An Answer for my Self-Doubt

Lately, I feel like I’ve been “surviving.”  We get through our day-to-day tasks, everyone is clothed and fed and diapered, the house is presentable (most of the time), and laundry is clean, if not folded.

But, things are busy.  Three boys 4-and-under comes with a lot of little needs that need to be met, and I’m very busy simply taking care of those needs.

And…… the “mommy guilt” creeps in  —  the self-doubt that eats at me, telling me I’m not quite good enough – not quite doing enough.  Yes, my children are happy, but are they nurtured enough?  Stimulated, played-with, taught, read-to, and prayed-with enough?  After diapers are changed and breakfast is cleared, it’s time for lunch, then naps, then dinner, then bed – and where did all the in-between time go?  You know – the time I always intend to play, to teach, and to nurture?  The time seems to have vanished, and I am left with the guilt – the wondering how I can do more for my children – especially my special-needs child.  Maybe if I just spent more time working on language activities with Matthew – maybe he would talk more?  Maybe if I just spent more time working with his picture boards, maybe he would use them to communicate with me?  Maybe if I could just do more …

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Today, neither Jesse nor Matthew went down for a nap.  Jesse slept for 20 minutes in the morning, and thought he was set for the day, and Matthew fussed for a long time in his crib, never settling down – very unusual for him.  So, I decided to load up the ‘babies’ and take them for a drive, hoping to lull them both into a restful, peaceful sleep, while giving Micah some much-coveted “Daddy time” at home.  Jesse fell asleep right away, while Matthew happily and quietly enjoyed the ride.

Using my quiet time to pray, I started to unload my heavy heart, telling God everything:

Lord, please give me the strength and energy to be the mother You created me to be.  Am I teaching Micah enough?  He is so inquisitive – wants to know everything, and learns so quickly.  He wants me to spend more time reading to him, coloring with him, playing with him … but I’m so busy taking care of other things – sometimes I feel like I can barely take care of everyone’s basic needs.  And, what about Jesse?  What am I supposed to be doing to play with and stimulate a 9-mo old, anyway?  I’m so busy with the other two…   And, my Matthew.  We’re starting to feel ‘stuck’ again.  How do I do enough for him? Do we need to add private Speech Therapy?  Am I right to pursue the sleep apnea issue?  How can I stimulate him more, teach him more?  How do I give Matthew everything he needs?

Right then, I was interrupted by words that were so clear, so definite, they were almost audible:

“I have already given Matthew everything he needs.  I gave him you.”

My breath caught in my throat.

A prayer so clearly, so quickly answered – and not at all expected.  The road was starting to look blurry … An overwhelming sense of peace.  A weight lifted from my shoulders.  The best validation I could ever receive, and an incredible reminder that He sees me, in my everyday, ordinary tasks of caring for my children; that He cares for me and loves me, and that we are all in His hands.

And, that is everything I need.

He is everything I need.

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9 thoughts on “An Answer for my Self-Doubt

  1. Thanks for that. I feel exactly the same as you do…overwhelmed with 4 year old twins (one with Ds) and an 18 month old. I always feel guilt for not doing enough. Maybe one of these days I will get my confirmation that I am doing enough too. Good luck.

  2. I was just talking to my sister about the mother-guilt that we all get (yes, ALL). I’m so glad that the Lord spoke peace to your heart- you ARE all your boys need and you are a wonderful mother! As the boys get older, it will get better! We are finally getting to the age with our boys that I feel like I can spend some quality time with them rather than just making sure everyone’s clothed, fed, napped,etc. all day long. It’s been really fun to enjoy my children so much more! You’ll get there…and for now- you’re doing everything you can. Hugs!

  3. My dear friend..every act of love, even as simple as getting the laundry done, responding to a cry, being present..is an offering of you. Be assured that you are an amazing mom..pouring out your heart..sanctifying your daily, mundane duties to glorify God!!!!! Hugs.xo

  4. I love this post! I often feel like I’m not doing enough, and I only have one baby to take care of! Thank you for sharing your prayer, and most importantly, the answer to it.

  5. Friend your post was not only timely but perfect. Thank you so much for sharing your feelings, your worries, and your prayer. I’m so happy He spoke clearly and quickly to you. He is all we need, but yes as mothers we are pulled in so many directions and that darn doubt starts to creep in…

    I miss you and think of you guys often. We are so RIGHT THERE with you – every step of the way. I pray for you daily as I’m caring for my three boys knowing that your day my dear friend is probably a closely mirroring ours. Thank you again for the encouragement!

  6. I am so glad to see that another mother of young ones feels the same way that I do. You are an amazing mother and your wonderful family is a testament to the love and work that you put into each day. Thank you for sharing!! It was a word of encouragement to me at the end of a week that I’m feeling a big frazzled & wondering if I’m doing everything that can be done for my family, for my children. Thanks!!

  7. I think we all struggle with these feelings … I know I do! I was just thinking of this the other day actually, realizing my oldest is 6 and I’m not sure where the time has gone or when he grew up so fast … I did I give him everything he needed to get where he is? We do the best we can. 🙂

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