I walked through the door on a Tuesday afternoon. I just picked up the boys from school. The overwhelming feeling in my chest turned to anxiety as I thought about our evening schedule.
One needed to be picked up from tennis, the other needed to be dropped off at baseball. The tutor texted and asked what time I wanted him to show up. The tutor? In the hustle and bustle of trying to put dinner on the table, I completely forgot about him.
I quickly found my husband and with tears welling up in my eyes, I said, “I’m overwhelmed and exhausted. I’m so tired of the non-stop-go routine.”
Instead of running my house, the house seemed to run me. Instead of being in control of this whole motherhood thing, I felt like I was caught up in a tornado of schedules and I couldn’t find my footing.
I want to tell you something you’ll never hear anyone talk about at your baby shower. And if you’ve been a mom for any length of time, you’ve probably experienced this yourself.
The Mommy Rut is REAL!!
I found out about it because I have lived to tell!! And to be honest, I still find myself in the rut from time to time.
What is the rut, you ask? It’s the black hole of motherhood. It’s the place you find yourself in unexpectedly and you can’t seem to find the exit.
The mommy rut can feel lonely. Your husband sees you there, but he doesn’t understand it. Your children depend on you, but they don’t care what you’re going through. They need you to make them a sandwich for lunch … oh, and, don’t forget to sign the permission slip for their field trip.
The mommy rut is the place where you feel like you’re not being used for your intended purpose. Did God really make me to wipe these counters for the fifth time in one day? And am I really called to wash all of this laundry when I could have swore I had a handle on it yesterday?
Different stages of motherhood can easily throw us into the mommy rut. When our kids are babies, the rut is exhausting and thankless.
When our kids are older, the rut is the non-stop-go of chauffeuring kids to school, to sports and fighting through the routine of homework.
I want to share some things with you today that will help you during those times you find yourself in the rut of motherhood. Because let’s be real, you will find yourself there from time to time.
The things I’m going to share with you are not necessarily things you should do, but things you should remember when you find yourself in the rut.
First, Remember God Sees You
I have always been a very scheduled person, and when I became a mom I fell into a strict routine. The routine itself can become a rut. People will tell you to change up the routine to get out of the mommy rut. And that’s true, but the routine is also the place where God speaks to us.
In Exodus, ch 3, Moses is in the routine of a job he doesn’t feel completely satisfied doing. He is shepherding sheep for his father-in-law, and he finds himself in the day-in and day-out routine of leading his flock.
His routine of shepherding sheep didn’t come without loneliness and exhaustion. But God saw Moses in the routine, and He used something Moses would recognize to get his attention: a burning bush.
The Bible tells us that Moses saw the bush and said to himself, “I must turn aside and see this great sight. And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God spoke to him.”
If you are tired of the routine and feel as though you’ll never get out of the rut of motherhood, God sees you. God uses our routine in life to speak to us. It’s hard to find the time to sit at the Lord’s feet as a mom. We barely have time to paint our own toenails.
God doesn’t need us to change things up in order to experience His presence. He understands our schedule and our season in life. Look for the burning bush moments in your daily routine and then turn aside to see what He wants to speak into your soul.
Second, The Mommy Rut is a Season That Ends
All of those people who tell you they grow up fast aren’t lying. When my boys were babies the days were long and I put everything else on hold. I didn’t teach full-time and passed on many contracted positions.
I knew God called me to teach His word, but the doors weren’t opening for me to do more than lead the children’s department at church, or teach a Sunday school class here and there.
Ecclesiastes is a popular passage of scripture. The Beatles thought so. Ecclesiastes 1:8 is probably THE BEST verse because it sums up the seven that follow. It says, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every PURPOSE under the heaven.”
As a mom, your purpose is to take care of your children, teach them about the Lord, and raise them to become men and women of God.
Just like in every season of life, they come and go. The motherhood rut will too. One day we’ll look back and realize we gave them their last bath. We’ll remember the days of bedtime stories, and kissing boo boos.
And yes, my friend, you’ll get your life back. The one where you can get up and shower in the morning without them banging on the door (still not sure when this ends), and the one where you can pursue other jobs and careers because they don’t need you the way they did when they were babies.
So, from one mom to another, enjoy every bit of it while it lasts; because nothing lasts forever.
Third, You are a Shepherd of Little Sheep
As moms, it can be easy to think the world is going on without us when we’re stuck taking care of our kids. I used to think the careers were moving along without me and it was like I was looking out the window watching the world pass me by.
I was so wrong.
Motherhood can seem like such a small and insignificant thing because we don’t get to have our picture hanging on the wall under the “Employee of the Month” sign. No one gives us a bonus and there’s no awards and Atta Boys being handed out.
But God cares about the little things. He places value on the things no one else does. And when you think about it, moms are the shepherds of their little flocks. We nurture and care for, teach and instruct, and are always with our little sheep.
Jesus gave an illustration about the one lost sheep. In our culture, we chase the big things: the crowds, the popular, the significant. Jesus referred to them as the ninety-nine. We want to be where everyone else is because somehow that makes us feel more purposeful.
But God doesn’t. He always goes after the one, the insignificant, the not so glamorous.
When we’re in the mommy rut, motherhood seems like a small thing with little reward. And you know what … in some ways it is. But that’s why it’s so important that we see how needed we are.
And so my friend, today I challenge you to think on your little flock. Go after them with all you’ve got because who else will love them like you? And in the middle of your routine, keep an eye out for the burning bush moments that God provides in the middle of our crazy schedule. He is faithful. He will be there.
And in the end, no one will shepherd them like you. The ninety-nine will always be waiting in the field. But this is your time to go after your little flock and make sure they aren’t lost. God sees you and He will reward you for your faithfulness.
The rut ends, but your influence lasts forever. I pray you find joy in motherhood and never miss a burning bush moment!