual
revelation that can open your heart and life more to God and others if we allow
ourselves to do so.