Monday, August 13, 2012

Encouragement: You Are Not Alone

   On Friday, while at SAM's Club eating lunch with my three kids, who were actually behaving very well, my heart broke for a mother at the nearby register. She had two kids in the cart but one was screaming louder than I'd ever heard any kid scream before. I think it was one of those cries where the kid was angry that he didn't get his way but that in the process of letting it be known, he had worn himself out and just couldn't come down from the "tantrum high". I felt bad for the mom because I've been there. Then she turned just enough for me to see her face and I wish so badly that I'd offered some help. Maybe I would have been more inclined to had I not had my own three with me. She didn't look angry or frustrated. She looked like she was about to cry. Cry from exhaustion, from embarrassment and quite possibly from just being flat out overwhelmed. I remember being extremely thankful that my own kids were controlling themselves so well.

   On Saturday, we went out as a family to the shops in the local "downtown" area. Normally, I'd have loved this. I mean, I enjoyed most of it. The cute knickknack antique shops. Being with my husband who I hadn't seen much of in the last two weeks. The great weather. My own son kept acting up though. By the end of the 2 hours or so, I was so worn out from trying to help my husband discipline him while keeping track of the other two kids. My mind went to the poor woman at the register. She is not alone. I am not alone.

   I say this because I do it also, it is so easy to get wrapped up in our own world and frustrations and duties as wives and mothers that we forget all the other women going through the same exact thing. I know full on how some women feel when, at the end of the day, they collapse into bed and shed a tear or a full sob. Being a wife and mother is tough. It's not easy. Never has been and never will be. I am NOT down playing the man's role in the family. "Heavy lies the crown." And I don't feel like wearing the crown. But while the husband is out providing for the family, the wife is at home taking care of the rest. Even as I write this, I'm pretty tuckered out. My body is tired, my mind is tired and more often than not, my spirit is tired. Sometimes, I'm either crying or screaming. Often, I don't have the energy for either. But I'm not the only one.

   When I was going through some serious emotional issues, some pretty intense depression, I found that meds didn't work, "therapy" didn't work, ignoring it didn't work... Other than prayer, the only thing that REALLY drew me out of my funk was focusing on helping others. I'm not saying that this will fix my weariness as a mother. But it will help lift the spirits. And usually, when the spirits are lifted, the body and mind feel better too. Encouraging other moms and letting them know that they're not alone in the journey of motherhood is going to be something I'd like to focus on from now on. Not making it my top priority, but up there. I think it's important, part of who we are as women, to help our friends. To build others up. To be a support system. Recently, another mom has been encouraging me. She probably doesn't even realize that she's been doing it but it has been so refreshing to me to know that she is going through some of the same things that I'm going through, feels the same way I do about certain things. It made me realize that I can do the same for other moms. Friends, family, strangers. Doesn't matter.

   I'd like to suggest that you, moms, start encouraging another mother. That you start pouring out your heart a little to let her know that a) you're there and care and b) that you're dealing with some of the same tough stuff. You can send an email. Make a phone call. Send funny little comics (or I think they're called memes or something like that? lol, what are they called?). Just do it. Leave your own pitty party long enough to lend a shoulder or hold out a hand or offer a little laugh. You need it just as much as they do.

   I love getting comments so if you have any suggestions or tips on how to encourage other mothers, or even something that you find encouraging... Shoot, if you need some one to pray for you as you deal with the ins and outs of motherhood, feel free to share and know that you'll be prayed for.

   Hope you have had a great Monday!

9 comments:

  1. I seriously needed to read this today. My 8 year old woke up in the mood to make the whole world as miserable as she was, then work dumped all over me while she was in holy terror mode, and my day (& mood) went downhill from there. I sent the entire day & night feeling like I was on the verge of tears, and while reading this doesn't make it go away, it makes it a little less stressful.

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    1. My own son has been acting out because we have family in town. I wish he understood that he'd get more attention if he was good than with these outrageous tantrums he's throwing. It's frustrating. While I don't have an 8 year old yet, I understand the weariness from dealing with a child with a bad mood. Keep your chin up. As odd as it may seem or as tough as it may be in the moment when you're tired and frustrated, I've found that praying for my kids when I'm fed up and angry with their behavior really helps. Make sure you remember to say a little prayer for yourself too!

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  2. Abby, I know your hands are full and blogging is not your life, but girl you are gifted as a writer. I just wrote a post last week about making a list of my favorite bloggers and just helping promote them and sticking to reading the blogs I love instead of spending so much time I don't have, chasing traffic through other methods. Anyway, you are one of my favorite bloggers. You really are gifted, dear friend.

    I can totally relate with this post. Almost every time I take my girls out anywhere, my three year old is a handful. She's either uber hyper or stumbles around like she's drunk...aka, over-tired. She gets the snuffleupagus head swing going. Drives me batty. But worse is when she starts throwing a hairy fit over something usually pretty minor, but the meltdown is a major explosion. The kind you described...where they can't come down off of it and just completely worn out. The kind where you fight with their wiggly limp bodies trying to get them strapped into a car seat. The kind where they hit and kick you in front of everyone in public and you just want to run and hide...and cry because you feel like a failure and now everyone knows you are one. Yep...been there done that...still doing it. Thank you for this encouragement. It's good to know I'm not alone. I'm sharing this with my social networks. :)

    Blessings to you, friend!

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    1. Rosann,

      This completely made my morning. This is exactly the kind of encouragement that I (I can't make it bold in the comment box, but if I could, I would) need. Thank you. Totally made my morning.

      And trying to buckle up a limp body? Yeah, been there, done that. Lol, one of the most physically difficult things to do! What I want to know though is how do the kids relax their muscles enough to get that limp? Maybe I've just been strung out for too long to be able to "unstiff" long enough to relax like that. I need to try though. Maybe it'd help me unwind!

      Hope you have a great day! I'm actually planning on emailin you in a bit :)

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  3. I've been so tired these last few days. I just want to go to bed and sleep for a whole 8 hours.
    Thank you for writing!

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    1. You and me both! I can't remember the last time I slept for 8 hours straight! I hope you get the rest you need. Remember, you're not alone. Have a great day!

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  4. Great post! I have a greater empathy for moms who are having a hard time in the store with their kids that I didn't have before I was a mom.

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  5. What a wonderful post! I love what you said about helping others after meds and therapy fall short. Great idea!

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  6. I love your post.I wish there was a place where women could go in my city that we can just cry, talk just be women ...I am a single mom of 4 (not looking for pity its just a fact of my life) and like I stated I just moved here (my 33 yr old brother was sexually assaulting my 8 yr old) so I had to leave I couldn't live there in the same state that he is in.(yes I did file charges its a waiting game now) but this story really lifted me I was feeling really down like did I make the right decision to move my kids and myself to a whole new state now we are struggling so much more I just don't know what I did wrong..

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