Does the phrase “grumpy mom" make you bristle like a porcupine? I mean, I don’t see mommas slapping that phrase on a t-shirt and wearing it like a badge of honor. No, we’d much prefer to describe ourselves with words like joyful, spontaneous, worry-free, and ready to take on the world.
But as I talk with other moms and admit my own faults, we’re all sort of shocked by how often mommas can still feel grumpy. We’re moms who know our true source of joy and have Christ living inside of us, but we still find ourselves discouraged and hopeless.
How does this happen? And how can we experience a motherhood that we aren’t clamoring to escape? How can we enjoy the abundance that we know is possible?
I found a renewed definition of motherhood with more joy than I knew was possible by way of an old favorite Bible verse:
Romans 12:2 (ESV) “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
I’ve always loved this verse and the simple charge it gives: think differently than the world. But what did it mean for motherhood?
So many of my thoughts that led to my grumpiest moments were thoughts shaped by the world, not renewed in God’s truth. The world’s paper-thin definition of motherhood gives us a picture of something we long to escape. It looks like something we can only survive by the skin of our teeth. The momma with the least sleep, most difficult child, or least helpful husband always wins.
Social media mom memes constantly remind us our floors are dirty, our house is chaotic, and our shirt is probably covered in spit-up or something we’d rather not investigate further. We laugh to keep from crying.
The faulty definition of motherhood sabotages our thoughts and has us running to hide out in the bathrooms. But there is hope and I get to share it with you. Refreshment is available right now, and it doesn’t require a full overhaul of your motherhood or an island vacation...although that sounds amazing!
Truth says being a mom is more than cold coffee and sleepless nights. Truth says that our role is so much greater than merely “keeping our kids alive.” We’re meant to love the Lord with all our heart and teach our kids about their need for Him and the joy of following Him. This means training and disciplining, and it also looks like pouring out love and grace when they make mistakes. It looks like showing them where their true identity lies and where it does not.
When separating the truth from the lies, we’ll enjoy motherhood more than we ever thought possible. Spilled milk will be just spilled milk and not a story we jot down to save for later. That tantrum will be an opportunity to remember the steadiness of emotions we have and not an opportunity to shoot up like a geyser right along with our toddler. That missed nap won’t be a reason to get angry at our inconvenience, but an opportunity to recognize that God’s plans, not ours, will prevail.
Our joy won’t be at the mercy of the world’s idea of a mom’s perfect day but firmly planted in the definition of motherhood that some can’t comprehend. A definition built on the unchanging word of God doesn’t stop being true when it comes to motherhood. Every mom needs an escape – not from motherhood, but the world’s definition of it. And when we find and live out that escape, our motherhood will be marked by words like joy, spontaneity, worry-free, and ready to take on the world.
Be-In-Couraged! Embrace your motherhood and the joy that comes with it!