I watch you glance at the clock. Because for now, life runs on time. And your days just don’t seem to have enough. It’s time for a bath and bed, and it’s okay when you feel guilty that you’re glad. I give you just enough energy to make it through the splashes and tantrums. And I hear every word you softly sing over her. I am already answering those prayers for her. Mama, you just wait to see what I do in her life.
Your to-do list is almost complete. And even after all of that, you still come meet me on the couch. I understand that you can barely hold your eyes open, but Mama, my Truth is just the refreshment you need. My Word is the energy you need to love hard tomorrow. And all I need you to do it open it. I’ll do the rest. And I’ll give you rest.
You did more Kingdom work today than you will ever know, sweet Mama.
And you will never know how proud I am of you.
—“Dear Working Mama” by Jessica Satterfield (excerpt)
Three years ago, as a brand new mom in the throes of postpartum depression, I gulped these words down like they were water for my parched soul. Over and over again, I would go back and forth between these words and His Word. My whole life I had been an over-achiever, and it was devastating to not live up to my own expectations. Desperate for affirmation, I willed myself to believe that I was never called to be a super mom. Nowhere in scripture did it say that I—in my own strength—had to be the perfect wife, the perfect employee, the perfect friend, the perfect mother, and the perfect Christian.
Maybe you are also struggling with postpartum depression, or maybe you are just stuck in a haze of exhaustion. Maybe the only emotion that’s getting through the fog is guilt—for not doing enough, for doing too much, for yelling too loud, or for not speaking up—and the weight is overwhelming. Maybe you think your kids or your family would be better off without you. Maybe you desperately want to embrace your new body, but you still cry every time you see the stretch marks. Maybe you can barely make yourself get out of bed every morning, and you can hardly wait for bedtime every night, even though you also worry you aren’t spending enough time with the people you love. Maybe you don’t smile as much or laugh as hard, and the people around you are distancing themselves or telling you that you’ve changed.
Mamas, don’t spend all your time and energy trying to meet a standard of perfection that was never meant for you. If you are drowning, drown in His grace. When you feel weak, or unsure, or not good enough—remember that you are loved by a God who moves mountains. And through Him, you are strong, you are steady, and you are more than enough.
This season will pass. And as you heal—as you prepare to rise up—know that there are millions of mothers standing by your side, who have been there and are ready to sound the trumpet. You may not see, or hear, or notice us, but we are right here, cheering you on. You are doing Kingdom work.
And you will never know how proud He is of you.
But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. – Psalm 3:3