I’m pretty sure I knew I’d be a good mom.
I remember when I worked in a restaurant in high school and some of the employees were all standing around and talking about our futures when I said, “I want to be a stay-at-home mom.” One of the men got down on his knees in response and asked me to marry him. He was joking, of course, but I’m pretty sure he was alluding to the fact that not many women wanted to be stay-at-home moms.
I don’t really know, maybe I just looked extra cute that day. Either way, his “proposal” gave me a hefty dose of mommy-to-one-day-be self-righteousness.
I went to college and was a human development and family studies major, which to me meant great preparation for being a top-notch mom one day. I was planning on being a counselor so I could be home when my babes got home from school each day. I envisioned myself teaching my kiddos, baking with them, doing crafts, laughing all the time, and being just plain awesome. Yes, these were my future plans.
I got married, and less than two years later was pregnant. In my ninth month of pregnancy I quit my job and began the future I had always envisioned.
Except that after three babies, the “future” didn’t look anything like how I’d planned it.
Eight years of marriage and three babies in and I was losing it. I knew I had so much to be thankful for, and that I should count my blessings, but all I was counting were the days until my next break.
I needed to get out, get away, and figure out my life. What had happened to me? I used to be vibrant and fun and ambitious, and I turned into an empty shell of a woman. I felt so lost, so tired, and so very alone.
I was supposed to be a good mom, I had planned on it, but I just felt like one big absurd excuse for whatever a good mother was supposed to look like.
I was drowning.
I felt desperate.
Some days, I even felt trapped. Like I was stuck in this life, this good life that I was supposed to be grateful for, but instead felt a growing resentment towards. How could I be discontent when I had everything I ever wanted? Talk about a conflict of the soul.
Friends, please hear me, I loved my babies to the depth of my being, and I would have died for them. I just had a hard time playing ponies with them.
And I still do.
I’m selfish and lazy, because it’s my default, and it’s easier that way.
But that is no way to live; there is no fullness in a selfish existence. And so in my conflict, of course I felt empty. On the other hand, I was genuinely experiencing feelings of desperation because I felt so alone in motherhood. I just needed help; I needed a friend, a mentor, an advocate.
I needed to know I wasn’t crazy.
I needed to know God heard my whispers, my “I just can’t be a mother today” cries towards heaven.
Well, He heard, and He answered, and He gave me a story to tell.
He gave me a story to tell all the other mothers who sometimes feel crazy, or overwhelmed, or confused with how to raise or discipline their children. He gave me a story to tell those sweet mamas who never had an affectionate mom to lean into and receive love and affirmation from. He gave me a story for the moms who feel like they have no support, or who some days, can’t get out of bed because life feels just too hard. He gave me a story for those who feel like He’s is too quiet. He gave me a story for those who wish they had a mentor, an older, wiser woman to speak into their lives. He gave me a story for those who some days, feel desperate to breathe.
He gave me a story, and I wrote it down for you.
But I didn’t write it alone.
I wrote it with the woman that God gave me as an answered prayer. A woman who is wise and kind and gentle and gracious. A woman who taught me to steer clear of formulas and cling to the Spirit. A woman who has taught me to own my life and take responsibility for filling my soul with joy and delight. God brought me a gift in Sally Clarkson, and I’m going to share that gift with you, through my story, Desperate – Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe.
If you’ve ever felt alone in motherhood, or just so tired, or overwhelmed, or lost, or like you just can’t breathe, this book is for you. It’s for you on the good days and the bad days and the in-between days that sometimes feel so mundane you could scream.
It’s all for you.
And today, DaySpring is giving away the book.
The Giveaway: THREE Desperate sets that include the book, a journal, and a tea cup:
For those of you who want to get their hands on the book right away, you can find it everywhere books are sold (including at DaySpring!). And if you purchase the book this week (the 7th-12th) there are some amazing gifts and giveaways for you (including a year of free house cleaning and a spa weekend away with Sally and me!).
You can learn more about all that by heading to the Desperate website.