Help a Mother Out: A Cry for Help. A Call to Arms.

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Over the past year, I have shared a couple of posts that directly relate to the heart of a mom; personal responsibility is a big deal to me, and if I’ve learned one thing in the last decade, it is that most of my problems begin and end with sweet little ol’ me.

I truly believe that the Spirit’s work, paired with a believer who is eager to mortify sin and grow in godliness, can overcome the most overwhelming odds.

(I speak, of course, of dishes).

In that regard, we moms are without excuse and should flee from entitlement and bitterness.

We’ve established these thoughts.

Been there.

Done that.

Roger, over and out.

Today, however, I humbly want to grab the ear of, well, basically everyone else.

The friend of a mom. The mom with bigger, more independent kids. The single. The newlywed. The grandmother. The widow. The married couple who haven’t had children. The aunt. The uncle. The neighbor.

I need to let you in on a little secret…

the mom in your life with young kids needs help.

It’s an emergency!!!

Because, as responsible as we each are for our own actions and territory, we were also created for community. We’re supposed to be there for each other. We’re supposed to bear one another’s burdens.

Er…not that little children are burdens.

That totally came out wrong.

Anyhow, to flesh out my point, I’ve been looking at it this way…

imagine that one of your church sisters is taking in her ailing mother.

Imagine that her mother needs round the clock care and can’t do anything for herself, that she frequently needs to be spoon-fed, to be cleaned up, and to be changed. Imagine that she cried uncontrollably for long periods of time as her daughter tried to find ways soothe her. Imagine that she woke her daughter up several times a night, night after night after night, sometimes for weeks or maybe even months in a row.

That would be enough, I suppose, but let’s keep going for a little bit.

Now imagine that the woman also had an ailing father, one that was a little easier to care for but that still needed constant care. He could pick up food and eat it, but all of his meals had to be prepared for him. He needed help getting dressed. He had to be bathed. He would have random meltdowns, especially when he was sleepy. He would make giant messes when his daughter was focused on taking care of her mother.

And then imagine that this woman had other typical responsibilities to shoulder. A house to clean. Classes to teach. A yard to care for. Groceries to buy. Laundry to wash. Relationships to nurture. Etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.

Now…

please.

Pretty, pretty please, tell me her church would rally behind her to help?

Would not a sister or a brother come alongside her and help her carry the load?

Or would they cross their arms and say “she made her bed, now she can lie in it.”

Would they roll their eyes at her when she grew weak and wonder why she’s being so dramatic?

Would they smirk and say “I paid my dues when I took care of my own parents. Now it’s her turn.”

Oh, dear. I sincerely hope not.

I think you know where this is going…

Our churches are full of such women who have found themselves in a season of life that is routinely exhausting and overwhelming, caring for one, sometimes two, sometimes three, sometimes…FOUR!! (haha)…and sometimes even MORE little human beings who are wholly dependent upon them.

And, in many churches, I’m afraid this group of women are suffering alone. I think the reasons for this are manifold:

1. Many young mothers put on a brave face. Pride keeps them from asking for help because they don’t want to look weak or needy or imperfect. Thus, they show up to church, paste on a smile, and save their tears and honesty for the privacy of their homes. No one knows they need help because they never ask.

2. Motherhood is such a normal part of life. Sure, we’d rally behind the lady who was caring for her parents, because that just doesn’t happen everyday. But the lady with the toddler and the infant? That’s normal. Comical, even. It’s so cute to see her plop down in a heap of exhaustion while her two-year old climbs on her back and her baby crawls under the church pews (really…it IS cute).

3. We fail to recognize how drastically society has shifted. Where once local communities thrived and neighbors could be called upon to watch over the kids so mom could run down to the grocery store, or grandmothers were close at hand to help however they could, many moms now live on an island of sorts.

As a result, many of the young moms in our congregations are drowning in housework, fatigue and loneliness and feeling completely cut off and alone.

Now, before I move on, I know what you’re thinking…

“Presumptious, much?”

Should a lady who has little children REALLY be writing a blog post about how women with little children need help with their little children? Isn’t that like announcing your birthday on Facebook with a link to your Amazon wishlist?

You’d think. But what you may not know is that I have been approved to write this article, because of the following factoid alone: I have a LOT of help in my life. My husband works flexible hours right down the street, my mom lives 10 miles away and I have a church full of wonderful people I could call upon should the need arise.

In fact, the helpful and thoughtful people in my life are actually the ones who INSPIRED this blog post, giving me experience to draw from and a success story to tell of how moms can thrive under the care of a loving support system.

As such, I feel very comfortable today initiating this conversation and speaking on behalf of the demographic that I represent; for their sake, I will shout from the internet rooftops what they’ve been hiding. Listen closely and you can hear the cries of their heart…

HELP!!! I’m sinking, I’m drowning, I’m dying, and I don’t know what I’m going to do.

