All three kids were crying. My two plus the one I was babysitting. They were all crying and there was no way I could meet all of their needs at once. It was noisy and desperate and I felt like locking myself into a room just so I could breathe for a minute. I said a quick prayer, “Heavenly Father, please please please let them all take their naps at the same time,” and as I said it, I felt a quiet but firm no come into my heart. I should have stopped there, but I’m weak and I asked again, “Lord, I’m so tired. Please let me have a break. Please let them all take naps at the same time. I know you can do it.” Once again, I felt a firm no, but I also felt something else. I felt a gentle, I know you can do it. You aren’t by yourself. I will help you.
Strength and the will to continue on flowed through me for the next seven hours as I wrangled two precocious toddlers and one baby who not only wouldn’t be napping at the same time, they wouldn’t be napping at all. Even though it was exhausting and frustrating, it was also wonderful. Each of those children touched me with their innocence, their sweetness, their humor. And as the day comes to a close I realize that if Heavenly Father had said yes I wouldn’t have appreciated those moments as they deserved. I wouldn’t have had the chance to cuddle each child as they fell asleep for the night, one by one, each asking to sit in my lap as their napless day caught up to them. I wouldn’t have appreciated the quiet that bedtime eventually brings, and I wouldn’t have known that I can do it because I have Heavenly Father on my side, sending me help.
So here’s to the tired moms of the world. Moms with little ones who depend on them for everything. Heavenly Father may say no when you ask for a break, but that doesn’t mean He’s not supporting you through your endless loads of laundry, your sleepless nights, and your constant quest to teach and touch your family. I firmly believe that he is there with you, loving you for your sacrifice and sending you the kind of support you can only feel with your heart, and at the end of the day, I hope we’re all better when we’re told no, I know that I’m better because God said no today.