9 misunderstandings about motherhood (i wish someone told me this)

If you’re a struggling mama, a new mama, or a soon-to-be mama, a never-ending, or a super mama, hippie mama, corporate mama, stay-at-home mama, unschooling, homeschooling, public schooling, private schooling mama…this list may be for you.

1. Breastfeeding is beautiful and natural.  Okay, this ends up being mostly true, but it’s starts out blisters,  crying (mama from pain), and ends in biting and more crying- ’cause mom doesn’t want her baby to  grow up.  Somehow your child will live- even on formula *gasp*.

2. Stay-at-home moms don’t do much.  Excuse me?  They have time to do everything perfectly that working moms never can.  Being a SAHM is easier.  For me, I think my mind and emotions would rather I get a job.

3.  Motherhood comes naturally.  Disagree.  Selfishness comes naturally.  Motherhood is a life of service.

4.  It gets easier.  So far, no.  The change of physical demands and no sleep to bra shopping and  hormones- ’nuff said.  I have heard enough from mom’s with adult children to know that season has it’s struggles  as well.  Like I said- life time service.

5.  If you read a bunch of parenting books, you’ll have a good idea of what to expect and how to deal with  it.  Don’t worry the formula works for everyone…said no mother ever!

6.  You have to be able to juggle house, schedules, and bake cookies all the time.  Give yourselves a break.   We mamas can seldom muster up the will and motivation for for anything other than keeping the young  alive.  It’s okay.  If you’re a ball of energy, that’s awesome.  If you’re not, don’t fall into the trap of looking  around you.  Assume you’re friend’s Instagram picture of perfection was the only moment of peace that  day held, and she documented it.  Assume that all the Pinterest pins are looking more like the Pinterest  Fail blog.  Just love your babes and do lots of deep breathing and praying.  You’ll make it to the next  stage.

7.  Your friends are sweeter, more peaceful, and never complain about anything.  They have it all figured  out.  They are better than you.  Yeah right.  They are likely struggling just as much- maybe more.  Have  honest conversations and be a friend who understands.  We are all figuring things out as we go.  YOU”RE  NOT ALONE!  Surround yourself with godly women who you can relate to.

8.  If you don’t feed your child organic from scratch food, on a plate that’s BPA-Free in a chair you bought at the thrift store and painted with chemical-free paint, while strumming your guitar to a song you wrote especially for him– he’ll grow up hating you and thinking that you neglected him.  Give that kid some chicken McNuggets and let him play in the ball pit of death germs.  He’ll love you more.  Just kidding. Do what ever you want, but remember that he only wants you.  Not your food or your up-cycles.  Just your presence and love.

9.  If you’re a single mom you have failed.  You don’t see your kids enough and they will turn out horrible.  Don’t believe that for a second.  You can do it, and you will realize one day how amazing you are for raising a child with no help or relief from a spouse.  I think single moms are amazing!  God will get you through to your next season.

Moms!  You are important.  What you do everyday is doing something.  Every stage of motherhood you look back on and see the growth in your person, your relationship to the Lord.  Every stage is teaching us something.  Don’t believe lies.  You are a mother.  You are amazing.  You may not feel amazing, look amazing, or act amazing (mommy-ka-boom!), but if you love your children they will know.  

Sometimes a, “Mom, MOM, MOMMY!  I love you.” Is enough to remind us, right?

Do not grow weary in doing good.  The Lord provides the strength you need.  Just be the mom He wants you to be, not the one you think you should be.  

 

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reflecting on mothering

First of all, Happy Mother’s Day to you all!  Last night I knew exactly what it was that I’d be writing today.  As I sat folding laundry and clipping coupons I realized that yesterday wasn’t a day that I was pampered and waited on.  I wasn’t given an elaborate gift.  I didn’t have everyone in the house doing whatever I said, cleaning the house from top to bottom ect.  Here is how the day went for me.

Wake up to this song.  I’m not a morning person so I was thoroughly confused for a couple of minutes.  I was given a banana, an apple and two pieces of chocolate.  I ate only the banana.  They are so sweet though.

Get ready for church

Teach the children’s ministry

Go out for lunch

Come home and do laundry and some dishes

Head to the neighbor’s house with some strawberry jam

Neighbor kid comes over

More laundry

Hang with the kids a while

Eat dinner (Nick made)

More dishes

More laundry

Get kids ready for bed (Nick always helps with this)

Go buy a couple of newspapers

Clip coupons

Go to bed

Confession time.  I waited several hours for my people to offer to do the dishes.  They never thought of it so I started washing away.  Miss Josie followed me around crying irrationally and I wondered why I had to deal with that on Mother’s Day.  Nick asked me to wash the pan so he could make dinner, and I thought he shouldn’t ask me to do anything on Mother’s Day.  As I went to the laundry room to get more clothes to hang while everyone else sat and watched River Monsters together I felt like I deserved a nap on Mother’s Day.  I hung the clothes and sat down with everyone else to take a nap, but my elderly neighbor called and wanted me to come and visit with her because her daughter never called her to say Happy Mother’s Day.  When I came back the neighbor kid was playing at our house so I knew I couldn’t nap.  His mom had him bring over some cake for me, so I went and gave her some strawberry jam.

At this point I was feeling ripped off of a nap, and feeling sorry for myself.  I really truly almost felt like being a whinny pain in the tush. To be clear, I didn’t feel this way all day, but suddenly it all came together and I know I was be distracted from the joy of an ordinary day.  I was happy to just do what I usually do until I became tired.  Then, everything that was keeping me from my nap seemed inconvenient and annoying.  I loud and stern voice was convincing me that this was a horrible day, it wasn’t fair, I just be able to do this and that, and why am I working, and who should be doing what.  The head ranting continued.

Then I listened to a gentle quiet voice tell me that none of this things are what Mother’s Day is about.  It’s not about getting my way or making everyone serve me.  It’s not about having a selfish day because I don’t get to have one any other time.  Okay, what’s it about then, because it sounds like Mother’s Day is all about me.

In my life, right now, Mother’s Day was all about being a mother.  Caring for my lonely neighbor, letting my children play with the kid across the street because he has no one to play with.  Having a much-needed and long conversation with my mom, and being sensitive and caring to a grumpy toddler.

I know that if I wanted to, I could have had my way just by telling Nick what to do.  I came close so many times, but Jesus was trying to show me the bigger picture.  My heart wanted to check out and have a day off from being a mother instead of understanding the importance and need of my role as a mother.

Proverbs 31

Sayings of King Lemuel

1 The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.

2 Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb!
Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!
3 Do not spend your strength[a] on women,
your vigor on those who ruin kings.

4 It is not for kings, Lemuel—
it is not for kings to drink wine,
not for rulers to crave beer,
5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed,
and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
6 Let beer be for those who are perishing,
wine for those who are in anguish!
7 Let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.

8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
9 Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

This is what I long to be.  Gracious and caring.  Attentive and serving.  Putting Jesus first.  Instilling godly wisdom into my children whenever I can.  I am so thankful for this reminder exactly when I needed it.  It’s true that a mother’s job is never done, but the Holy Spirit has a full-time job in me as well.

And just to prove my point to myself, as I write this Nick and the kids are painting the master bedroom because Nick woke up and just really wanted to today for some reason.  I think it’s because I shut my mouth and opened my heart.