Mothering can be overwhelming, exhausting, and at times, guilt-ridden. Do you ever feel like you just need space to breathe?
Have you ever been in a place when you don't feel like you could be a mother that day? When the covers and the bed felt safer than getting up and doing something you feel like you're failing at? When the fatigue is overpowering your willpower to "just do it"?
Oh, friend, I have been there. It's a tough place to be, but sometimes it's even tougher to admit it. Sarah Mae, my sweet friend, has done the hard part. She has stepped out and admitted her struggles with raw honesty in her book, "Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe."
I have gone through (and at times still do!) what Sarah Mae talks about in Chapter 3 "Formulas Don't Always Work."
"Formulas don't create guilt, but failing to get the desired result from following formulas most certainly can lead to horrible feelings of inadequacy and guilt: 'I must not be doing it enough.' 'I must not be doing it right.' 'What am I doing wrong?'"
I am struggling even now with things I learned early on as a mother. My mind needs to "unlearn" all the things I was taught about formulas because children are not all the same. Many parenting books are well-meaning and based off either the author's own experience as a parent or as a child psychologist, basing much of their formula's from their own research.
The problem is, there is no magic formula for perfect parenting--because there is no perfect parenting!
This is the beauty of motherhood. It's realizing our children are unique individuals who will not all respond the same way.
Sally says in this same chapter,
"It is vitally important for women to learn how to think biblically for themselves instead of being enslaved to other people's thoughts and opinions. To truly follow God with everything in our lives, we must learn to develop discernment."
Discernment is simply knowing what Truth is and knowing what is false. We learn this by knowing His Word. The Holy Spirit is our guide and He offers us individual instruction for our individual children.
Sally goes on to say that each family is its own unique unit with its own dynamic.
"If you do not have a plan or a philosophy, then you will try to fit your life into other people's plans."
Sally closes this chapter with some sweet words of advice and encouragement:
"Be yourself; be the best and most excellent and most righteous self you can be, but live in the freedom of God's call and design on your life."
This beautiful book is packed with encouraging words of wisdom, honesty, truth, and encouragement.
One of my favorite elements of this book is reading the short letters exchanged between Sarah Mae and Sally at the beginning of each chapter. It's a glimpse into a mentoring relationship between a Titus 2 woman and a young mother and it is absolutely beautiful. The peek offers so much insight and gives a great example of what this book represents outside of itself: a community of older women teaching and encouraging young moms.
For His Glory,