Slide 1

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.

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Author: Susan Merrill    Posted: June 20, 2011     cat-folder Be Encouraged 15 Comments


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  • Rmearkle


  • Cindy

    OMGoodness! These are so true! I could fill pages with examples from my life that prove that these “secrets” are FACTS. I won’t. But thank you, Susan, for reminding me to be grateful for my children and the fact that God thought enough of me to let me be a mother…

    • Anonymous

      Send me just one – your favorite. I would love to hear it!

    • Susan Merrill

      Send me just one – your favorite. I would love to hear it!

  • Natalie

    Thanks for the reminder. I needed to that :-)

  • LaToya

    I needed this post today! Thanks as the Mom of a 15 yr oldAND a 6 week old things have been a little crazy! I am re groping and pacing myself. no more sprinting thru things for me…

    • Susan Merrill

      Haha…nope enjoy the view on that marathon!

  • Joelle

    Point #2 is so true, especially the last sentence. I would hate to see the person I would be today without the blessing and reality check of children. I have a feeling a lot of other people would hate to see that person, too!! :)

  • Kjmjmom

    I love #3 the most bc it is so true – thank you for standing up for SAHM bc it is never ending.

  • Paula

    As the youngest of seven children, I often looked ahead to what was next in my life (a la “I can’t wait until I can drive.”, etc.). Often my Mom’s reply was “Don’t wish your life away.”, meaning “enjoy today”. Your third point resonates for me as I am still occasionally guilty of “wishing my life away” though I understand more and more the gift of each day :).

  • Hermomma27


  • Vandana

    Hi Susan,
    Thank you for your well put thoughts. I particularly like the reminder that Motherhood is a Marathon, not a sprint and to take time out for ourselves along the way. I’m in a Profession where I am constantly giving and giving and then the demands of a blended family and our special needs son, Church Youth Group I run, soup kitchen I organize once a month and keeping my marriage fresh and alive sometimes makes me feel overwhelmed. I need to get. Over the feeling that I don’t deserve to do things for myself. That I can take time out to relax or catch up with girlfriends… Let go of the guilt and stand up for myself like I do for others. But you’re right when you said that the ones that sacrifice are the ones who benefit the most. Thank you. Namaste

  • Thechapmanfam

    I love this!!!!!! And I agree that we moms benefit more!

  • Tneill

    thank you so much for sharing the 3 secrets. I can remember wanting to hurry thru my girls lives. I’m so grateful for a different perspective and slowing down to actually see them and watch them grow in the here and now.

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