Dealing with Doubt and Discouragement

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Being a mom is hard.  Being a mom of three kids under age three is really hard.  Much more difficult than I could ever imagine.  Maybe I was naive during this last pregnancy, but I really didn’t think going from two kids to three would be that difficult.

Boy, was I ever wrong.  Maybe it’s the closeness in age.  Maybe it’s having two kids in that toddler stage.  Maybe it’s trying to squeeze as much as possible into those one or two hours the baby is napping.  I am sure it’s all of these things and more.

What I didn’t expect was to get so discouraged.  To the point where I feel like I am drowning some days.  Frustrated that I can’t manage to keep my head above water and my family and house afloat.

Believe me, I am not trying to do too much.  The bathrooms haven’t been cleaned in over a month.  I just finally did the floors after seeing how dirty the girls’ feet were the past week.  And don’t even get me started on the laundry.  I know that expecting my house to be squeaky clean and organized is not a reality for me at this point in my life.

But I do expect joy.  To be able to enjoy my children.  Enjoy being in my home with my family.  To be satisfied with the state of my house.

But I haven’t been able to lately, as I struggle with lovingly training my children to be gentle, kind and loving.  Keeping up with the grocery shopping and meal planning so we aren’t eating out, wasting money.  Trying to declutter and find a place for everything in between naptimes and without the girls wrecking another part of the house.  Just writing it all out is giving me intense anxiety!

I know other moms out there feel the same way.  The world underestimates the great, enormous job of a mother.  The responsibility and demands.  That’s why I’d like to share how I am managing to deal, to get through the tough times that are filled with doubts and discouragements.

Ask for Help

This is so very hard for me, as I have mentioned before.  My family and my husband’s family are just as busy as I am as mom.  So I find it difficult to ask for help when I know they are struggling to do it all as well.  However, I have learned that even just an hour a week or so helps a great deal.  Giving me time to organize and clean without three little ones demanding my attention.  And almost always, my family is excited to be able to spend time with the girls.  Also, I have to remember that my husband is very willing to help but can’t always read my mind.  Gently asking for him to come alongside me and help out is a great way for us to also spend time together.

Make Time for Yourself

Aaahh, this is very difficult for me as well!  That’s why I decided to do the Just For Mom series!  Losing track of yourself and cutting out the things you love, that make you feel good about yourself, to make more time for your family will just end up hurting your family in the end.  Making sure you are showered and dressed every morning is a huge self-esteem booster, one I need to force myself to do every day!  Also, getting out without the girls and spending time with the husband or friends is always a much-needed breath of fresh air.  :)

Nurture Your Body

I struggle with being a stress eater.  When I get overwhelmed or anxious, I want sugar.  Badly.  Or if I am feeling exhausted, I tend to gulp down soda instead of coffee or tea.  I have noticed, though, that the high levels of sugar make my anxiety much worse!  Making sure to eat at least one huge salad a day and cutting back on the processed foods and high sugars has helped up my mood tremendously.  Also, when I can, squeezing in a run or a workout video helps relieve a lot of tension in my body and gives my mind the time to process through the day.

Fall on Your Knees

If it weren’t for God and my relationship with Him, I do not know where I would be or what state of mind I would be in.  His words of hope and encouragement are what get me through my days.  I have been trying to read His Word more, especially during the really tough times.  Journaling has helped a great deal in getting my frustrations out, releasing me from those feelings.  Turning on the Christian radio station or listening to a message online has kept my mind positive and my attitude joyful.  But the one thing that I need to make sure to do every day is to drop to my knees and pray for His strength to guide me through the day.

” …let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.  For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  Hebrews 12:1-3

What helps YOU through your doubts and discouragements?

Related posts:

  1. Dealing with Hitting & Anger in Children
  2. Dealing with Anxiety During Pregnancy
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9 Responses to Dealing with Doubt and Discouragement

  1. Mrs. Taffy says:

    Ah…Carolyn, I wish I could give you a hug! I totally remember those days! I had three under three once upon a time and I think I was potty training one of them with a newborn in the house. Crazy! All I can say is hang on and enjoy the ride! I know it’s overwhelming and busy, and I think you might be a little like me in that you love to have things neat and organized around you, I get a little bonkers when things are messy and out of control. One of the best things I read long ago was to keep the children mainly in one room during the day, with momma there, to keep the mess limited to one place. Also, when my children were tiny I started putting everybody to bed so early (7:00), I still do this with my little people, because I need that time to unwind. Obviously the baby didn’t always do that, but we’ve always enjoyed snuggling the baby while watching TV or something. And for me I found that I would get a little obsessed with one thing I hadn’t been able to do, like take a shower or make a real meal, always, IF I remembered to tell my husband about it, he would always help me get that thing done and I always felt better, even if nothing really changed but the one thing that was bothering me! You are a terrific Mom and soon enough you’ll be able to do all the things you want to do again. I still have to remind myself of that! Having a newborn always set s me back in what I feel like I want vs. should be doing. God is so faithful to help us! I’ll be praying for you and hopefully this “book” of a comment has given you some encouragement too! Love and hugs from a Mom who’s been there!

