The Real Reason Motherhood is Hard

The Real Reason Motherhood is Hard

If someone tells you motherhood isn’t hard, they’re not telling you the truth.

Wonderful? Yes. Beautiful? Yes. Inspiring? Yes. Hard? Absolutely. But then really, all of life is hard, isn’t it? Messy?

Just the other day, one of my best friends lost her son at the park. Actually, she lost both of her sons at the park. One (the toddler) was running around in the parking lot, and the other was hiding from her in an enclosed slide. Thank God, they were both safe, but she left the park that day a frazzled mess, thoroughly embarrassed and convinced she was getting the worst mother of the year award.

You know, I’ve lost my kids before, too. They’ve acted out in public, run away when I called them, and once… once, they were so terrible in public that I grabbed them both up under my arms and ran out of a building crying. True story.

That’s the reality of motherhood. Or at least it’s the reality of my motherhood. Not every day is like that. In fact, most of our days are pretty good, but there are just enough of “those days” to leave me on my knees. I can’t do it by myself, this mothering thing, so I ask God to help me, lead me, and shape me into the woman he wants me to be so I can partner with him in shaping my kids. If I didn’t, we wouldn’t make it.

And I think that’s the way he wants it.

Our lives weren’t meant to be easy.

deep, abiding love 700

I love the song, “Mighty to Save,” by Laura Story. Especially these lyrics:

“So take me as You find me, all my fears and failures, fill my life again. I give my life to follow, everything I believe in, I surrender…”

As I pondered those words one Sunday in church this thought came to me. Jesus gave his life to follow what He believed in, and He says to us, “deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

Why should we think what He’s called us to do, how He’s asked us to follow Him, should be any different or easier than what He gave up so that we could follow God?

I’m not sure “easy” was the word Elisabeth Elliott would’ve used to describe living with her children in the midst of the same people who had murdered her husband. I’m certain “easy” wasn’t even in Sussanah Wesley’s vocabulary as she birthed 19 children, lost 9 of them, and raised them mostly alone because of her husband’s absence. “Easy” didn’t roll off the tongue of David Livingstone’s wife as her husband left her and the children alone to go explore Africa in the name of Jesus.

There’s nothing easy about life lived in service to Christ, and motherhood is one big piece of it.

John 16:33 (ESV) says this:

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

There is a cost—always a personal sacrifice—involved in wildly and faithfully obeying our callings, and if motherhood is your calling, you should expect no less.

Jesus sacrificed all for us. We must be willing to do the same for him. Including any dreams of motherhood—life—being easy.

Whatever we’re called to—mother, wife, woman, child of God, employee, volunteer, servant—should have an element of difficulty. It should bring us joy because God has called us to do it, but the doing of it may not always bring us joy.

God told us life would be hard, but in the midst of it all he provided a joy that doesn’t depend on circumstances—Himself. If we’re looking to anything other than the deep, abiding love of Christ to bring us joy, we’ll be disappointed.

Motherhood… life… is filled with hard things. Our children will make poor decisions. Our finances will suffer blows. We will lose those we love the most, and it may happen before we’re ready. But the love of God cannot be lost (Romans 8:38-39).

Do You Love Jesus?

I recently had the privilege of hearing Beth Moore speak live for the first time. I’ve done several of her Bible studies over the years, and from them know her to be a powerful Bible teacher. But I’ve never seen her as fired up as I did that day at Liberty University when she looked at 13,000 plus students and asked this question: “Do you love Jesus?”

Not, “do you respect Jesus…”
Not, “do you love to study His word…”
Not, “do you love to worship Jesus…”

But, “do you love Jesus?”

To paraphrase Beth, “Great, deep, overwhelming love for Jesus is the only thing that will carry you through what He requires of you. Loving him will give you the strength to carry out your calling. Respect isn’t enough. Knowledge of his word isn’t enough. Worshipping him isn’t enough. Only love is enough.”

Only love is enough.

Today, I want to encourage you to fall in love with Jesus. That concept may be foreign to some, but why should it stay that way? When we know and understand the depths of his great love for us, it’s only natural that we should return it.

His love for us, plus our love for him, equals the ability to withstand (and even find joy in) anything that comes. Even messy motherhood.

Brooke McGlothlin

Brooke McGlothlin is co-founder and President of Raising Boys Ministries. She’s a mother of two boys who believes God has chosen her to fight for the hearts of her sons. She can be found most often on her knees in prayer, not because she’s so holy, but because God is. Not because she knows how to raise godly men, but because she believes in the God who loves them more than she does.


