Chapter 2: The-Go-It-Alone Culture (on needing people)
Over the past few weeks, I have written about the book Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs To Breathe By Sarah Mae. If you missed chapter 1, you can read it here.
Chapter 2 is all about the concept of “it takes a village”. Before each chapter of this book, the reader finds a letter from Sarah Mae and a response from Sally. I want to share with you Sally’s reply to a desperate call for help from Sarah Mae who knew she needed community, but didn’t know how to fit it in.
“We were crafted by God to have friends. Motherhood was meant to be experienced with other mothers, aunts, grandmothers, and a community of women sharing the load. Please do not attempt this alone! Find an older woman and ask her to mentor you. create a play group with other young moms and build your fellowship and fun over the same ideals.”
I personally have always struggled to make time to spend with friends. It has only got worse with the addition of a baby. The need has also become greater since my son has been born. I am trying, but I am still a work in progress.
Sarah Mae begins the chapter with the following quote that I can absolutely relate to.
“Failure loomed over me as I realized I couldn’t seem to catch up with my ideals. I made lists, read books, ad tried harder, but I just kept failing at doing all the things I wanted to do: keep up on the kiddos’ chores, teach scripture, play games, read books, train and discipline, clean the dishes, keep up with the laundry, keep my husband happy, etc. All of these noble goals became too much, and I gave in to being tired and depressed. Feeling like a failure as a wife and a mama, I just sort of gave up; I stopped being motivated to try. I was totally overwhelmed; I was drowning.”
Have you ever felt like Sarah Mae? Have you ever felt like you were drowning? I know I have. I am a list maker and when I don’t cross enough items off my list, I get very anxious and stressed. Sarah Mae goes on to tell us the solution.
“I thought I could do this mothering thing without other women, but it turned out, I couldn’t. I needed help; I needed a mentor.”
Since reading this chapter I have tried harder to reach out to other moms. I have found so much encouragement in knowing that I am not alone. I am so thankful for all of the women who have offered advice or simply an ear.
We should not take this lightly, we need to find the right woman who will speak truth and love into our lives. Sarah Mae tells us to pray for God’s direction in selecting a mentor.
“If you don’t have a mentor or a friend to advocate in your life right now who teaches and encourages your spirit, I want you to stop reading and start praying right now. Ask God specifically for what you need as a mama of little ones.”
Sally begins her portion of the chapter by telling the reader why it is so important to find a friend or mentor.
“Going at it alone is, without a doubt, one of the most common and effective strategies that Satan uses to discourage moms. A woman alone in her home with her ideals eventually wears down and becomes a perfect target for Satan to discourage.”
I found that to be so true in my own life. On the darkest days, in the middle of winter, with no where to go and no one to talk to, I found myself deep in despair.
Sally also goes on to say,
“God made us for community and accountability and close friendship… Young moms were never meant to be without the advice and care of multiple women assisting them and advising the, in their lives. Yet we have become so used to living without support that we often lose perspective on how much we need intimate friendships with other women. This deep need sometimes puts pressure on husband to fulfill needs that they were never designed to fill. No matter how wonderful a man may be, he is not crafted by God to meet all of a woman’s needs… None of us are made to deal with life alone. All of us, even introverts, are made for relationship, to experience God’s grace through our dearest friends around us.”