    P.S. There’s 5 year between my 3rd and 4th…I don’t necessarily like the big gap, but it did give me time to recuperate a little bit. Not saying that you should do that, just saying that I understand the struggle! :o )

    • Carolyn says:

      Mrs. Taffy… I wish we could meet in real life. You warm my heart so very much when I read your blog and now as I read your sweet words. The early bed time is a must in our family and I agree with you about having the snuggle time with baby and hubby. That is my absolute favorite time of day! Well that and when my oldest climbs in bed with me in the morning and the great hugs I get from my second when I get her out of bed in the mornings. It helps to remember the moments you love, the ones that make it all worthwhile. :)

  2. Courtney says:

    What helps me? Talking to YOU, Carolyn! It’s always refreshing to talk with another mom and share what’s going on. Whether we’re dealing with the same stuff (which we often are) or different stuff, just talking with another mom who understands does wonders. And we’re able to encourage each other. I love how honest you are about how things are going bc it provides safety for others to share, and it also can help other moms to realistically know what to expect. Thanks for sharing your struggles and what helps you!

    • Carolyn says:

      That is a great point, Courtney! It helps sooo much to connect with other moms out there! Especially ones in the same exact boat as you. :) I do hope that I don’t scare you though. Maybe your third will be easier than mine has been. The funny thing is though the third baby isn’t the hard part.. it’s the first two! lol. I love you and we are overdue for a phone date!

  3. Sarah says:

    I’ve just recently started reading your blog and am wishing I’d found it 25 months ago when I was brand new to 2 under 2!! I appreciate all your helpful tips on organization and such but your honesty about the day-to-day, real-life of having babies close together is what has meant a lot to me. Mine are now 3 and 2 and I struggle with many of the things you post about…it’s been such a comfort to know that I’m not alone in these feelings. God is totally in control and reading your blog has reminded me to put that in a better perspective…to stop whining about my circumstances and enjoy this time for His purpose in blessing us with these 2 kiddos.

    • Carolyn says:

      Oh, Sarah, thank you so much for telling me that! Only because that was my hope in starting this blog.. to share how to make it work and how some days it doesn’t work! I always see bigger families and have always wondered how they managed when they only had little ones, no bigger ones to help out. So that’s when I decided to start writing and sharing! I do need to share more about the difficult times, because in all honesty, having little ones close together with no older ones is pretty difficult! It’s just hard to climb out and put into words those tough days. But today it was so easy to let it spill out… I really need to get it all out. :)

  4. Eli says:

    The more read your blog the more I appreciate your genuine honesty. I wish I could say it’s gets easier as they get older but there are still many days that I feel overwhelmed and like I have lost myself in the day to day tasks life has in store for us. My husbnd has pointed out that I seem to be a different person after the kids are tucked in for the night – before that time I am edgy, stressed and short tempered. I’m working on hard to change that but it is an everyday struggle for me. My situation is quite different than yours but as a mom we all struggle with one thing or another. Your genuine honesty helps me to be honest with myself and evaluate what I’m feeling. It helps me to better focus on what’s important in life and Iwant to thank you for that.

    • Carolyn says:

      Soooo glad you could be encouraged, Eli!! I am the same way before and after my kids are in bed! That’s why I love early bedtimes. :) It helps knowing other moms have the same struggles.. we can be encouraged that we aren’t alone!

  5. Jessica says:

    Wish I had seen this post earlier! I have been feeling totally overwhelmed lately. Like I’ve just been putting my head down and plowing through not even enjoying the little things that I’ve been doing with my kiddos. I hate that feeling! I read a blog a week or so ago and for the life of me I can’t remember which one it was but it talked about realizing that you are truly going to miss this when your littles are out of this stage of life. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about how much I’m going to want these little ones to be little again when they are all grown up. So whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed or just tired of being a mommy I just remind myself of how much I’m going to miss these moments.

    I don’t know if you read Our Family for His Glory, but here is a recent post of theirs that I think about a lot too…are my actions/reactions pointing my littles toward Christ. Because at the end of the day the only thing that truly matters is their salvation and relationship with Him. Here is the link: http://ourfamilyforhisglory.blogspot.com/2011/09/holding-onto-each-fleeting-moment.html

    I’m crying now….lol I feel your discouragement mama….I too am there at the moment. Hold on, breathe, and love those littles with everything you can muster up within you! It will pass! The sorrows may last for the night, but HIS joy comes with the morning. :)

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