Sleeping 90 minutes at a time. Worrying about the persistent cough. Cleaning breast pump parts. The season when our two girls were little was a season I’d sometimes rather forget than cherish. I could not get away from the crying, diaper changing, and sleep deprivation fast enough.
You might be in this season now. Or maybe you’ve made it through the baby/toddler season, but your new season doesn’t seem to be any easier. You wonder, “Surely, the next season will be better than this one! Let’s get to that one now!” Can we be honest for a second? Because I think sometimes…
Feeling bad for being ungrateful parents?
There are seasons of parenting that we just aren’t grateful for.
The newborn season ushers in worries about health, growth charts, developmental milestones, and sleeping patterns. The toddler stage has us wondering if we’ll ever sit down and enjoy a hot cup of coffee again. Those elementary years find us relinquishing our children to outside influences that we don’t have control over as our kids learn how to navigate homework and become more independent. And middle school? Who hasn’t wanted to rush through middle school??!?! Finally, the high school years of phones, hormones, and friends are tough as we hope we’ve done a good job and that our children are making wise choices.
Each season of parenting has its pros and cons, and each stage has those parts that we don’t want to cherish, but would rather skip past.
But what does God have to say about these ungrateful seasons?
1. In every season, God is doing good work in us and through us.
Every season is both wonderful and hard, and every season has it’s God-ordained purpose. Here are three reasons to be thankful for the season you’re in.
2. God has called you for such a time as this.
Yes, this. This sleep deprivation. This never-ending laundry pile of onesies or uniforms. This time to chauffeur an entire soccer team.
God assigned you these people with these flaws and struggles for such a time as this. He’s placed you where He’s placed you so that you can be conformed more and more into the image of His Son.
God isn’t ignorant of your situation and He will never leave you on your own. He isn’t shocked that you’re tired or frustrated or wondering what to do next. He’s placed you in this season so that you’ll become the mama He’s designed you to be.
God gave you your position as a mom for such a time as this.
3. God uses every season of motherhood to refine you.
Yes, you. You are His favorite. You are the one He’s just crazy about. You are the one He picked to raise these children. You are who He thinks about and sings over.
God uses the method of motherhood to bring you into alignment with Him. God has specifically placed in you this season at this time so that He can peel away the sin and selfishness so that you become whole and wholly His.
Motherhood brings with it expectations we think we’re supposed to meet, isolation we feel closing in, and anger over the littlest things. But the beautiful part is that God uses all of those messy situations to bring us into His arms. He hears our confession, speaks truth to our hearts, and loves us into forgiveness.
God refines us more into the image of His Son as we parent with Him.
4. God knows motherhood is hard.
Yes, hard. Hard because motherhood is physically demanding. Hard because it seems like the only way to get it all done is to clone ourselves. Hard because our kids break our hearts with their defiance and hurtful words and disobedience.
God designed it so everything we do holds the opportunity to sanctify us, including motherhood. Motherhood is hard and sanctifying, which means that we desperately need God and we desperately need others.
If motherhood was easy, we would be self-sufficient and there’d be no need to trust and obey God because we’d have it all together. If motherhood was easy, we wouldn’t need people like mentor moms or same-stage-of-life friends who’d share our burdens. But motherhood is hard on purpose so that we could learn that we aren’t self-sufficient, but God-dependent and community-contingent.
God knows motherhood is hard and designed it that way so we wouldn’t get caught in the trap of self-sufficiency.
5. God is with us in each and every season, even the ones we’re not grateful for.
Mama, it’s okay if you’re not thrilled with the stage you’re in. It’s hard to get excited about spit-up or helping with homework or watching Paw Patrol when you’d rather watch Gilmore Girls. It’s okay to take note of the hard just like you remember the good.
But let’s not wish this hard season away.
God has placed you in this season for such a time as this to refine you and to partner with you in parenting. In this season, there’s something that God will teach you, show you, and love you through if you’re willing to not wish the time away.
God is just crazy about you even when you’re not crazy about the season you’re in. And sometimes that’s all you need to know.