Have you ever thought, “My family would be better off without me, and I would be better off without them”?
Oh, Mama, I have felt that way many times throughout my motherhood journey!
These negative thought spirals can hit us anytime in our motherhood journey. Even after years of working through my healing journey and coaching so many mamas through theirs, I still get attacked by negative spirals.
“My kids don’t love me.”
“I annoy everyone around me.”
“Nobody listens to me.”
“I am not good enough.”
“I am too controlling and emotional.”
“Everyone would be better off without me… I wish I didn’t exist.”
First, you need to know negative spirals are lies whispered in your year from the enemy!
You are NOT a no-good-rotten-terrible-mother!
It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, what you’ve said, what you’ve thought. God’s love, Jesus’ death, and forgiveness cover you over and over and over again!
The Lord knows our flesh is weak, even when we desire to be strong!
“Stay awake and pray so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 CSB
You are human, and you WILL make mistakes and will also fall into pits of negative thinking.
The enemy wants you to STAY in negative spirals because he knows if you stay in a mindset of thinking you or your family are terrible, then you will continue to act out on those negative thoughts in sin.
Sin serves the flesh and pleases the enemy.
Often when our flesh is weakened, we fail to pray.
When consumed with our negative thoughts and emotions, the enemy slyly moves in and tempts us to walk down paths paved with anger, insecurity, guilt, and shame.
We can become so consumed without thoughts, feelings, and worries that we forget to pray.
We may be so angry at our circumstances that we blame God and don’t want to talk to Him.
We may feel so low and shameful we don’t deserve to come to the Lord in prayer.
In these moments, the enemy and our flesh are at war and keeping us from the Lord, who will give us true peace and forgiveness.
Burnout is exhausting; negative spirals zap our energy, and our flesh wants the easy way out; it desires comfort and seeks pleasure.
Self-pity and anger feel easier than prayer and productive thoughts.
Prayer, possessing emotions, problem-solving, and communicating take work.
Many times we are quick to blame our spirals on circumstances we deem out of our control or others we cannot control.
It feels easier to complain, justify and get angry about our negative circumstances than to stop to turn to the Lord to confess, repent and pray about what is going on for us.
We become so consumed with hopelessness that prayer and scripture feel useless.
The reality is prayer and scripture are the very tools we need to overcome burnout!
We all go through burnout, there is no shame in it, and there is nothing you can “do” to stop it from happening.
Burnout is a form of suffering, and suffering is part of being IN Christ.
“So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.” 1 Peter 4:19 NLT
Motherhood and marriage are a ministry, and in our ministry work, we will have moments where we suffer from burnout.
We must keep our faith strong and walk forward, pressing on.
We don’t have to give up, nor should we!
So how do we overcome burnout, negative spirals, and the desire to give up?!
Here is what I do; it’s what works for me EVERY time!
We stop/separate, inhale, tune in, and pray!
Read the Bible. Even when we can’t stay awake, it goes in one eyeball and out the other, and if it doesn’t make sense that day.
Journal. Even if we don’t like to write. Processing with pen and paper helps our brains process more effectively.
Fellowship. Even if we don’t want to, don’t feel like it, or are introverted. We MUST ask for help.
Confess, repent and repeat! Even if it’s every five minutes after repeated SIT & Prays – I’ve had those days!
Keep the faith! Even if I don’t feel the presence of the Lord, he is there if you ya feel it or not.
Working through the negative spirals at the moment:
Stop/separate: I go to my room or a hot shower to be alone with the Lord.
Inhale: I breathe, cry, and moan because the physical release is healthy.
Tune in: I allow myself time to process the emotions, grief, pain, confusion, fears, and insecurities. I don’t put a time limit on my processing; I just let it happen. It can be a few mins or days/weeks. Not that you are in your room or shower that long, but you may return to these places in moments of deep emotional desperation.
Pray: I hold tight to the Bible, reading even when it feels like it’s going in one eye and out the other. I plead for the Lord to hold, change, grow and move me. Holding the Bible and reading its words gives my soul rest and peace.
Journal: I write out feelings, scripture, praises, and prayer or fill out a Trigger Tracker.
Fellowship & Ask for help: I reach out to my people who know how to listen, love, support, pray and lift me. I go to church and Bible study. Listen to podcasts, sermons, books, and worship music; there is so much healing in the old hymns!
Confess/Repent/Repeat: I continually ask the Lord to change my desires for His desires, search my heart, know me, forgive me, and convict me.
Keep the faith: I am sealed by the Holy Spirit. I don’t lose my faith. I knew the Lord would lead me through whatever mess and muck I may wander through.
So mama, if you were to give up, what would you lose?
Take a moment; what is at stake for you walking out and giving up on your family?!
When all is said and done…
Do you want to be the mama who just gave up because your emotions and flesh said it was too hard to press on?
Or do you want to be the mama who says…
“It’s okay if I don’t feel like it today. My feelings don’t dictate my response to life, the Lord dictates my response, and He will help me through my challenges, emotions, and negative thoughts! He brought the dead to life and moved mountains, He can and will help me too!”
The mighty POWER God used the Holy Spirit to raise Jesus from the dead!
That’s a lot of power that we who believe in Jesus have within us! (John 14:15-18)
Because of the Holy Spirit living within you, your desire to serve the Lord can be stronger than your fleshly desire to give up!
“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.” Romans 8:11 NLT
Rely on His power, and you WILL keep going, even when your flesh doesn’t feel like it can!
My hope and prayer are this post has helped to encourage you and given you some helpful ways to overcome the negative spirals of motherhood.
Please don’t hesitate to email me if you have any questions, thoughts, or comments.
Learn how to work with Natalie to overcome destructive anger and burnout HERE!