A few months ago, one of my readers sent me a message about a topic that they wanted to see talked about more often, and asked if I would consider writing a post on it. I agreed wholeheartedly with her concerns and have been mulling over this for the past several months. I have decided to team this with 10 ways for moms to enjoy motherhood more and be a better mom! 🙂
There has been a movement in churches for men to step up and lead their families. I think this is wonderful! When a husband and father is attending church regularly, studies show that the children follow suit. (More numbers here.) While these studies may not be perfect, I think they speak volumes! However, I personally know several amazing mothers who are leading their homes, unassisted, due to various circumstances that are ultimately out of their control. Some moms have husbands that have abandoned them, some have left abusive homes, and others simply have husbands that travel for work and cannot be there every day. We cannot pretend that these homes do not exist! They do exist, and while men in their churches can help to lead their children in some ways, ultimately, these mothers are responsible for the spiritual teaching of their children, and I do NOT believe that these situations or households are hopeless. I believe that every mother can be an amazing role model for their children and can set the ultimate example in her home, of Christ-likeness. I want to point out that in 2 Timothy 1:5, Paul addresses the lineage of faith that has led to Timothy’s faith and service. He does not mention a father. While Timothy may have had a father in his life(it doesn’t say), I believe that based on Paul’s writing, Timothy’s mother and grandmother played a crucial role in discipling Timothy when he was a child. We cannot ignore that mothers have an important role in raising up children to serve Jesus!
Calling all moms! Regardless of how bleak or bright your circumstances seem, we can ALL use a word of encouragement, don’t you agree?
So, whether you stay at home, work outside of the home, homeschool, public school, have a husband to help out, or you feel alone in this journey, I think we(myself, included!), would do well to remember these 10 things:
1) Children are gifts, rewards, and blessings (Psalm 127:3-5). When we remember that we are privileged and NOT burdened (as our society would have us to think), with the responsibility of training up children, we immediately gain a new perspective. While cute, messy, challenging and life-changing, they are first and foremost a blessing from God, and we would be foolish to allow our culture and society to take away that joy!
2) Motherhood is a ministry (Titus 2:5). Remembering that we are called to be a part of our children knowing the Lord, is huge for us! Service and ministry does NOT have to occur outside the walls of your home. There is a great ministry within each home, and moms are called to share in it and lead their children to be ambassadors for Christ in the next generation.
3) There is no such thing as a perfect day. Never, ever will there be a perfect day. Children (and moms!) get sick and tired. Sometimes children act up and sometimes moms aren’t perfect. This does NOT mean you are a bad mom or that you are failing your family. Move on, and right your wrongs. You are growing, and so are your children. Model repentance for your children, exemplify humility, and gently correct. I promise that your example speaks louder than any words you could ever say to them.
4) Children have little life experience. We all mess up, including us “grown ups”. Show grace to your little ones. A 4 year old has very, very little life experience. He or she is still learning(aren’t we all?). A touch of grace and understanding can go a long way.
5) While a “break” or “alone time” can be good for mommy refreshment, we should be careful not to focus on it. Make time for it, when you can, but be careful not to neglect the present while waiting on the future. Often, when we focus on “getting away”, we become impatient and forget that we are needed here and now.
6) Pausing amidst the dishes, laundry or cleaning, for a mere 5 minutes of story time with your children, can do wonders for you and them. Allow yourself to stop the busy work and enjoy time with them. Seriously. 5 minute breaks can be magic for all of you, in the midst of a busy day.
7) Remember that no one’s social media life is an accurate depiction of their real life. Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram only show the highlights. Rarely does someone show the ugly toddler tantrum, the burnt dinner, or the stressed mommy, but I promise that behind the scenes, they all exist. When you are tempted to envy someone else’s life, or to compare your life to theirs, remember that reality is vastly different from what social media reveals. No mom or family is perfect.
8) Don’t do everything for your children. We will stress ourselves to the max if we make their beds, clean up their toys, choose perfectly matching clothes, etc.. At a young age, children can begin to take learn responsibility and help out in some ways. No, I’m not saying that children are our household slaves. We all have to learn responsibility and how to be good stewards of what we have. This includes being good stewards of rooms, clothes, bodies, etc.. Check out these “responsibility” sticker charts to get your toddlers and preschoolers started with helping out!
9) Pray with your children and memorize scripture together. Pray for soft, humble hearts in your family. Pray for needs in your community and in the world. Pray that, together, your family can serve Jesus and lead others to know Him. Learn what God’s Word says about how we are to live and then hide it away in your heart (Psalm 119:11). When you hide His Word in your heart, it is never to be unavailable when you need it most. Teach, learn, and grow with your children.
10) Don’t be afraid to ask for prayer or to seek encouragement. As a matter of fact, I encourage you to find a Christian woman that is at least a few years ahead of you in raising her family, and ask her to be a prayer partner and encourager for you. Perhaps a weekly 5 minute phone call, or if time allows, lunch while the children play. These times with other women that are seeking God’s way for their families can be such a great source of accountability, encouragement and inspiration! Titus 2 talks about older women teaching and encouraging the younger women. We should take note of that and be proactive in mentoring and being mentored.
Would you add anything to this list? I would love for you to comment! Share your heart on motherhood, what encourages you, etc.. I would love to hear from you! 🙂