Parenting & Motherhood

Overcoming the “Dark Nights” of Motherhood

May 23, 2017
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It’s here at last…the much anticipated moment when your children have finally drifted off to sleep for the night. There were moments when you thought you wouldn’t survive. You looked at the clock in despair thinking, how will I ever make it x amount of hours? But somehow (after tears, tantrums, and moments of interior panic) you held on and soldiered through. Finally, in that blissful silence, you look back upon your day and think: I was not a good Mom today.

We've all had those days...the ones you look back on and think "I wasn't a good mom today." How do you overcome those "dark nights" of motherhood, regaining hope and inspiration?If this first paragraph resonates with you, know that this is exactly how I feel this evening as I type furiously on my keyboard. Life with my little people was difficult today; filled with runny noses, tantrums, sibling conflict, and full-on meltdowns. I wish I could say that I kept my cool, deflating each situation with peace and serenity; that I personified the Blessed Mother to my children. But truth demands I confess my miserable failings. I lost my patience. I failed to love my children and spouse the way they needed. I felt sorry for myself and even “escaped” into the void of social media.

When the “Dark Night” Comes

On days like these, I look at the “good mom” status I’m always pursuing and it seems utterly unattainable. In the words of my beloved Anne Shirley, I feel threatened by the “depths of despair”; overcome by my own inadequacy.  And in that moment, surrounded by my dark night of motherhood, I feel like a complete and total failure.

We moms are always beating ourselves down in our pursuit to be a good mom. We think of everything that we should or want to be, and then grow disheartened by the reality. And to an extent, this is part of what makes motherhood good and holy. For, as we come face-to-face with our imperfections in an often raw, unfiltered way we are pushed to run to the Great Refiner; the only One who can transform us into the wife, mother, and woman that our hearts long to be.

You May Lose the Battle, but You can Still Win the War

But I know also that I have to stay balanced in my criticism. I have to remind myself that I’m in the trenches. Just as a soldier must steel his heart against fear and despair, I must pace myself during the losses so that I can ultimately win the war. I have to surrender my failings to Him, confessing them honestly and let them go.

We've all had those days...the ones you look back on and think "I wasn't a good mom today." How do you overcome those "dark nights" of motherhood, regaining hope and inspiration?

 

Take Heart

So for you moms out there, fighting the good fight and feeling maybe a bit battered, take heart. Because no matter how we may seem on the outside, none of us has this thing figured out and we all have our moments of uncertainty and failure. But, borrowing the words of Anne Shirley once more, “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” (Anne of Green Gables).

And really, that’s what this blog is all about. Encouraging you in your journey and reminding you that you are not alone. Let’s continue supporting one another so that together we can achieve our end goal—so that we can become the Proverbs 31 wife we’re all aiming for.

 

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  1. I love this so much!! Especially the quote from Anne at the end. 🙂 Motherhood is such a refining fire, and like you I am so grateful for new mercies every morning! Sharing on Surviving Toddlerhood’s Facebook page!

  2. As a fairly new mom, I really appreciate this post! I love how you incorporated quotes by Anne. Literary quotes always resonate with me 🙂

  3. It’s definitely nice to see mom’s who do not always get it right. Love the reminder about who we are in Christ and your willingness to share your not-so-perfect mom moments. (Salt & Light)

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