At 8:07 a.m., I decided I wanted to quit momming for the day.
I was tired and cranky. I hadn’t had my coffee. My ten month old still doesn’t sleep through the night, and super-sonic mom hearing causes me to be the only one that hears him while my sweet husband sleeps peacefully. Even after waking up at 2 a.m., my precious baby, who apparently needs about as much sleep as an elephant decided to wake up by around 6:30 a.m. (Wikipedia tells me elephants only sleep two hours. Clearly quality research was done here.) After ignoring him for about twenty minutes, I asked my husband to get him for me. Yusuph went in, changed his diaper, and brought him to me to play on the floor while I attempted to have some semblance of a quiet time.
Meanwhile, the baby squeals of our happy, little-sleep-required boy woke up the toddler. Thankfully the baby-squealed awakening did not cause Grumpy Gus to appear. However, it was 7 a.m. and both boys were awake. I, on the other hand, was not.
Now, as an aside, I realize many parents have kids who sleep considerably less than mine do. To those parents—hats off to you for still being loving, kind, intentional parents and human beings! If little sleep was a regular occurrence in my home I would probably be known as the Wicked Mom of the West. I am mean without sleep. I always have been, and probably always will be.
So this day looked like it had “mean mom day” in the cards. I snapped at both kids more than once. I cried a little. I looked at the keys hanging by the garage and thought, “If I just left for a bit while dad worked in the office it wouldn’t be the end of the world, right?” And this all happened before 8 a.m.
Have you ever had a day like that? Let’s lift our hands and look around the room and realize we aren’t alone in this. Being alone on days like this is exactly what the enemy wants for us. Isolation is how Satan can make us feel like we are the worst mom on the planet. Not sharing our hard days with anyone is how he can feed us lies like, “You’re going to mess up your kid for life.” or “Any other woman would be a much better mom than you right now.” or “I bet _ would never yell at her children like that.” Keeping silent is part of Satan’s plan to “steal, kill, and destroy” you (John 10:10).
One of the ways Scripture describes Satan is as a “roaring lion” “prowling around…looking for anyone he can devour” (1 Peter 5:8). You know how lions get their kill? They isolate them from the rest of the group. The lions can’t overtake an entire herd of zebras, but if they can get one alone, they’ve got an easy dinner. If Satan can get us to feel isolated, he’s got an easy target.
So what did I do when I wanted to quit being a mom for the day? I texted two of my closest friends and told them. Now, before you think I’m some saint that texted them something like, “Pray for me. I want to be a Christ-honoring mom and wife today and I’m finding that hard,” please know my text had some red-faced emojis and was more the tone of a whiny toddler than that of a grown woman. My text was riddled with complaints. And as I thought of more complaints, I sent successive texts to share how dramatic my current life situation was.
But do you know what both of my friends did? They showed empathy for my situation. They shared how they understood and they’ve been there before. Then they both said they would pray for my day to turn around.
And you know what? It’s been less than two hours and my attitude is already shifting. Yes, some of that shift is probably due to the fact that one kid is napping and the other is watching Veggie Tales so I can have some quiet time, but the bigger cause of my attitude shift is the intercessory prayers of my friends. That’s what community does. It takes me from being a zebra outside of my herd, an easy target for the prowling lion, and instead drops me right in the middle of the herd, surrounded by many that the lion must go through first before he gets to me.
So, if you don’t feel like momming today, or if you don’t feel like being kind to your spouse today, or if you just feel like grumbling at work today, let someone in your community know. The minute you share your complaints and struggles you are no longer an isolated, easy target.
Literally minutes after I finished typing this blog, Tiff’s Treats Cookie Delivery knocked on my door. An assortment of cookies was delivered with this note attached:
“Mommin’ is God-ordained kingdom work. It is never in vain, but it is HARD! Hide in the laundry room and treat yo self! You’re doing a great job friend. :)”
So, not only does telling friends about your hard days protect you from the schemes of the enemy, sometimes it brings you warm cookies too!