Recently on Facebook I asked this question and I was excited that many people responded with a wide variety of answers. But one thing was very clear, we all wish we had some advice before we became a mom. So if you are a newer Mom, seasoned Mom or deep in the teenage trenches this list is for you.
- My worth is not based on how my kids behave. Man do I struggle with this one. Motherhood is my job. It is what I spend all of my days doing. Motherhood doesn’t have a report card, Academy Award, or Christmas bonus (wouldn’t that be awesome). Before I was a mom I was confident that my kids would be the ones with manners, never get in trouble at school, and always choose veggies over Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Here is where my thinking went wrong if they did not do all of those things then somehow I wasn’t doing my job right. I am the one training them and teaching them so wouldn’t that make sense? The truth is training kids takes time and they are sinful just like us. (bummer). But the biggest truth is you are loved by God no matter what. You are not loved more if your kids behave, eat well, do well in school or how they treat their siblings. So give yourself a break and let the love of Jesus wash over you when your kid climbs on the side of the cart at Trader Joe’s nearly tipping it over with your toddler in it. (not that my kids ever did anything like that.)
- I can’t do everything. Pinterest is a great tool, a visual bulletin board. But it needs to be used with caution. If I did all the things I “should” do I wouldn’t sleep. My children should eat all organic food grown in my own backyard using soil from my compost pile. They also should have quiet boxes for rest time that I have sewn myself and rotate out each day so they don’t get bored. Each birthday party should have amazing decorations with thematic healthy food labeled with cute signs in front of each platter. When I describe these expectations doesn’t it sound crazy. But I have really struggled with this one too. I used to throw amazing birthday parties but one year I finally realized I was so overwhelmed that they had to go. Each one of these things are not bad in themselves but don’t feel the pressure to do any if you don’t want to.
- Taking care of myself needs to be a priority. Anyone ever feel guilty for sitting down? I do sometimes. After having my fourth child I was not taking care of myself at all. My body was letting me know there was a problem. I was losing weight, my hair was falling out, and I felt sick to my stomach most mornings. Weary Mom was an understatement. I then began to make sleep a priority, started walking with a friend, and took lots of extra pressures off my plate. Your body and mind can only take so much. Taking care of yourself will not happen unless you make it a priority. Talk with your husband and start today.
- Motherhood is not meant to be done alone. Being a mom can be so isolating and lonely if you let it. I believe God meant us to live in community to support each other, laugh together, and cry together too. My life has been so blessed by the moms ministry at my church. More than anything this group has reminded me that I am not alone. I am not the only one feeling overwhelmed and in need of some encouragement. My biggest advice to you is to step out and find your people. They are out there waiting for you. Ask a friend to meet you at the park, invite someone over, look up a MOPS group in your area to join.
- Filling my mind with God’s word is invaluable in my motherhood journey. I have learned that I can’t rely on my feelings as the truth but instead I need to fill my mind with “the Truth” of God’s word. My feelings and hormones for that matter are all over the place many times during a day. I believe that the job you are doing as a Mom is a sacred job. The enemy wants you to be discouraged. The best way to feel encouraged is to know the truth of your value and worth which can be found in the Bible. On the website Women Living Well I found an amazing list of 10 verses for when you are having a bad day. One of my favorite verses is…” IT IS THE LORD WHO GOES BEFORE YOU; HE WILL NOT LEAVE YOU OR FORSAKE YOU. DO NOT FEAR OR BE DISMAYED.” Deuteronomy 31.8.
There are so many lessons I have learned while being a Mom. We each have to make our way through this journey of motherhood but there are so many ways we can learn from each other.
What do you wish you knew before you became a Mom? I would love for you to comment below and share.