A consistent theme through out the last 3 years and my pregnancies has been back pain. With all three of my kids, at some point, my back has been hurting for an extended amount of time. Really hurting, like the crawl on the floor, go to the ER, need help going to the bathroom, take 45 minutes to walk to the car, can’t stand up straight or even move kind of pain that keeps me in bed or severely immobile for weeks. During these times my husband has still worked full time, moved twice, I had the kids at home, I was working part time from home and attended church and bible studies. Back pain is no joke. Before I initially had it go out, I had zero compassion or understanding about what chronic pain or back pain was like. It comes and goes usually months apart and fluctuates in severity. Every time it has hurt I have been doing nothing out of the ordinary and then after an amount of time it gradually returns to normal. When my back hurts, everything in my mind, comes into perfect focus with what is the priority and most important. Often the goals are:
1. Feed the baby
2. Keep baby safe
3. Keep my phone with me
Getting dressed, showering, picking up, cleaning, laundry, or cooking all seemed like incredible luxuries that I would love to enjoy. Back pain has given me perspective and an opportunity to take joy in often mundane tasks. After a stint of back pain, by the time I am feeling better I am so motivated to get things in gear, back in order and rejoicing in my chores!!
Being a wife and mom while in pain is difficult because I can’t tend to any of the physical needs of my family or tangible tasks of my role. Often my prayers are for wisdom about how to fulfill my role even if I can’t “do” anything. Being in bed makes it tricky to be productive. It seems that those are the moments when grace abounds and the reality of the importance of the spiritual and emotional tending and support comes into play. Just like my salvation is given to me through faith and not based on works, my role as a wife and mom is not dependent on what I do, but who I am. I am their mom and I am Gavin’s wife. While it seems like there is a lot I can’t do, there are still so many things I can do. Especially if I am in bed or limited in my mobility it is important that I do what I can. Even if it is praying for them from my bed, that is the most valuable thing I can do. Whatever I can do, I can do it with a smile and motivated out of love for them and obedience to the LORD. Even if there are others helping and involved it doesn’t replace my role. Even if I can only do 1% of my role I can do that 1% the very best i can.
As a mom, what a sweet opportunity to model how to suffer in a way that pleases the LORD. My kids have an up close look at what it means to have joy and kindness even when I don’t feel well or can’t be productive. What a great opportunity to teach them and train them while I am going through a trial.
Many spiritual themes come up including:
– the sovereignty of God
– why God allows suffering
– Christ suffering and how he responded
– where sin and suffering originated
– joy in suffering
– making decisions based on truth not on my emotions
– what do I “deserve”
Challenge your heart to consider some of these things and see how the Lord can and will redeem the time that is less than preferable for His glory and our good. Just because I am in pain is not an excuse to sin, be unpleasant, selfish or lazy. I am still accountable for my heart and behavior.
Things to consider when you have pain while pregnant or a mom with young kids
– care for your husband however you can. Be sure to talk to him, encourage him and connect with him as much as you can. Thank him for taking on the additional work be honest with him about how you are are feeling.
– really watch your calorie intake. You are pregnant, probably not cooking (so eating out) and not mobile so weight goes on really fast
– stretch everyday or do what you can or what you need to do to feel as good as you can
– don’t overdo it.
-have a list of things that would be helpful for you in case someone offers
-label everything in the house so someone can easily put things away or do laundry
– have a daily schedule posted in the house
– drink lots of water
– get lots of sleep
– know what kind of pain you have and get proper care from a professional
– pray for a heart of courage and contentment
– be honest with your kids about who you are feeling and how they can help. Ask them to pray with and for you.
– identify what kind of help would be helpful when you are hurting.
-have meals ready in the freezer or in the pantry so they are ready to go when you need them.