A gentle reminder of God’s unfailing grace for the mama on the verge of a meltdown.
I am a pregnant mama of a 5, 3, and 1 year old and today, I lost it.
Between managing tantrums, feeding someone for what feels like the 1000th time, doing dishes, changing diapers, nap times, playtime, and making sure my fearless one-year-old doesn’t do something to land us in the ER, I felt physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted.
My mind was filled with to-do lists, schedules, and to top it all off, I started to play the comparison game trying to be the perfect mom who “does it all.” There were decisions to be made on schooling, food, cleaning products, schedules, and screen time. It was in that moment where I just came to the end of myself and wept.
Have you ever felt this? This pressure to do everything and make every decision the right one? I know I do.
These days we are surrounded by more information than any mothers previously have had access to. We can Google anything and find for one decision, there are a thousand options and even more opinions on what is “right.” While all of this information can at times be helpful, what I’ve found is that this is leading to rising stress and a false sense of control as we parent our children. We seem to think that if we just do “x” then everything will be perfect and smooth, just the way we want it.
But the truth is, you are not going to get it right all of the time. No matter how many times you google and analyze every decision you make, there are going to be places where you miss the mark.
You are HUMAN and the Word of God tells us “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) While we know this to be true, we also know from Scripture that we serve a God who is flawless in every way “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he” (Deut. 32:4).
So after my meltdown that left me in tears, I sat and asked the Lord to help me understand why I was so overwhelmed and defeated. In God’s grace, he opened my eyes to see that in my control and desire to do everything perfectly, I was communicating two things: 1) I don’t need God and 2) I want to BE God.
When I realized this my heart sank because what I knew to be true deep in my heart is that I actually make a really terrible God. We all do. And I also know that I am in desperate need of a Savior. Every hour, every minute of every single day.
So, Mama, you might feel defeated or overwhelmed, but I’m here to encourage you that you aren’t going to get everything right. Not even close. However, hear the good news in that every time we mess up, we get an opportunity to point our children back to a God who never does. A God who never fails, who loves us unconditionally, and leads us gently as we parent our babies (Isaiah 40:11). I can’t think of anything more comforting. So, while there are a thousand decisions to be made and messes to clean, lean in close to the God of peace who will guide you in every step of the way. You can’t do it all, but HE CAN.
Caitlyn Schaefer is the lead photographer/owner of Caitlyn Schaefer Photography where she gets to tell stories of mothers and families through her camera lens. She lives in Dallas, Tx with her husband Casey, and spends her days joyfully running after her 3 (almost 4) children.