Confession: I’ve had this book for two years.
And it took me at least a year and a half to read it cover to cover, starting over more times than I can remember to count.
This is not because the book wasn’t captivating.
I think God needed me to hear (read) the beginning chapters several times.
Social media has given us a very skewed perception of the actual struggle of motherhood. Pictures full of smiles, hugs, fun outings and elaborately thought out projects for the little ones fill our news feeds. As does accomplishments and celebrations. And when that other side, the ugly side, of child behavior and mommy struggle is posted, it’s generally done so after the fact and more as a means for laughs.
What doesn’t often hit social media is the very real struggle that parenting is – complete with unspeakable exhaustion, emotional overwhelm and breakdowns, and mental fatigue that causes the milk to end up in the cupboard.
We don’t often see the desperate cries for help that run through a parent’s head but rarely are voiced out loud; or the picture of mom on the couch in tears wondering how she could possibly endure the next day after all the littles are finally quiet and tucked in to bed (except, she does. She endures. Because what choice does she have?).
I’ve been this mom. The mom so exhausted she fell asleep standing up, brushing her teeth. The mom who has cried more tears in 2 years than she has collectively her entire life. The mom who has felt utter defeat on the regular. The mom who didn’t know what to do in the moment (so she opted to put everyone to bed early) and then what to do next (so she spends her night tossing and turning trying to figure it out). The mom who has wondered if she will survive raising these kids…and then knows that she will because somehow God saw it in her to be the mom of this particular tribe and she has to trust that HE will provide what is needed and pave the way.
I came in to motherhood a little differently than most – taking on two foster kids under the age of 2 (thus having zero control of what they were exposed to early on…and unfortunately early on meant trauma and neglect that has a lasting impact regardless of what they were/are exposed to from that point forward) and then getting pregnant and giving birth just in time to have three under age 3!
Of course there are details of my story that add a <thick> layer of difficulty most don’t have but I don’t think it matters. Every story is different. Every child is different. Every mama and her threshold of how much she can handle before she cracks (which we do) and breaks (which we teeter the line on) is different.
And so, this book….
This book is just what the title suggests – a break for the mom who feels desperation on top of desperation and who needs a moment to breathe.
Validation from other moms who have struggled through it too and have opted to show vulnerability and speak truth about the good, the bad and the ugly.
Spiritual truth and promises about motherhood.
If I had unlimited funds, I’d buy a copy of this book for every one of my mama friends no matter what stage of mommy-hood they are in, and I would stand at the hospital doors handing them out to each new mommy as she exits with her new bundle of joy.
One thing I’ve learned is that you get through one “phase” with your child/ren only to enter the next. And, often, the next is just as hard as the previous except with different details and a new learning curve.
The other thing I’ve learned is that motherhood is difficult BECAUSE YOU CARE! You care about the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of your family. You care about what they are exposed to in their environment. You care about what foods they put into their bodies. You care that they are learning and developing/progressing well and on time. You care that they feel safe, secure and loved – in and outside the home. You care about protecting them from the very real forces of evil that exist in this world.
And lets not even get in to how much is outside your control – no matter how much you care.
And so, this book…
If you are a mom and the struggle is real – this one is for you!!