~

I hope I’ve caught your ear and your heart. Stay tuned for Part Two, full of practical ideas for helping the moms in your life. Coming up Monday!

12 thoughts on “Help a Mother Out: A Cry for Help. A Call to Arms.

  1. You have no idea how true this is. I’m so ridiculously overwhelmed and most people have no idea. I’ve almost quit going to church BC it’s such a hassle to be out past my little girls bedtime and to have to get dressed. As a single mom with parents who choose not to help and their father who went away I just want to cry and pull out my hair most days. I’m so glad that I’m not alone.

  2. Love how well this was written! So, so good Mrs. Gore 🙂 In my community we have primarily have young moms who, in the end, are each other support system…not ideal…but better than being totally alone. We make each other dinners, watch each others’ kids, teach each others’ kids, text prayer requests, and listen. Your post spoke right to the need I watch all the time around me in my community!

  3. This post resonates so deeply with me at my current stage in life, knee deep in little ones. My husband is very helpful when he isn’t working and I have occasional help from grandparents, but it is still oh so exhausting and draining. Most days we seem to just keep our heads above water lately. This too shall pass 😉 May God bless your ministry of encouraging other women and especially, mommas.

  4. My kids are almost grown now but I was that mom when they were small. I was completely overwhelmed and, even though I had a sympathetic husband, I felt like I was on a treadmill on an island. My husband didn’t know what to do either! I was spent in every way, but no one knew.

  5. Um yeah, I totally feel like this! We moved far away from the immediate family on both sides to follow the Lord’s call and after several years of working in our church finally came to the place where we had older ladies offer to watch the kids and adopt them as their local aunts and grandmas. But it took YEARS… Even tonight I look around at my disaster of a house because I tried to do a garage sale today. I couldn’t prepare, make meals, watch the munchkins, and do the garage sale today too and have it all together. I do need help… but who do I ask? Everyone seems too busy. I wrote a blog post about this similar topic called “Where Have The Older Women Gone?” http://youngwifesguide.com/where-have-the-older-women-gone/ I did a plea similar to yours, because it’s true, we do need help so desperately. Thanks for writing from your heart once again.

    • I go to a church where all the older women go…. but since there aren’t a lot of other young women, the young women aren’t there! The modern church dynamic is awesome, but has created a more generationally divided culture. So maybe we all need to look at how we go to church communities that are mostly our generation these days? What do you think?

      • I’m not sure… I know the Bible instructs the older women to teach the younger women and I think that being available should be something that both generations of women should be able to do. With the way our society is surrounded around many of the wrong priorities I think it makes it difficult to follow the Biblical example of being there for one another. I feel guilty sometimes for not having enough time but our kids (4 children, ages 2-8) really do require most of my time. It takes concentrated effort to get together with other people. I don’t know that there is an easier answer than just to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and to make yourself available.

  6. Thank, thank, thank, you! You have put into words what I’ve felt over the past year, but you said it with such compassion and love. We adopted our two wonderful(!!!) children last year at the ages of 2 &3. As a first time mom to dive into God’s calling of parenthood head first while living 250 miles from family, and being the wife of a resident doctor.. Well…. It’s been hard. Most days. But God is so graciously helping me, my husband helps as much as possible, and I’m finding more joy in my children the with every passing day! 🙂 It is not easy living away from family, though, and I’m not one to reach out for help. God is using this time to knit our family so tight, and to show me what dying to self and true sacrificial love really looks like! I hope when my children are older I can help out the moms who feel overwhelmed, because I so understand!
    Keep up your beautiful, encouraging words!
    Blessings,
    Leslie

  7. I had my kids 17 months apart and was pregnant with my first while I was still a teenager. My husband and I moved away from all of our family so I understand the desperation you feel when you have young kids and you are in the trenches. Overwhelmed is an understatement for sure.

    I do want to point out that while these were probably the lowest and hardest days of my life so far, I grew closer to God walking through that time than any other time period in my life. I was so desperate that He was the only one to give me comfort. I sought him constantly because of how desperate I was. I attended 3 different bible studies so I could get out of the house, leave my kids in childcare, and meet other moms. I’m by no means suggesting that women in the church shouldn’t help mothers of young kids, I’m just pointing out that God can use that time period in a woman’s life to transform her. At the time I would have given almost anything for consistent help, but in retrospect and knowing who I became through my “suffering” I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  8. “It’s so cute to see her plop down in a heap of exhaustion while her two-year old climbs on her back and her baby crawls under the church pews.” HAHAHA! This was exactly me at church this morning!
    Normally, my parents sit behind my husband, our two children, and me on Sunday mornings and are a HUGE help. They also live right down the road and help us a lot too! But I still do your #1 a lot. Even though I know they would be at my house in 3 minutes, I think I have only called my mom for help twice since the second baby was born even though I have found myself at my wits’ end at least that many times each day. But you are so right in saying that we are meant to live in community. And I KNOW that I am a better mom when I accept all the help that is offered to me!

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