In the last year or so, my personal Facebook newsfeed has been filled with pictures of mums giving Tough Mudder a go.
I look at the pictures of mud and shudder because I know that it’s not something I want to do.
But I have learned never to say never because whenever I say never, I find myself a year or so later in the very position I told myself I wouldn’t be in.
Despite the mud and grit and obvious hell competitors put themselves through, the course is not about winning. It’s about team work and camaraderie as teams compete in the course together. Team members who are ahead on the course help up team members who are a little behind.
Isn’t it the same in life? When we go through tough seasons, we need our friends to encourage us along the way, friends who are going through our season and friends who have come out the other side?
Being a mum is tough, it’s even tougher doing it alone, but when you have friends that are competing in a similar season or who are on the end of the season you’re entering, encouragement is what gets us through the next obstacle.
It’s been a relief to share with other mums what I’ve been struggling with lately and to find they too have been struggling or have struggled with the same issues. It’s like we’re all in this one big mud pit together, trying to squelch ourselves out until we face the next problem obstacle. There are mums on the edge of the pit reaching out to those of us in the middle and there are mums about to enter the pit who need an encouraging hand to help them along.
It’s so tempting to be insular when life with kids gets hard, but being open with other mums can be refreshing, not just for your friends, but also yourself as you work out how you manage to get through this season.
I’ve found the Bible to be a great encouragement when going through difficult times, no matter how many memes on Facebook bag the wisdom out of it.
When Mary fell pregnant to Jesus (you can read about this in Luke 1:1-56) and went to stay with her relative Elizabeth who was also pregnant and a couple of months further along, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall to listen to their conversations. Would Mary have complained about the sore boobs, constant need to wee and the inconsistent waves of nausea and morning sickness? Would Elizabeth have just nodded her head knowingly? One question I have is if Jesus was perfect, would Mary have experienced the perfect pregnancy?
It’s not something I’m going to lose sleep over, but I do know that God ordained both Mary (a virgin) and Elizabeth (an older, barren woman) to be pregnant at the same time so they could talk about their experiences together and share their burdens during an unknown and unexpected season of life.
Who are your ‘tough mudder’ friends in this season of parenthood? Do you tend to go insular when you have problems or do you feel confident in sharing with friends about what you’re going through?
I believe being a tough mother is just like competing in Tough Mudder. The course is exhausting, but at the same time exhilarating, painful but worth the outcome in the end. There are mothers ahead who are willing to lend out their hand to help and encourage, and there are mothers behind who are looking towards you as they reach your hand to get to where you are. We’re all in this together and if we pull each other along, eventually we will finish the course, each with our own story to tell.
Have you ever competed in Tough Mudder? How are you feeling in your parenting role right now? Who in your life needs a little encouragement?