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The Purpose of Pounding

The Purpose of Pounding

I thought the day would never end. There were tears. There was screaming. There was irrational ranting. And the kids got upset, too. (See what I did there?)

Seriously, though, when the day did finally end—when we’d wiped up the pee that never quite made it into the potty, scraped the remains of dinner from under the table, and picked up 3,748 LEGO bricks—when it was all done, I slid down into the recliner for my daily “Staring Blankly at the Wall” time.

Between a teething baby who decided that sleeping through the night was just not working for her anymore and a potty-training toddler who liked to use said potty as a means of manipulating his teetering-on-the-edge-of-sanity mom, I felt empty. I just wanted to sleep. For like three or four days. In a row. Not too much to ask, right?

The last few months have been tough. It seems like the majority of my days have ended like this: staring blankly at the wall, exhausted and drained, and—honestly?—kind of dreading getting up the next day.

This just in: being a parent is hard. And some days—many days—it’s just not fun. It’s not the filtered Instagram post we’re always trying to convince others and ourselves that it is.

Some days—many days—it knocks us flat on our backs.

And it’s at the end of these tough days when it’s so easy to justify the martyr-complex. You know the one I’m talking about. The one our mom culture encourages in so many ways. I’m told how much of a superhero I am, how I’m a soldier, the glue that holds my family together, the underappreciated, unsung woman of valor whose home would disintegrate with nothing but a giant crater in its wake if I ever left my family to fend for themselves.

But can I tell you something? At the end of each day, I feel like none of those things. Because I am none of those things. At the end of each day I see—more and more clearly—how desperately and constantly I need Jesus Christ.

Because if nothing else, motherhood pounds you. In fact, it’s pounded me so hard that I’ve seen things in me I never knew had such a stronghold: selfishness, self-pity, anger, a complaining spirit, and a covetous heart, just to name a few.

These low moments after a long day of pounding are disheartening. I’m not who I thought I was, I’ve had to admit. But it’s in these low moments—the staring blankly at the wall moments—that I’ve found myself reaching again and again for my Bible, hungry for truth, wisdom, strength, and direction. Things that just can’t be found on Pinterest or Instagram.

Some of the godliest women I know are mothers. But I’m willing to bet they haven’t always been so wise, patient, or servant-hearted. I’m thinking they probably started out, well, a lot like me: stumbling through this mom thing, finding out a little more each day how little they could do on their own strength and how much they needed to depend on Christ.

Scripture tells us that sanctification—becoming more like Christ—is the believer’s greatest goal. Scripture also tells us that this most often happens through trials. Through difficulty.

Through the pounding.

So if the daily pounding moves me closer to holiness and communion with Christ…then so be it.

More than a night of uninterrupted sleep, I want to be like Christ.

More than pee-less floors and tantrum-less days, I want to be like Christ.

More than comfort, praise, appreciation—more than anything—I want to be like Christ.

And by God’s grace, I’ll get there.

One pounding at a time.

By: Mary Holloman is married to her handsome husband of five years and has two children: a two-year old son who never stops moving, and a brand-new baby girl. Mary works and writes for Greensboro Pregnancy Care Center and also serves in her local church’s college ministry. You can follow her daily shenanigans on her blog, All My Springs, which can be found at or follow her on Twitter at @mtholloman.

Join us at for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.


  1. Great post!!

  2. Oh, Mary, your words ring so true. Parenting IS hard, and it just gets harder (not physically but emotionally and spiritually) as they get older. As you said, I pray its turning me into one of those godly women I admire.
    Have you read Sacred Parenting, by Gary Thomas? He describes various ways God uses our children in our lives to sanctify us. I think you would find the book affirming and encouraging, as I did.

    • Hey Carole, I’ve not read it, but I’ve heard of Gary Thomas. I’ll have to check it out! Thanks for your encouraging words!

    • Thanks for your encouragement, Carole! I’ve heard of Gary Thomas but haven’t read that book – I will def check it out!

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