If only I knew then what I know now…
…motherhood would have been so much more enjoyable.
It’s easy to know how to parent the best way for both our self and our child when looking back. When we have learned by the mistakes we have made. When we have been taught by those ahead of us. When we come out on the other side of a few storms. When we have victories on our side.
But we don’t have the benefit of hindsight when going through the growing up years. Sure we learn somethings with our first baby and implement them with the second. But by the time they are out of the baby stage and we think we have this called motherhood down pat, our dear little one enters the toddler stage and each stage thereafter and each time an all new set of circumstances arise and the learning starts over.
My two babies (boy and a girl) are both now in their mid thirties, that’s a lot of growing up stages now under the bridge. I’m not going to tell you I did everything right…I didn’t, but here are somethings I learned on the way. I pray they will help you as you pour yourself into parenting your child/children.
(1) Rest Mama
I know there is nothing more you would like than to shut your eyes and rest. Really rest. Not rest with one eye open and both ears alert. I know my sleeping pattern changed the day my son, the first born entered the world.
Let’s be honest, when the new born sleeps we get our work done. Some of the chores can wait, can they not? Not everything has to be done today. Get some rest mama. Take the opportunity to rest when the baby or toddler rests. You’ll feel better for it.
(2) Avoid the Comparison Trap
Our children are unique individuals with their own personalities, strengths and quirkiness. So don’t compare them to their sibling or their friend. Each child brings something different into the mix. Something uniquely them.
Mama you bring your own uniqueness into the mix also. Whether you are the birth mom, adopted mom, step mom or foster mom no one can be you for the child you are raising.
As a young mother I compared my parenting skills to a particular family in the church we attended. They seemed to have it all together, their children behaved well and everyone thought they were the cutest kids ever. It wasn’t that their kids were perfect; they were just seemed perfect in church and that was my main view of them. Nowadays we have social media and no one ever said, “I’m gonna post a video of me screaming at the kids.” see how many likes you get for that. So we get a tiny view of their lives and think they have it all workout.
Comparing our parenting skills and our children doesn’t happen only when the kids are young. Nope, comparison is no respecter of age…ours or the age of our children. Stop comparing and appreciate your child’s and your own uniqueness.
(3) Quit Trying to be Perfect
News flash-The perfect mother does not exist! So stop trying to be her. Seriously you’ll drive yourself crazy beating yourself up night after night for the things you could have done better. How do I know this? Because I strive’d to be that awesome Proverbs 31 Woman. That woman who not only has wonderful children and a husband who adores her, but she has a knack for sewing, buying and selling and knows a good bargain when she sees one. A right little home-maker. Some women excel working in the home and some at a job outside the home. Either way you are both doing what is in your hands to do. Do it as unto the Lord.
(4) Pray for Wisdom
Wisdom: The soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgement. (Google Dictionary). In other words, knowing what to do.
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 NIV
I didn’t always ask God for wisdom. I just wanted Him to fix the problem. In hindsight asking God for wisdom before disaster struck would have been the wise thing to do. Maybe disaster could have been avoided, or at least the anxiety that comes with it reduced.
(5) Speak/Pray the Word
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 NIV
Yes, God’s words are living and active today just as they were in old testament times. Isaiah 55:11 tells us that God’s words will accomplish what it was sent out to do.
I have always prayed for my children, but did not pray God’s word over them. My prayers were more of, “Keep em safe Lord,” and He has, and He will. They were in their teenage years before I started to pray scripture over them. My children were rebellious teenagers, they are now responsible, caring adults. I am convinced it was the power of God’s word that stopped the plans of the enemy.
Help a Mother
Do you know someone who is struggling as a mother? Maybe she is hard on herself, always trying to be super-mom, or she beats herself up with comparison. Maybe she is exhausted in desperate need of sleep. Take a moment to reach out to her, she needs to know someone cares, or at least pass this blog post onto her it might be the encouragement she needs.
Living Radiant in Christ.
Photo Credit: Caroline V/Unsplash. I follow Caroline V on Instagram @sixteenmilesout and what a delightful lady she is. To say I was pleased to see two of her photos on Unsplash is an understatement. I will be looking out for more of her work. Caroline your work is beautiful.