Motherhood. It’s the best of times and the worst of times. For example, my kids were playing really well together one day last week. Like for a few hours- no fighting, just enjoying the outdoors. If you know me, one of my greatest prayers for the last year or two has been to see my older two get along, so I was thrilled. The next morning, I realized that they had left a sleeping bag outside and our dog Harley had pulverized it to oblivion. The stuffing of the sleeping bag was ALL over our backyard- I really thought it was snow at first glance. (then I remembered it was Texas.) So, a great time led to a not-so-great time!
On a more serious note, motherhood also brings out more most fear and worry than I ever knew possible. I love those little munchkins so much that I want them to make the right choices!
Anyway, I don’t know about you, but I have to work extremely hard and pray even harder for those good times. And they are SO worth it. I’ve been a mom for eight years now, and although I am by no means an expert, I do feel like I have learned some snippets of wisdom along the way.
1.) Motherhood shakes me out like a rag doll until every selfish bone in my body is exposed. But then I have to choose if I want to remove those bones, or shove them back in so that they are still
there. And this isn’t a one-time process. It happens almost every.single.day. Play a game with the kids, or hop on Facebook? Try to get “stuff” done or take the time to look into their faces and love on them? I always heard I’d learn how I selfish I was when I got married (and it’s true!) but nothing compared to having children.
Obviously stuff has to get done- dishes and clothes are somewhat of a necessity, but sometimes I get so wrapped up my own world that I forget to enter theirs- even though they’re always there. But the more I spend time with each child, the more in awe I am of their individuality, creativity, and overall awesomeness.
2.) Don’t rush. It only makes you edgy and the kids don’t really understand “time” until they are around 7 years old. I remember when my first two were little I was always in a rush to get places. Being late is my pet peeve anyway, but having two toddlers is means to make anyone late. I can count on one hand the times we were late to church, but it would take many hands to count how many times I lost my temper on a Sunday morning. When you need to be somewhere at a certain time, start with plenty of time so you have time for setbacks and don’t stress about being late.
3.) Hug your babies when you’d rather yell. This is something new I’ve been trying to implement and makes me realize how little they are. They need much, much more love and affirmation than they need correction. I’ve found that many of times I’m trying to discipline my children, it’s for “kid stuff” and not direct disobedience. When Landon is making a duck noise for the one-hundredth time of the day, while sliding out of his school chair, I want to pull my hair out. But it’s not something he’s doing to be bad, he’s just being a boy. I find that hugging him makes my heart swell, and gives me patience to endure that dang duck noise!
4.) Read to them, and let them see you read. Some of our best times are spent reading together. I L.O.V.E. to read and establishing a love for reading in my children is something I’ve strived to do. Can I tell you a secret though? I don’t really like reading out loud. I think it’s because it slows me down (I’m a super-fast reader) and reading Go Dog Go over and over isn’t my idea of an enthralling read. But- Evie (3) brings me books all the time to read and I’ve come to love it! I’d much rather have them read than watch too much TV. Plus, it gives me a chance to sit down occasionally throughout the day. Hallelujah!
And I have to add this- it was hard teaching my son to read. It didn’t click completely until the end of 2nd grade/beginning of third grade, which is this year. But now, he’ll pick up a book on his own and read, and I love that so much it makes me want to cry!
5.) Talk about them positively in front of others. If you need some advice on why your kids are fighting all the time or how to get your teenager to stop back-talking, don’t talk to others in front of them. I do think that children believe what their parents say about them, and if all they hear is complaining and negative words, it can make them believe they are “bad.” Choose a private time (and yes I realize this is near-impossible) to talk to other adults about concerns about your littles.
So yes, motherhood is hard. Make you think-you’re-going-crazy-hard. But oh it’s beautiful, too. And I’m so thankful I get to be the mama to these sweeties.
What motherhood advice would you add? Is motherhood as hard- and wonderful- for you as it is for me?