This Mothering Thing

Phil is in China, I am home with our babes. For those of you who know us, you definitely know this is the scene for the Shays. I have just "finished" day four with a 5 year old, 3 year old, and 4 month old under my care and my care alone. I don't even know what to say.


There, that explains how I feel.

I'm honestly pretty shocked that it hasn't been terrible. There have been terrible moments, but God's swooping grace is winning and I know we are being prayed for. The shock comes from the fact that I used to have terrible mothering days ALL THE TIME. When Phil was touring for a living and Rock and I were poking around back in Nashville I had a lot of depressing days. Loneliness was a staple and I could hardly enjoy when Phil was home because I didn't want him to leave again.

Mothering came like a wild pitch that hit me when I wasn't looking. Yes, I know where babies come from, and yes, Phil and I and our married selves did this thing to make a baby. But I was 22 when I got pregnant, 23 when Rock was born, and the title of mama felt like a stamp that became my only existence. How you can beam with joy over your first born while simultaneously loathing your new life is beyond me. I felt like my life was done before it got started. These underlying tug of war feelings made mothering incredibly hard to enjoy. And the truth is I pretty much cursed my role until a couple years ago.

Steady counseling lifted my anger and desire to throw in the towel. The gift of my kids has become more apparent to me. They were never the problem, but my belief in who I was in my role made it difficult to see past the long toddler days and endless repetitive routines.

So here I am, a bit stronger, a little healthier in my soul, not HATING my life while caring for three kids without my husband. It feels like a miracle as I'm sitting here typing. These days are hard and yes, friendly stranger at Trader Joes, I do in fact have my hands full, but we're doing ok. I'm not glamorous or flawless. I yell at the kids sometimes and eat ice cream to make myself feel better once the kids go to bed.

But there is a future and a hope. God doesn't forget about any of us. Even when I'm afraid, once again, that I'm not going to be able to handle myself or my kids, God shows His face.

So, day five starts tomorrow and my sister is flying in to help me. Amen.


  1. So...I met you years ago through Gaylene Latham. I remember your name because it's catchy...well played :) Anyway, I then see your name on IG b/c I follow Annie Downs (we need to be friends because it just makes sense) and I find your blog. I love your heart and honesty. Thank you!!! We only have one (almoat 18 mo) but want more. It's hard and I know more hard is coming and your words help :) God bless!


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