Dear Tired Mom
You’re not alone.
When my children were younger, I went to a doctor to see if something was wrong with me. At the time, I had an eight month old, a two year old, and a six year old. I felt exhausted all the time. Surely my thyroid was broken or something like that. The doctor ran a bunch of tests. He revealed the results at my follow-up appointment. “There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re a mom of three young children.” My shoulders sank. That’s not what I wanted to hear. I wanted a better answer, a solution to whisk the tiredness away. A shot. A pill. A surgery even. I left the office saddened that I couldn’t be “fixed.” Instead, I’d have to face life like every other mom on the planet, one day at a time.
You’re putting in the long hours too. Caring for children is a challenging job—even when they’re “easy” and healthy. But, illness comes with living in this world. And when they’re little, the normal physical demands of caring for their needs take their toll on the best of moms. When they get older, they still require your best mom skills, but their needs change as they grow. If you’re tired, know this: every mom gets tired.
You’re not alone, but it can feel that way. A mom role is isolating. Even when dad is present and hands-on, sometimes mom is the person, the only person, a little one wants. (Tired mom, thank your husband every time he partners with you. Yes, it’s his job too, but thank him anyway. Every time he steps in is a gift. Single mom, you have a tougher job, for sure. Don’t go it alone and get help. A friend, a grandparent, a paid babysitter.) Instead of choosing isolation seek out support and community. Every mom needs support and connection with people other than her children.
You’re not completely by yourself, even when you’re facing a long night alone with a sick child. If you’re in the middle of an endless night or a painfully slow day after such a night, pray. God is ever-present. If you know a mom who is tired, pray for her too. (Parents of newborns aren’t dealing with sickness necessarily, but parenting a little one with night and day mixed is dizzying.)
A tired mom’s prayer
You’re a parent, you understand. Jesus, in your humanity, you experienced long, sleepless nights. But where we differ is the place I ask you to stand in the gap and provide what I cannot.
You know everything, and I’m at a loss for answers. I don’t know how to fix it and make it all better. You do. I ask for your wisdom.
You are all-powerful, and I’m weak . . . and exhausted. My child needs me late into the night. My arms are holding my precious bundle, but I feel them wanting give in. My eyes blink heavy. I ask for supernatural strength and for deep, restorative sleep for us both. The night feels like an eternity as my child writhes inconsolable.
You are love, and my love has limits. I love my child with my whole heart—no holding back. But when I’m spent, I start thinking more about a respite and less about my dear one. I face my selfishness and feel ashamed. A mother’s love is supposed to be endless, but I’ve reached my capacity to give more. Fill me with your love, that I may continue to lay down my life. It’s not in me, so give me the perfect love found in you.
You are Healer, and I’m not. Doctors, medicines, oily and all-natural remedies, they all have their place, but you alone are the Great Physician. Heal and make my dear one whole as only you can.
And as I wait . . . help me to experience your peace.
As I believe . . . help me in my unbelief.
As I rest in your sovereignty . . . help me in my worry and desire to control.
In times like these, I long for a perfect eternity with no pain, suffering, or tears. Until that day comes, I know you are preparing and perfecting me as I draw near to you.
In Jesus Name, amen.