This week, when you purchase her new book, Hope for the Weary Mom: Let God Meet You in the Mess (co-authored with Stacey Thacker), you can receive three free videos to help you take the concepts in the book even deeper.

They’re a behind-the-scenes look at how Brooke and Stacey meet the challenges of motherhood and still manage to live a hope-filled life.

Click here to purchase a copy of Hope for the Weary Mom

Click here to find out more about the free videos!

Brooke’s brand new book, Hope for the Weary Mom: Let God Meet You in the Mess, is available now! It’s a gift of encouragement that strengthens women in every stage of motherhood. Once I opened this book, I had trouble putting it back down.

Click here to purchase a copy of Hope for the Weary Mom!


The NEW Hope for the Weary Mom: Let God Meet You in The Mess cover! Releasing from Harvest House Feb 2015.

This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. Please read my full disclosure.


  • Carrie

    I loved this post! I especially loved what you said when you said, “There’s nothing easy about life lived in service to Christ, and motherhood is one big piece of it.” It’s true that it’s not supposed to be easy. I have six children ages 9 and under. It’s crazy busy at my house all of the time. Going places, I get to hear all the outspoken comments about our family size which doesn’t make it any easier. But I am embracing this time and doing what I can each day despite how hard it is at times. Although I need more sleep, I do love it. Thanks for sharing your post!


    Thank you for this post, It’s exactly what I needed to hear. I will be spending more time on my knees loving Jesus, so that I can show my love of him to my family.

  • Tammy Miller

    Perfect timing for this devotional. Raising my kids was easy. The hard part has come since their father and I divorced 2 years ago. Just today I had to sacrifice my right to be right because I want a relationship with my kids more. While many around me are advising me to seek an attorney and put my grown kids feelings aside, I can’t. I was called to be their mother. That’s the role I want it fulfill. Thank you for your words today. They seem to come straight from God to tell me I made the right decision.

  • Katie Rezza

    I was just meditating on both your scripture references from Luke and John. God really spoke to me through your post! What a beautiful calling it is to be a mom. Thank you for this!!

  • Debbie

    This spoke to me:

    Whatever we’re called to—mother, wife, woman, child of God, employee, volunteer, servant—should have an element of difficulty. It should bring us joy because God has called us to do it, but the doing of it may not always bring us joy.

    Because I don’t always find joy in being a mother even though I feel like I should. Some days I yell at God and say you gave them to me help me! And usually He does. But some days it’s hard.

    Thank you for your words of wisdom.

  • Julie

    After two emotionally intense days with my daughter followed by a wonderful day I realized the importance of the challenging days. For me, it holds me accountable to not take her for granted, to readdress our rules and values, to teach and demonstrate coping skills and above all to ENJOY the good days. Without tough days you don’t recognize the easy ones!

  • Victoria Easter Wilson

    This post was like “BAM! POW! OUCH!” to my heart. Needed words. Thank you for writing so honestly. I’ve been thinking a lot lately how I “deserve” some sort of reward because of the hard work I’m doing mothering. But I don’t need a reward! For one, I have Jesus! HE gives us HIMSELF! What greater reward is there? And two, as you say, motherhood is hard. Life is hard. It’s not a despairing thought, it’s a Christian one. Praise God who makes lovely people out of hard things.

  • Sarah

    Loved reading about this, thank you for sharing. I’ve longed to be a mother since I was a little girl. People would ask “what are you going to be when you grow up?” and I would always respond “a stay at home mom!” I feel that The Lord really has put that on my heart and is my calling. Now here’s my question, my husband and I have been married for 7 years now and we still don’t have children. We went to the doctors and had all the tests done last year and turns out all they could say is that I have “unexplained infertitlity”. The desire to be a mother is still strong and burning in me. I’m just not sure why that would be that way if I indeed won’t be able to have children. I’m just at a very confusing point in my life right now. I would greatly appreciate any prayers would you love to give and any advice you would love to offer. Thanks for letting me share my story and my deep desire! Blessings!

  • Amy Beth Morgan

    I live this!! I have known Jesus my whole life, but it has taken me til age 34 to realize the magnitude of satisfaction I can find in Him, and only Him.
    I searched for love and got married to a man who ended up abusing me for 7 years, until I finally left.

    After being married again for 4 years now to a good man who loves me and Jesus, I am finally able to truly love because I know the depths of the love of my Saviour. I can love those who are even considered my enemies because it is His love working through me! Thank God He is patient with us!!

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