3 Secrets to Keep Motherhood in Perspective
When we bought our “forever” 1920’s house and spent a year renovating it I remember thinking “It’s a shame I won’t ever do this again because I know so much more now that I have walked through the entire process.”
Now that my oldest child is 21 I am thinking the same thing, “It’s a shame I won’t ever do this again because I know so much more now that I have walked through the entire process!” I did make some minor adjustments to my parenting, experimenting on the oldest and applying what I learned to my youngest, but there is so much benefit from hindsight that takes you through all the stages from infant to adult. Looking back I can more clearly see the big picture that was difficult to keep in perspective when there were five children clamoring for attention.
So here are three broad, big picture thoughts that would have helped me in those “mommed out” moments when I doubted all – my sanity, that a stage would never end, that children were a blessing, etc., etc.,
1. Motherhood is not for the weak at heart.
The tenderhearted yes, but not weak. You will have “mommed out” moments of excruciating pain. Loss of a child’s health, a rebellious child, a child who makes unwise choices, a child who is victimized are all just examples of the ways you may suffer because your child suffers. A mother’s heart aches as much as her child’s, if not more. Multiply that by how many kids you have and that can make for strong birth control! But, is this not what every mother from eternity has been called to do? Nurture and bear her child’s sorrow and joy as her own? The solution to the pain is to know that your child is a work in process and that process is a refining one that will involve pain and disappointment. Every opportunity you and your child have to suffer is an opportunity provided by God for your growth.
2. Motherhood is as much about you as it is about your child.
I have a theory that sacrifice is a life game changer. It seems to me that when a person sacrifices the focus goes to the one that receives the sacrificial gift and how they benefited from receiving. But if we kept our eye on the one who sacrificed I believe we would see the real benefit was there. A woman sacrifices so much when she becomes a mother – time, money, freedom, peace of mind, etc. We claim this a worthy sacrifice because we know that children benefit immeasurably from having a mom. I would argue the mom benefits more. Motherhood has taught me to love deeper, tearfully celebrate joy, profoundly appreciate peace, struggle to be patient, selflessly exercise kindness, understand that I am not good, implicitly rely on God, nurture with gentleness, and fight for self-control.
3. Motherhood is a marathon not a sprint.
Pace yourself! My closest friends all have children older than mine. I remember having lunch with my friends and listening to them share about how busy they were. I would sit there and think “Their kids are in school from 8 am to 3 pm. How can they be so busy? Mine are home with me 24/7. I had to get a sitter just to be at this lunch.” I wanted to sprint to that time when my kids were in school and I would have seven hours a day to myself. And then I got there and I was just as busy. Sometimes moms sprint from stage to stage thinking I will regroup when they get in school or when they can drive or…Don’t wait, regroup now, pace yourself, because every stage has its demands. Enjoy where you are now and build in time to enjoy it or it will sprint right past it.
|Author: Susan Merrill Posted: June 20, 2011 Be Encouraged||15 Comments|