Inconvenient Motherhood

It’s not a pretty thing to admit- that sometimes you feel inconvenienced by motherhood. But every mother has felt it, and even some soon-to-be mothers fear it.  It’s probably even at the root of why some consider abortion.

Will these kids cramp my style?  Will this baby keep me from what I want to be doing? Will having a 3rd child (or 4th or 5th) hinder me from pursuing a career outside the home?

The answer is yes.  Yes, children will interrupt your world like nothing else.  They will alter the direction of your life, especially if you never imagined having kids. That 3rd child just might set you back another 5-7 years in going after the career of your dreams.

But they’re worth it, right?  Children are a gift from the Lord!  Isn’t that the typical Christian answer that you expect me to give? Well, it is true.  Just read Psalm 127:3-5. They are darling gifts that can also be an inconvenience to you if you’re not careful with your own heart.

  • So how do you respond when you’re 9 months pregnant and can no longer bend over to put on shoes?  Pregnancy itself is inconvenient.
  • What is your attitude like when you’ve just fallen asleep and your precious newborn lets you know she’s ready to eat?
  • What’s the state of your heart when you just want to get the dishwasher loaded and your toddler is screaming from another room?  (My personal favorite.)
  • And for you parents of tweens… are you ever just a tad put out that you have to drive Junior to another practice?

Do any of these sound familiar?

In my flesh, I wage war with the prideful feeling of being inconvenienced more often than I’d like.  That struggle says a lot about the state of my heart, but I’m thankful I can at least see God at work in me- using my children as instruments of refinement to make me more like Him.

So, how do we do it?  How do we moms get over the inconvenienced part of motherhood and move on toward the loving, joyful parts?

Looking to Jesus

I’ve spent some time recently in the book of Mark and have loved getting to know Jesus all over again. He dealt with a host of people who could’ve been considered inconvenient. But you know, Jesus was never annoyed by them.

  • There were times He wanted to be alone to pray, but the crowds were searching for Him. Jesus remembered His purpose and continued to willingly offer them His Kingdom message (Mark 1:35-38).
  • Sometimes the crowds were so dense, He and the disciples barely even had time to eat. Even then, Jesus wasn’t bothered by their presence.  Rather, He had compassion on them and gave them food (Mark 3:20, 6:31-34).
  • Can you imagine arriving in a new town and immediately tons of people running up to you, crowding you, wanting to touch you?  Jesus wasn’t irritated by this.  Instead, He had mercy on them and healed them (Mark 6:54-56).

We can learn so much from Jesus’ heart and His example.  Here are a few ways we can combat the heart of inconvenience in motherhood.

New Thoughts to Break the Inconvenient-Motherhood Mind-Set

1. There is a King, and it’s not me.
When I’m standing at the kitchen sink with a heart demanding that my children run along and play because I’m determined as anything to finish loading the dishwasher, in that moment, I’m believing it’s my kingdom.  In my kingdom, the dishwasher is loaded, no matter if the cost is two darling boys bruised by my mean attitude and words.

In reality, all of life is lived under one Ruler, King Jesus.  I operate in His world, not my own, so who am I to demand my way?  I must learn to say, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” The dishes can wait if my little ones need love or attention.  Dirty dishes and love can coexist in the Kingdom of God.

2. Have compassion on them.
Our children are just little people who need love, guidance, help and provision.  When I intentionally take the time to remove my focus from my own agenda and actually look into my babies’ eyes and listen, God gives me a true compassion for them.

Click over to Mark 6:34 and Mark 8:1-3 and see Jesus’ heart toward those needy crowds. Don’t you to want to love so kindly like Jesus does?

Notice how sweetly He loves children.  Here is what He said in portions of Mark 10:13-16:

Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God… And he took them in His arms and blessed them, laying His hands on them.

Let’s not be so busy with our own plans that we hinder our children from coming to us. We are their mamas, after all.

3. Reinterpret inconveniences as opportunities for faith growth- your own and your kids.
God is sovereign over aspect of our day, even interruptions.  Let’s believe He’s up to something in those moments.  Let’s view interruptions as a time for our old self to die and our Spirit-filled self to bear new, life-giving fruit.  

Interruptions can also be a time for our children to see that our faith is genuine.  My boys see me read the Bible.  They hear me sing worship songs.  If I respond impatiently or harshly to their interruptions, I will be a model of hypocrisy in their eyes.  I certainly don’t want to damage their faith by my own sinfulness.

Responding well to interruptions also allows our relationships to remain open with our kids. Let’s keep those communication lines clear and free so that when the topic of faith comes up, there will be no relational hindrances.

4. See the beauty in sacrifice.
Motherhood is all about sacrifice, from the very beginning with pregnancy to the everyday inconveniences we know so well.  These sacrifices may be painful in the moment, but they offer a beauty this world does not understand.

When we willingly choose to sacrifice for our children, we are saying in that moment we believe in the cross and resurrection of Jesus. Because in that moment, we are modeling His death.  We die to our self, believing that resurrection life will follow.  And that is a beauty the world cannot understand.

We can gladly sacrifice for our children, dear friend, because He is worth it.  Christ Jesus is worthy of our sacrifice, even the small ones like leaving dirty dishes in the kitchen sink.

5. He transforms our little into much.
Jesus reminds us in Mark 4:30-33 that when even the tiniest mustard seed is sown, it will grow up and become larger than all the other garden plants, so much so that the birds will come and make their nests in it.

Dear reader, we can’t just hold on to our seed, hoping fruit will come.  We actually have to throw it down by faith and see if it’ll grow.

One of the seeds in our hand is a loving response to our children’s interruptions.  Let’s respond in faith and then see how God grows our obedience into something bigger than we could’ve imagined.

One Last Thing

The things I’ve mentioned here are hard.  In fact, they’re impossible to live out on our own. Turn your eyes to Jesus, friend. We come needy and depleted, but He meets us with His wealth of provision.  Ask Him to provide you with every little thing you need- strength, love you don’t have, patience, more love, kind words, a gentle look toward your child.  He loves you, dear reader, as if you are one of those children in Mark 10 that He scoops up to bring near to Himself.  He can totally transform our households and even our hearts.  Let’s look to Him.

I hope this post has been an encouragement to you.  I’m loving my children more even as I type this.  If you need more resources like this, I’ve written a few other posts you might find helpful: Finding Life as I Lay Mine Down in Motherhood , 3 Ways I’m Learning to Be More Patient with My Kids, and Preparing My Mind for Labor and Delivery.

Much love to you! And please share or pin this article if it was an encouragement to you!

Photo: eren {sea+prairie}

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6 thoughts on “Inconvenient Motherhood

    1. Megan, you’re so welcome. I’m thankful you found it helpful. Hard truths, made sweeter by His love and presence.

  1. I have a disabled child who turned 18 a few months back. I took a lot of flack or not placing him in a group home. People told me I should get a life. This child still wears diapers and needs help in all areas of care as he is about 24 months development. I can’t explain to others the blessing that the Lord pours out when we choose to die to self in order to care for another. Grear article….spot on.

    1. Shannon, thank you so much for commenting and sharing your testimony. I am so grateful you are here, and your comment just radiates the beauty of Christ, His gospel message, which is one of sacrifice. “Greater love has no man than this, that he lay his life down for his friends.” You have loved your son well and are an example to the rest of us!

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