If you are in a hard spot and feel like you can’t go on, this post is for you. Sometimes when you are going through hard times, you just have to push through the middle.
So much of motherhood happens in the middle. That is, after you’ve already started doing something and before you see the final result. We want our children to sleep well, eat well, choose well and thrive. We want them to be all they were created and born to be. We want them to be happy and full of energy to change the lives of those around them.
We do many things throughout the days, weeks, and years of their early lives in hopes that those goals we have for them and they have for themselves will come true. Parenting is never over. We see great fruit from our efforts. Then we see our efforts go completely unnoticed. We do things day in and day out and they seem to make no difference. I believe this is where God fine tunes us as individuals to take a more eternal perspective.
Before I had children, I thought parenting would be amazing and all, but I didn’t think it would actually force me to become a better and deeper person. Denying yourself and thinking of others has a way of doing that, doesn’t it?
As mothers we push through even when:
1) We can’t see the point.
There are certain things I do around the house that, as I do them, I am thinking “this is so pointless.” Sort of like dishes. Or laundry. Or tidying up after toddlers. Of course there is a point but it often feels like we just do the same things over and over again, doesn’t it? With respect to teaching and training our children you’ll find this is the case.
We tell them the same things about 356 times before it sticks. Teaching kids to clean takes years. However, these things will change over time and we’ll find that one day things are different. The kids have heard us and they respond. They pick up after themselves, they know how to cook dinner, they can do the laundry. They will pick up what you teach. You have to push through the middle.
2) We don’t want to anymore.
This will sound so immature and ridiculous, but I have to be honest. Sometimes I just throw myself mental pity parties. I just sort of, well, lose the desire to do what I need to do. I don’t want to clean the house. I don’t want to give the kids a bath. I don’t want to bother disciplining a bad behavior because I don’t want to get off the couch. When I’m tired, fed up and annoyed, I have no excuses to offer myself. I simply don’t want to do anything anymore. This is the danger zone. If we give in here too often we may find we don’t have the gumption to keep moving. We have to push through the middle.
3) We actually think we can’t go on.
There have been many times, particularly while pregnant and fueled by intense hormones, that I simply thought I couldn’t go on. I wondered if I’d actually still be alive by 8 p.m. or if somehow my mental and emotional desperation would lull me into a coma. Fortunately – or perhaps unfortunately – I remained alert.
No matter what job we have or our circumstances, we will all reach that place in our lives at some point. Where we think we just don’t have anything left to offer, like we’ve bottomed out. I think this is one of the best places to be for growth because just when you think you can’t go on, you usually find the strength and capacity to do so. We have to push through the middle.
4) We get no thanks.
Particularly in the early years of parenting, and later when we do things behind the scenes that go unnoticed, being a mom is a thankless job. Thankless in that there are not always others standing around patting us on the back and telling us what a good job we’re doing. While we do see the fruit of our labors and get the daily hugs and kisses and love from our kids, there are many down and dirty self-sacrificial things we do and often wonder if anyone notices.
But at the end of the day, we didn’t have kids so they would sing our praises. Even when we get no thanks or affirmation or we spend hours on something that would only have been noticed if we hadn’t done it, we just have to push through the middle.
5) There is no one watching.
Our character is revealed by the choices we make when nobody’s watching. When we’re alone and there is no boss or spouse or child around to see us, what choices do we make? What attitudes do we choose to hold on to? There have been many times when I’ve gone into the bathroom, sat down and cried my eyes out. Sometimes you just need to unload, don’t you?
Then you stand up, fix your mascara (if you bothered to wear it) and go back out to face the day. When no one is watching are we nice to our children? When no one is watching do we scream at them? At these times when we feel we’re never going to catch a break or not going to be able to do this forever we just have to tell ourselves something. That it won’t last forever. We just have to push through the middle.
The thing about a race is you can generally gauge where you are at, how many miles you have left. That helps encourage you to keep going and to push through the wall towards the finish line. In life we aren’t always blessed with knowing exactly where we are in our personal race, so that pretty much leaves only one thing to be done.
To push through the middle.
I think it was Winston Churchill who said…
“If you are going through hell… keep going.”
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