Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Joyful Weariness

Earlier this week, my friend Stephanie emailed me an account of her afternoon. I begged her to let me share it with you, because I know that she isn't the only one who feels the weariness, and the joy, of motherhood.

A Joyful Weariness
By Stephanie J. Leinbach

Weary. So weary with mothering, with caring for the little ones orbiting around me. Weary with the burden of the child I carry, four months away from delivery, four months that seem like an eternity. Weary of this body of mine that does not bear children gracefully or painlessly.

My husband was home by lunchtime. His work had slowed to a trickle. My work, on the other hand, loomed mountainous wherever I looked: the laundry, the cooking, the sewing, the cleaning. Would it never end?

All I wanted to do was go to bed.

But the wall between the office and our bedroom was too thin to block the sound of my husband coughing as he worked at his desk. He’d had that cold for—how many weeks? I had lost count. I stared at the ceiling, longing for mindless sleep, longing for silence. But with his coming and going, accompanied by coughing, the three-year-old kept coming and going from her bed. I lay in tangled blankets and pretended I didn’t hear her calling for me, pretended I didn’t hear her shouting out reasons why she needed to get up. I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry. I wanted to pound my pillow and yell, “Doesn’t anyone care that I’m exhausted?”

I gave up on my nap. In the now-empty office, I slumped into a chair and stared at my slippers. My husband stuck his head in, a small head poking around his leg. “I told her she could get up. It’s getting too late for her to be sleeping,” he said.

I looked at her. He looked at her. “Your mother isn’t very happy with you,” he said.

She came to my side, blinked long and sleepless lashes at me, and pulled my head down to kiss my cheek.

“Sorry,” she whispered.

I wrapped her in a hug. “I forgive you,” I whispered back and shut my eyes against the tears that begged to be shed.

Still weary. The burden of mothering is still heavy. But my heart…my heart is lighter now.

How about you? Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the fatigue of motherhood - yet grateful for this privilege?

This guest post is written by Stephanie J. Leinbach, author of Light My Candle, Prayers in the Darkness of Miscarriage. Check out more of her writings on her blog.


  1. Oh my goodness! That was so me last week! But I feel guilty for being on the edge of tears and tell myself I have no right to feel this way because I am so blessed. Thank you so much for letting me know I am a normal mother.

  2. oh yes, Gina...every day ALL day! Some days I feel I'm going to be consumed by exhaustion! But...and there's ALWAYS a but, isn't there? God is gracious and merciful and knows just how much we can handle, and them He steps in, with a glimpse of His Perfect Love (for us) and His Understanding of our humanness and frailty. For He is the Lifter of our head.. so we can carry on. Another second, another minute, hour...another day. Can you imagine life without that? I can not. It does not take it (the exhaustion) away..but it makes it bearable. Because of that. Because of Him.

    Praying for you as you carry your load as a wife and mother. {{hugs}}

  3. This was really precious!!
    There is not a women out there who has not been in that place, yet this dear women handled it with HIS grace.
    I will be praying for her tonight.
    Blessings, Roxy

  4. I just texted my husband about an hour ago and this is what I said, "I'm tired and I'm burned out honey!" sigh Maybe just winter blahs. Hoping so anyway!

  5. Oh my....this could have been written by me.

  6. Oh yes! All mothers of small children feel this way. Thank you for being so honest. Blessings :)

  7. Oh yes! And on days like that I repeat Isaiah 40:11 and tell God, "GENTLY lead me and give me energy ans strength!"

    I am getting a night out tonight with some other mamas so that break also helps!

  8. I remember such days when I was raising small children. I do think things become easier as the children become school age..they are able to do more things on their own and help around the house. I also think that sometimes, when life becomes constant work and drudgery, that it may be an indication that some changes need to be made! For example, around here, homeschool mothers are great about giving each other breaks. Park days,(kids play, moms visit) "Mom's Night Out" (usually a restaraunt or craft party) even a mothers' Bible study where teenaged girls supervise the children so Mom's are free for a couple of hours.
    Prayers for all the Mothers'. What a challenging job!!! Bless you all.

  9. All us mothers can resonate with these feelings, and I just had a dear friend share her same thing this morning and here is what I was able to share with her.. May we each enjoy every season of Life GOD Gave US... He Has them For Us for a REASON

    "In the early stages of wifely and motherhood we do lose a sense of our "I" selves, but looking back now I see it was just putting all that we ever desired growing up to be a wife and mother put to actual real use.. Now in my 30's and last night making it my 35 birthday year, I have grown more individually than I ever thought in my 20's... things make much more sense now and I give that credit to GOD.. I may have done much for my children and husband when I was then and I still do now. but do know this season will soon pass and befor long your children are nearly grown and all those crazy younger years will be no more... I think there is a reason why God allws us to bear children between certain ages of woman hood, because as we get older we tire more easily.... and enjoy the moment outside the house, sometimes just driving to the park and sitting in your vehicle can do wonders.."

  10. Oh, what a shame. Honestly, I have been there, so many times! When my daughter was 7 months, and my son, who has autism, was 7, I had a total meltdown in the bathroom. 7 months of no sleep, and I locked myself in the bathroom and just lost it. Now that my daughter is 5, and my son 12, things are a bit easier, and I help out mums as much as I can, because, we all need a hand! Great post! Xoxo

  11. Thsnk you for this.......really really thank you!!!

  12. This is a very good many can identify and it's helpful to share the good times and the hard times with each other.


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