Saturday, January 8, 2011

Surviving Fatigue Raising a Newborn

There is no simple solution to escape fatigue when you just birthed a newborn. I almost hesitate to write this blog post because I do not want to tell you a list of things that you should do. It seems like I’ve had plenty of advice and warnings in the past. Many of these advice are out of good intentions, but every life and situation is so different that some advice are almost difficult and undoable. So whether you have one child or many children, whether you have family or friends around to help, we all need to rely on the Lord for strength and encouragement. He is faithful to provide what we need when we need it.

Since moms of a newborn baby is already sleep deprived, it’s very difficult to have that designated prayer and devotion time first thing in the morning, especially if that first thing in the morning begins with a feeding and diapering at 2 a.m., with a followup of the same thing at 5:00 a.m. Moms shouldn’t be loaded with guilt because they aren’t able to have the personal time with the Lord. Scripture says we are to pray without ceasing. (I Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.) Moms of a newborn baby may sacrifice their time with the Lord in the mornings, but they don’t have to sacrifice a relationship with Him throughout the day. Throughout the day, a mother can offer up prayers of thanksgiving for this new life in her arms. She can ask Him to give her the strength to care for her other children, to make the meals, or to clean up the messes. She can ask Him to show her how to direct the home school schedule with the older children. The quiet time with the Lord happens throughout the day, and it may be for a few seconds or a few minutes.

It’s also easy to be distracted by things that may discourage like the dishes that pile up in the sink, the spills and messes throughout the day, and even the pants that still don’t fit 2 weeks postpartum. It’s important to have a joyful heart though. I find that by playing worship and praise songs on the radio, iPod, or CD player can be refreshing, keeping my heart joyful and thankful. In Psalm 126:3, “The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” Throughout Scripture, the word “joy” is often expressed with a shout or song to the Lord for the ‘great things He has done’. Simply humming a hymn does wonders for one’s spirit as well. When I hear it, say it, sing it, the enemy and my flesh is unable to defeat my spirit and purpose. (Psalm 118:14-16, “The LORD is my strength and my defense; He has become my salvation. Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous.”)

Eventually, I will have time with the Lord, but I do continually to read the Bible with my children. I have several readers in the household, so during our devotion, I have them read the Word while I may nurse, change diaper(s) and sip a cup of herbal tea. I try to make family bible reading a priority because the Word tell us that all those who go to Him will be satisfied. I have seen the result of keeping our devotion together. (John 4: 13-14, “Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”) There will be times where the kids will remind each other what we read during devotion time, and many times it will apply to me as well, and I’m convicted. One day we read a passage in the Bible about God answering people’s prayers, my young son pointed out that God answered our prayer of bringing dad safely home from work, just like God answered Isaac’s prayer for Rebekkah to be pregnant. I was awed at how sensitive he was to sensing God at work through our prayers. I may not have the time or energy to have a daily personal devotion, but as a family, we are still growing in the Lord together. When I had really young children, I played CDs of the Bible that I checked out from the library. I had Scripture on 3x5 cards that I'd flip through several times in the day. Spending time in the Word can come in so many different forms.

The Lord knows how much you can handle in this season of life. He is the provider of your needs. He will provide you enough rest and strength to handle the day’s tasks. The Lord will also give you the wisdom to plan your schedule, assess the priorities, and He will protect your physical and emotional being. This season of your life will pass quickly, and these tiring days will no longer be the memory of raising your children. The most important thing of my post is to encourage moms to always keep the focus on Him and to always seek Him first, and the Lord will be faithful to carry you through.


  1. Hi grace, I'll be using Scotts google account so if is says Scott just know its me! (Kellie). What a great post! I would pick-up old bibles at goodwill or the dollar store and place them all around the house so no matter where I was nursing the baby a bible was at arms reach:)

  2. I have not had the 'luck' of seeing them at Goodwill or thrift stores. I'll have to look at Dollar stores the next time I go. Thanks for the advice.

  3. Thanks. I needed this. I was just feeling out of touch with the Lord last night and was thinking I needed to list my blessings in my mind instead of my struggles. It helped. I'll try to keep a spiritual song in mind and sing it when times get tough.