Surviving Mommy Stress
"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him." James 1:12 (NIV)
Parenting and child-rearing are one of the top five stressors of the general population. I understand why.
There are days when I feel like the stress of being a parent just might push me over the edge. Despite my unfailing love for my sweet children, sometimes the thought of a mini-vacation from parenting (if there were such a thing) sounds mighty enticing. Especially on the days when I am suffering from a severe case of mommy stress.
When children are little, the demands they place on a parent are physically exhausting, to say the least. But as they grow into adolescents, the physical exhaustion is quickly replaced by emotional exhaustion.
Instead of our bodies suffering through sleepless nights, lugging piles of laundry, and the constant smell of messy diapers, our hearts suffer with stressful worries. Worries like whether or not our children will make it home safely, if they're making the right friends, and if they are strong enough to stand up for what's right in the face of peer pressure.
The journey of parenting children, from toddlers to teenagers, is a strenuous one. Each season presents it's own set of stressful challenges. We can easily pour ourselves out completely and end up feeling empty and discouraged. It's possible to even lose our desire to keep giving parenting our all.
In today's key verse, James addresses the topic of persevering through all the many difficult trials in life - and at times, parenting can seem like a series of ongoing physical and emotional trials.
"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him." (James 1:12 NIV)
I am encouraged by his reminder that even when situations are difficult, those who persevere will be rewarded - including parents who persevere through the hard years of child-rearing.
I also find it interesting that prior to this verse, James tells us to keep a proper perspective on the situations which require perseverance. For example, James 1:2-5 confirms that everyone will face trials, and we must keep in mind that our perseverance will result in maturity and completion.
He also says that if we lack wisdom, we should ask God who will generously provide the answers and help needed to get through our most difficult days. I don't know about you, but I need parenting wisdom and guidance on a minute-by-minute basis!
As we persevere through the stress that comes with parenting, we can have hope knowing that God will provide us with strength and wisdom. He will be pleased that we didn't give up. That we kept seeking Him and trusting Him through each and every trial.
Parenting is a high calling, and one that requires a lot of leaning on God, unwavering determination and unending perseverance. Don't give up!
Dear Lord, I have been stressed and overwhelmed in my role as a mom, and often feel guilty about it. I'm physically and spiritually exhausted. Help me remember that these feelings are normal and that I need to depend on You for strength and wisdom. Give me the desire and ability to persevere and find joy in the adventure of motherhood. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
Have you been feeling completely "poured out" in your parenting journey lately? Have you prayed for strength, wisdom, and joy in the midst of the stress?
Ask God to give you a new perspective about parenting situations you're facing. Seek His insight into how He is building fruits in your children's hearts through your perseverance and commitment to Him.
Hebrews 10:36, "You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised." (NIV)
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