Pat Layton Pat Layton Pat Layton: Sweet Tea for Surrendered Sisters
The "Mommy Line"
Last week one of the many things that I had to fit into my schedule was a Dr's appointment. Routine but necessary. Those things are always such an interference with my schedule to begin with but somehow the only time I could fit this one is was on my Anniversary for goodness sakes. What was I thinking?? I must have forgotten that I would need to be out getting my honey and Anniversary gift!! Yep, I am a major last minute gift buyer!

As I was sitting in the waiting room making a list of Honey gift possibilities that could be captured from within 10 miles, a young pregnant Mama moseyed in with her little boy.

I noticed them immediately since he was screaming from the bottom of his lungs and hanging from her hand as she dragged him behind her into the office waiting area, which, by the way, was PACKED with other waiters like me.

This little boy was between one and two years old. I know because I have a 1 year old G-girl and a 2 year old G-Boy, both who belong to the same son and his lovely young wife.

The little boy hanging from the woman was crying so hard that his little face was sopping wet with tears that were mixing in with the liquid coming from his nose. The intensity of his distress was obvious to everyone in the room, except, one would think, his mother.

The young mommy, who was very pregnant with the promise of another little one in the near future, had apparently used her last nerve and appeared to be shut down to all life.

She literally looked to be in a comatose trance.

She would occasionally speak down at the child to "be still" or "be quiet" but very clearly did not expect him to obey.

I continued to sit in my chair with my face towards my list but my heart was squeezing on behalf of both the boy and the Mom. I wanted with all that is within me to go over and offer my help but that young Mom had a protective shield around her that was so strong I could practically see it with me eyes.

She was in no mood for an interfering stranger who thought she could prance up to the rescue and make it all better.

As I watched this scene from the top of my head, I though of the term "drawing a line in the sand".

You know, when someone gets so angry with another person that they "draw a line" that says "if you step over this you die!"

The little boy continued to scream and the Mommy continued to ignore him as one by one the waiting room began to clear.

My name was finally called but my heart stayed with the Mommy and the little boy. I thought about my days as a young Mom when I might have just run out of all that was left in me to "train up a child in the way he/she should go". When I was just flat worn out and had nothing left to give. I thought of my precious Daughters in Love and the amazing job they are both doing with our Grandchildren. I thought about the youngest, Bethany, who has 2 little babies and how often she could get to the point with 3 children ages 5 and under, of shutting down. I thought about how grateful I am to be there for her. Hopefully to provide for her to go to her own Dr alone as much as possible.

I pray for that Dr.'s office Mommy and all the Mommies who have used up their last nerve and had to draw the invisible Mommy line between them and their babies or them and someone who might could help.

I have begun to think on some of the things that a worn out Mommy can do to make it to the next minute, the next hour, the next day.
Things like:

1) Call Someone! Ask for Help! If you feel that you have reached your limit and might endanger the well being--physical, mental or spiritual--of yourself or your child---Ask for help! Even if it is from a strange woman in a Dr.'s office.

2) Be sure to find some time for yourself. Try to set aside a regular time that belongs to you. Maybe it can only be once a month but you need time to get restored and rested in order to give all that you have to give to your children.

3) Connect with other Mom's who are going through the same Mommy stage that you are. There are lots of churches, pregnancy resource centers, community organizations, libraries, that have opportunities for Mom's to connect. Find some.

4) Stop, Drop and Pray. God knows your heart, your needs, your feelings of hopelessness when it all gets to be more than you can cope with. He cares. You will be amazed at how he will answer.

How about you Young Mom's? Do you have any other ideas?? I know of at least 2 who are reading this Blog who could use a good idea or 2!!

There is a story in the Bible where Jesus drew a line once, in the sand, for a woman. It was a woman who had been brought before an entire crowd and exposed. I don't imagine the Mommy who sat in the middle of that crowded Dr's office last week felt a whole lot better about herself and the stares from the crowd that was judging her than this woman did. Opinions about how she may or may not have handled her weeping child probably made her feel just about the same shame as the woman who was thrown in front of Jesus.

Every time I think of that Bible story, I always wonder if it might have been an arrow that Jesus drew in the sand that day. An arrow that was pointing to someone else in the crowd who could have been brought up for charges that day.

Any of us who has been a Mom, especially during the early years, has faced discouragement and fatigue and the feeling that we have no idea what to do and even if we did we have no energy to do it!

The bottom line is that the line in the sand that Jesus drew pointed the woman to forgiveness, hope and freedom! He has the same message for all the young Mommies out there who feel the need to Draw a Mommy Line!



4 Comments:

Blogger Jennifer said...

I soooo remember those days! 2 little ones 17 months apart. There were days that I thought I wouldn't survive!

Great word, Pat!!

Jennifer

Anonymous Paige said...

Thank you for posting this. After the week of meltdowns for both children and mom I too have drawn a line in the sand. On the day the meltdowns were at their prime thank goodness I had a meeting scheduled at church. Although I didn't want to be there while I was having a meltdown of my own, the ladies in the meeting were able to speak some sanity into my insanity.
I don't think any book, lesson or seminar can truly prepare you for motherhood and meltdowns, especially the ones that happen in public. However,I think God uses these moments to drive home the advice we give our kids of, "If you will just calm down I promise things will get better, TRUST ME!"
So I guess I'll go listen to my own advice and Trust that God is working ALL things out for good.
I'm not sure who else this post was for but thanks for encouraging me.
Sincerely,
Paige

Blogger Karla said...

Here is what helped me:

Friends were like a life line to me. We were all going through the same thing. It was helpful just to talk things through. Meet at the park or McDonalds for an hour or two. It helped break up the week if I had something to look forward to with a friend.

Mother's day out - highly recommend it if you can afford it.

My Aunt (who didn't have any children) would say to me, "when the baby goes down for a nap, you sit down too". I would think to myself...yeah right, I don't have time to do that! But you know, it was excellent advice. The laundry, the dust, the whatever will be there tomorrow.

Try to stay in the Word. Just open your bible and leave it open on the kitchen counter all day. Just read one verse and pray that verse and think about it throughout the day. It really does help redirect your thought process, especially if you are discouraged.

Lastly, this too shall pass! Hang in there, you CAN do it! God is with you and sees your heart, not your performance.

Blogger Pat said...

Jennifer and Karla,
Thank you for joining me in encouraging these young Moms. It is always such a blessing for me to come back to my blog and see that you have visited.I feel that you have stopped into my home to see me! I am honored!

and..

Darling Paige....
You are precious and wise and a wonderful Mom!! I adore you and think you are doing an amazing job right now with those tiny ones of your!
SINCERELY!!

I love you girls!

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