For the Lonely Momma This Holiday Season Tuesday, November 29th, 2016
My husband asked me to marry him a few days before Christmas. That year, I went to our family Christmas gathering as his fiance. We chatted with relatives about our new love. We ate a full meal and enjoyed delicious desserts. We enjoyed visiting with all of our relatives.
The years that followed were much of the same. Holidays were full of family and community. They were a time of being together. Kids ran and played. Adults sat and visited. We saw babies born and new wives become a part of the family. I loved each time that we got together and imagined what it would be like to be the one holding the new baby. The love of our family is what made me want to start our own so quickly.
What I didn’t know is how lonely the holidays can be for a new mom or a mom of young kids. Motherhood in general can be lonelier than I ever imagined. We can be surrounded by people all day and yet feel completely isolated in our own worlds of caring for everyone but ourselves. We can be with other people and yet feel like an island. It is a truth that I think many of us experience but few of us ever give voice to. Perhaps the largest community on earth, yet motherhood is often lonely.
I think it is easy to realize just how lonely motherhood really is around the holidays. Before kids, family gatherings were a time of fellowship. The holidays were a time of visiting with family and relatives we don’t often see. It was a time to just be together. Now, the holidays are pretty stressful… just to be honest. We have the high expectations we put on ourselves to make everything perfect, and we have the reality of holidays gatherings with little ones. We used to spend our time visiting with family, and now we spend our time caring for babies. Instead of eating our own meals, we cut up tiny bites of turkey and sweet potatoes. We bounce little ones ready for a naps, and we miss the chance for connection with those we haven’t seen in far too long. Ever felt that way?
Maybe you have left family gatherings and wondered why you even went. The cooking and preparing and getting everyone ready and you hardly got to see anyone. The connection you craved wasn’t fulfilled even during the time when were surrounded by family, and once again, you realized just how lonely you really feel.
Tonight, I can’t change it. I wish I could. I can’t tell you how to rearrange your day to make your holiday gatherings more enjoyable for you, Momma. But I can do this. I can offer a simple prayer for the lonely mom – the one who is surrounded by family and children and still feels just completely alone in the midst of the holidays. It is a unique time to be the momma of a new baby or a toddler. It is a unique time when your children are so little and the holidays are so overwhelming. But you’re not alone. There are so many who feel just like you. In that, there is some hope.
So, tonight I pray that the Lord gives you peace and comforts your heart. I pray that you find new joy in Him as you walk these very full – often overwhelming years. I pray that you would give yourself grace upon grace to live fully in these moments and release yourself from expectation of perfection. And I pray that in the moments you are the most desperate for connection, you would find the Lord waiting to meet your every need with His perfect Love. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
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