Momma, When You Feel “Touched Out”

This is a picture my 6yr old daughter snapped of me breastfeeding my 2yr old son, while heavily pregnant. I love what this picture captures, his smile at me and my joy in him. I also love that my daughter decided to take the photo. But breastfeeding through my 5th pregnancy has been challenging in many ways, especially when it comes to feeling “touched out”.IMG_E0307

 

Sometimes, all I want is for the little ones to not need me so much! 

Sometimes, I have to tell my son “not now” when he asks to nurse (and that is okay too).

Sometimes, I need half an hour to myself without the children on me, before I can relax with my husband.

All of this is true, but I want to remind you touched out mommas (and myself) of some very important things…

  • You are so very important to these little people in your life! Your babies, toddlers, and children need you. There will never be another time when simply being with YOU is so incredibly calming for them. Your touch, your kisses, your milk, your lap; you are giving them the love they need. The world may not recognize the work you are doing, but it is so important. Don’t lose sight of that.
  • The older children are watching you, and your love is a gift to them too. Those of you with children of multiple ages, you are giving them an incredible living example of what loving sacrifice looks like. Every time you rock a crying baby, sooth an upset 3yr old, and nurse a tired toddler. Every time you scoop them into your lap and read them a story. Every time you forget about that tea you had to heat up for the third time, because you were too busy giving. Every time momma, they see it. It matters.
  • It really does not last forever. They will grow taller, leaner, and more self reliant. They won’t wake you up at night to cuddle. They won’t beg you for one more story. They won’t cry for you to carry them on your tired hips. They won’t need your presence the same way they do now. But, these days will have built a solid foundation within them. They will still know and rely on your love, and your strength will become their own. They won’t always need you like this, but your sacrifices will always matter.

It may not seem like much more than a whirlwind of tasks some days. Running from mess to mess, child to child, meeting the needs all around you all the time. You finally fall into some sort of sleep, tired and TOUCHED OUT.

But momma, it IS sacred work. Raising these beautiful babies is a higher calling. It is something pure, wonderful, and holy. Often the most holy moments are caught in the most mundane and routine tasks of care-giving. It is humbling work. It changes you daily, in ways you may not realize just yet.

So, yes, put those feet up when you can. Give yourself time, and rest.

But remember what an important, and fleeting time this is.

Shalom.

 

 

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The Saving Grace of Motherhood

1 Tim 2:15 But women will be saved through childbearing….

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My children remind me of my long-lost innocence. Sometimes, I imagine that I emerged from the womb knowing. I believe I was born with this weight on my shoulders, and blood on my hands. But the truth is that my eyes were clear and pure just like theirs are.

And their trust reminds me that mine was broken. Like a thief comes to steal, except it wasn’t quiet and stealthy. It was a screaming, burning, explosion. Destroyed, like the bombed-out homes of war torn countries. I was ripped open from end to end, from here to forever. Trust? Something I never heard of, yet my children extend it to me like a heavenly gift.

My arms wrap around them, keep them safe. My daughter frowns in frustration when I won’t allow her to go online. I’m protecting you. There are bad men out there, who could hurt you. She holds my warnings suspect in her mind; she can’t imagine an evil like that.

How do I protect them? How do I save them from this burden I carry? How do I teach them to love themselves, and hit back when someone touches them after “no”?

I see them clearly; beautiful like an angel’s song, pure like streams of water flowing from the tree of life. They don’t understand, how heaven opened up and love descended upon me like a dove the moment I held them in my arms. I have been trusted with something beautiful, and it made me beautiful again.

My heart, once laid to waste like a desolate city, became alive again with singing and dancing and good wine. The smell of their hair, the sparkle in their eyes, the light of their smile; it’s all a prayer to me. The fragrance of God. When they hug me, it’s the holiest of holies in my soul. They don’t even know it, but they redeemed me. They lead me to the water of forgiveness. I was born, when they were born.