To this day, I don’t know just how it happened.
She was the most adorable baby girl you’ve ever seen, and I was beside myself with gratefulness for her.
First, there was her big brother who was very busy and all of 18 months old.
Then there was this tiny pink thing.
My very own sweetheart.
She was beautiful alright, but not the greatest sleeper. She wanted to nurse all night long, and it took some of the fun out of it if you know what I mean?
So I’d been doing this all-night party thing for several weeks when I started getting delirious. A little loco.
One night I found myself walking with her in circles until 2 am when finally . . . at last . . . got the baby darling to sleep. I gently tucked her in bed and quietly crawled in next to my sound-out husband.
And collapsed into a deep sleep.
For about 12 whole minutes.
That’s when I heard her soft cries starting up again.
I roused myself and leaned over the white, lacy crib and I, well, I kinda yelled.
Something like this: Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!
When you get to “That Place”
My poor husband bolted upright in bed, immediately on high-alert. “What is going on here?!”
I stared at him wide-eyed—nearly as shocked as he was. Disbelief at what I’d done. Ashamed and embarrassed.
“I dunno, Honey. I guess I kinda . . . snapped.”
And so her daddy tenderly picked up our baby-doll and took over where I left off. But as he left the room, he gently admonished,
“Hey, don’t let yourself get in that place again, okay?”
Ah yes, That Place.
I can assure you that I never intended to “get there.”
Since then – four boys and four girls later – I’ve learned more about how to avoid getting to That Place and other ways to restore my soul.
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Here are a few tips on how to restore your soul: a mix of spiritual, physical, and just plain practical ways to keep from yelling into the baby’s crib and other crazy-mama moments . . .
How to Restore Your Soul
1) Get the rest you require.
Make it a high priority because it can make all the difference. Sleep deprivation is a terrible thing. Go to bed early or take a nap. Ask friends or family to take over and curl up in a quiet place. Get serious about getting some sleep.
2) Do this in Christ’s strength.
Not your own. Don’t convince yourself that “I” can do this, but minister in His power rather than your own. Place Bible verses around the house, sing praises, and pray as you go throughout your day. Motherhood is a spiritual endeavor.
3) Don’t neglect your own needs.
Sometimes a mom gets so busy she forgets to eat right, to shower, and even go to the bathroom. She forgets to love her husband or talk to a good friend. My dear, how can you fill up your child’s heart if yours is on empty?
4) Be willing to ask for help.
At first, it felt rather stupid and weak, but I figured it was better than a breakdown. So one older lady folded clothes for me. Another teen girl came over to play with the children. We even sacrificed for a season and had a cleaning lady come in.
It’s now been 19 years since I yelled into the crib.
That baby girl is now a lovely young lady, and I’ve asked if she remembered me losing it with her?
She put her arms around me and said she only remembers snuggling together, reading stories aloud, and splashing in mud puddles.
And I’m beside myself with gratefulness.
My very own sweetheart.
Encouragement for the Worn Out Wife & Mom
Motherhood is beautiful . . . but it’s also the hardest job on the planet and many moms come to the end of their energy long before they come to the end of the work. At some point, every mom feels worn out — spent — and yet needs to carry on. What can she do to deal with the exhaustion and restore her soul? And is this all on her, or do husbands have a vital role in helping their wives persevere and find the rest they need to be their best?
We invite you to join Matt and Lisa on the FAITHFUL LIFE podcast this week HERE or press “play” below!
Matt and Lisa Jacobson, authors of 100 Ways to Love Your Husband and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife, are the hosts of a weekly podcast to talk about what it means to be a biblical Christian in marriage, parenting, church, and culture. Matt and Lisa offer deep encouragement, along with practical steps and true-life stories, as we grow in walking the faithful life together.
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