May 6, 2021
In my house, most people call me “Mom.” That means I gave birth to a couple of the members of our household, two of them to be exact. While the title of mom implies that biologically I am responsible for their upbringing it encompasses so much more. I didn’t have any grand ideas about how beautifully warm and fuzzy motherhood would be. I had done enough babysitting and nannying to know that children can be tiny terrorists. However, I didn’t fully understand ALL that it would require.
Being the “Mom” means that you have all the answers. You know when everyone has an appointment, performance, game, meeting, and test. You remember where random objects have been left haphazardly. You intuitively know when a sweat-soaked, mud-stained uniform that is buried in a hamper needs to be cleaned. You see being a “mom” is a full-time job…correction it is a 24/7 job. You are the CEO of the household and yet you rarely get the respect that a corporate CEO would. The pay stinks. The hours are grueling and the physical toll it takes on your body can be measured by the number of gray hairs that appear like ghosts from the grave to adorn your head. I don’t want to spend too much time moaning about having the title of “Mom” though. I am blessed to be one.
Recently, I found out that a friend of mine is finally pregnant. After five long years, she and her husband have conceived. When I found out this miracle had happened I didn’t launch into the long list of challenges. I didn’t tell her to run out and buy a lifetime supply of dish soap and laundry detergent because that was her future. I didn’t tell her to toss out her sexy panties because well…(seriously though why do they all seem to strangle the lady-bits?) I didn’t tell her to get used to flying out the door in her sweats only to realize she forgot to put on a bra…with a white t-shirt. What I did do was cry. Tears of joy filled my eyes and I hugged her longer than was socially reasonable.
I cried because she has longed to experience the mania of motherhood for years. While I often found myself complaining about the endless piles of junk that ooze out of my children’s rooms she would have cut off her right arm to have that problem. Soon enough she will deal with the ups and downs of raising tiny humans. For now, she is waiting in expectant hope that soon she will hold one of the greatest gifts God gives, the stewardship of a child.
I use that word, stewardship, intentionally. While we DO carry, nurture, feed, discipline, and protect our children they are not our own. God co-missions us to take care of them with his help. Being a great mother isn’t easy, it’s downright impossible without God. There are a few things I wanted to share from my journey as a “Mom” that will hopefully help you and my pregnant friend raise our kids to blossom into the strong, faith-filled, fearless people they were designed to be. Also, some of these when done right will alleviate the frustrations that motherhood whacks us with on the regular.
So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34
We all worry about our kids but I think the main thing is to remember that our kids are God’s kids first. They are going to get hurt, make mistakes, and forget their brains at home. That is childhood and it doesn’t need us fretting over every little thing. When you feel that anxious feeling of worry creeping into your thoughts as you consider your child’s: behavior, health, friend choice, boyfriend or girlfriend, or education, GIVE IT BACK TO JESUS. Worry is a lack of faith that God will take care of our children. This doesn’t mean we neglect our children but we can stop worrying about every detail of their lives.
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; They are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
Each day we can start fresh. If you had a terrible day with your kids remember God’s mercies are new each day. We can start over teaching our children manners, kindness, and how to poop on the potty! There is grace for you Mama. When you hit reset each day your children see that even though they might have had a bad day yesterday they can try again today. As you model this idea from the Bible at home, they will start to model it in their own life. Your children will be able to give a little “new day” grace to you, their friends, and eventually their own children.
For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights. Proverbs 3:12 NLT
I love the poster that says, “I learned all I need to know from kindergarten.” It has a long list of things that demonstrate good character like share, plays fair, doesn’t take things that are not yours, says you’re sorry when you hurt someone, takes naps, and remember all living things die and it’s ok to be sad for a while. Most of these ideas are biblical principles. Mama, you are training your children the behaviors and attitudes that will prosper them. If we fail to correct our children when they are stingy or steal then we are setting them up to be friendless. (Who wants a friend who steals and doesn’t share?) If we don’t teach our children to say they are sorry when they hurt someone then we will create self-indulgent narcissists. If we don’t show our kids to nap and take quiet time they will live by the rules of this world and burn out in every pursuit they attempt. Correcting a child is loving a child.
I’m so excited for my friend to join the army of Mamas. The strong and brave women committed to protecting and correcting the next generation. We are the ones running around picking up an endless supply of legos, washing 10x the laundry any family should need, and trying our hardest not to yell outside of the soccer sidelines. We are an army of ladies that make the world better one person at a time. Even though I have my days where I want to run away from motherhood I recognize it is one of life’s most precious blessings. Take each day as it comes, don’t stress yourself out about the little things or what lies in the future. Remember if you have a bad day, there is always tomorrow. Be brave enough to correct your kids. While they may not be grateful at the moment, (actually they won’t be grateful until they are full-grown) they will eventually thank you for building strong character in them.