Thursday, December 12, 2013

If I Were Truly Honest

If I were truly honest I would tell you motherhood is hard. I would imagine fatherhood is difficult as well but since I'm a mom we'll just go with motherhood at the moment.

Babies are such a blessing. The wonderful baby smell. Her first smile. First laugh, first look at the world. Wonderment at God's creation - your child.

As wonderful as those are, there are times of overwhelming exhaustion. Suddenly that wonderful smell turns into a stinky diaper. Her smile still melts your heart but when your little one suddenly becomes mobile, you suddenly turn into a marathon runner. 

And getting to church on time and in the "proper mood", yeah well, forget it. Be thankful there isn't spit up on your church cloths before you even get there.

Then there is the pressure of being a good mom. Being present. Being a super-mom (a lie to make us feel guilty) and doing it all with a smile. And when you feel like a 'failure' because you didn't know that cry meant ear infection, guilt sets in.

Let me burst your bubble right now. You can't be all to everyone. Don't let pride get in your way of asking for help. All moms have been a new mom and/or a mom or toddlers (by the's the terrible threes not the terrible twos!). We know you need a break or just someone who will listen.

If you choose to work outside the home, it's okay. If you choose to stay home (that is work, too), it's okay. Don't compare yourself with any other mother. Don't listen to Great Aunt Deanna's advice when it may have worked for her family but it really doesn't hold true for yours. It's okay.

You will be torn in many directions. Your husband, your child, your work, your church, your extended family, eventually the school system, and the expectations you put on yourself. It's okay to step back and evaluate. Don't let your expectations of what a mom should look like push you into things you hate. Don't let other's expectations push you into something in which you don't have a passion or desire to do.

Always, always turn to Christ. You can't do it on your own.

When you're rocking your crying baby and wishing she came with a paper read-out flowing out of her forehead to tell you what is really wrong, pray for wisdom and discernment. And listen. Not to the crying but to God's whisper in your heart. He'll guide you.

Before the time comes when discipline is the course of action, pray. Pray for God's wisdom in discerning what action to take with each particular child. (because let me tell you, what works for one won't work for the other) The heat of the moment is no place to decide how you'll discipline. Discipline with love not anger. And when you do let anger take over, and it will, don't beat yourself up. (and I'm not talking physical or emotional abuse - there's no excuse for that!) Calm yourself down (put your child in a safe place and remove yourself from the situation by going into another room to breathe deeply) because the next minute of each day is new and a great time to start over again.

You'll worry. I know the Bible tells us not to worry. But, let me tell you. That worry will increase your prayer life ten-fold and more.

Don't be afraid to say 'no'. No to outside commitment when that commitment will take too much time away from your family. No when a child does something wrong. No when that child wants something others have and your wallet screams no. No is not a bad word. God tells us 'no'. A boss will say 'no'. The world will have no problem at yelling 'no'. Preparing your child with 'no' is not abuse or harmful for her self esteem.

My advice, if you were asking for it, is be consistent when raising your little one(s). Consistent with unconditional love. Consistent with discipline. Consistent with character training. Consistent with teaching God's Word.

This mom thing is hard. Mothers of teens will tell new moms "just wait until they are teenagers". Not helpful seasoned mom, not helpful at all. Every stage has it's joys and frustrations. Savor each one.

There's nothing like a newborn baby falling asleep on your chest. Cuddling that sweet little human. Smelling that 'new baby smell'. Rocking, singing and enjoying God's blessing.

When your school-aged child finally 'gets it' after weeks of frustration, you'll rejoice and breathe a sigh of relief right along with them. When baby teeth just won't come out on their own and need to be pulled, you'll pray for God to remove your child's nervousness and give it all to you.

And when they do become teens and young adults, you'll enjoy each of their personalities. You'll see in them the gifts God has given them. You'll encourage and nurture their passions and dreams. You'll shed tears as they accomplish goals and surprises of life. Tears will fall when you walk past her room and she is happily packing her suitcase for a long-term mission trip or college. You'll have so many mixed feelings. Happy and excited for her but sad for yourself because you really like your kid and will miss her.

Savor each stage and each year. It isn't a lie when moms tell you it will go fast. One day you're bringing home a wee one and wondering if the hospital was really supposed to let you bring home this baby because you really haven't a clue what you're doing. The next moment your children are saying, "see ya" as they head out the door. Savor and enjoy each moment. You won't regret it.

*the use of "her/she" was not meant to exclude all the he/hims in the world...just a short cut so I wouldn't need to type he/she, him/her...or maybe I'm just lazy. 

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful post, Deanna! Exactly what this soon-to-be mama needed to read!