There’s no doubt about it, being a mom is hard work.
When we became pregnant with our third boy, I had no idea what to expect. Some moms shared words of encouragement.
The third is so easy!
Number 3 was the least challenging!
The older kids will help!
But some had a different opinion…
You only have two hands.
I can’t imagine life being any more crazy than it is right now, with 3.
Well, I said I was going to be honest. The fact of the matter is that I agree with both of these viewpoints, because every day is different. I hate to use the word “easy” because being a mom is never that. But there are definitely days that go more smoothly. The older boys play well together, the baby naps okay, the vegetables are all eaten off of the dinner plate.
But then there are those days. If you’re a mom, you know what I’m talking about. These are the days that you want to crawl back under the covers and try so desperately to remember why you decided to have kids. The fighting is nonstop. The baby isn’t sleeping well. You can’t seem to get through a single task without hearing “MOMMEEEEEEE!!!!” As you rush to see what on EARTH is going on.
Your two year old spills juice all over the rug. Your five year old won’t stop asking you why you can’t take him to the playground. And before you know it, everything starts to get under your skin. The dishes in the sink, the dustballs floating across your floors, the finger prints on the fridge. You bottle it all up inside, and when your husband comes home and innocently asks what is for dinner, you snap. And then cry.
Maybe you’re reading this and thinking, “Wow. I never struggle with any of this. What a crazy Mom.”
Please, feel free to stop reading.
BUT if any of this sounds vaguely familiar, or you can relate on some level to anything above, read on my friend!
Today I’d like to share a few tips with you that have helped me so much in this crazy adventure called Motherhood. Have I mastered any of this advice that I’m about to share with you?
ABSOLUTELY NOT!! Ha!
BUT I will say that these simple steps have helped me so much in the day to day battles that we face as young Moms. I hope that they encourage you and help you as you endeavor to be the best mom you can be.
1. Remember Your Purpose
Think about all that you do as a mom. Constantly serving. Constantly giving. Always putting the needs of your children before your own. It doesn’t matter how hungry you are, how bad you have to pee, how desperately you need a shower. Honestly, motherhood is all about sacrifice.
We sacrifice the bodies we once had when we carry our children. We sacrifice our sleep in order to feed our babies as they wake during the night. We sacrifice our time when we stop so often to care for their wants and needs. We may even have to sacrifice our dreams and ambitions and put our desires on hold as we raise our little ones.
When we continually give of ourselves it can become so easy to forget our purpose. We can end up feeling empty and discouraged, confused about our calling and searching for contentment in all the wrong areas.
Young mama, remember your purpose. Do you understand how important your job is? Do you really understand? Do you realize the gravity of the job that is set before you? We are raising the next generation. Do you understand how serious that is?
I know what you’re thinking. BUT IT DOESN’T FEEL IMPORTANT!!
Changing diapers, wiping snotty noses, making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches…none of it seems important.
Remember what Paul told the group of believers at Corinth?
“Therefore, seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not.” II Corinthians 4:1
Fellow moms, do you realize that raising your little ones is a ministry? It’s YOUR ministry. It’s what God has called you to do.
In Galatians 6:9 Paul goes on to say this –
“Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
Moms, remember your purpose. Your children need you right now. They need you to listen to them. They need you to care for them. They need you to hold them when they are scared. They need you to give them a bath when they are dirty, medicine when they are sick. If you aren’t there for them when they need you, than who will be?
When you do these simple things in the life of your child, you are literally fulfilling God’s plan for your life.
Is it exhausting? Yes. Is it hard? Yes. But we can’t lose heart. With God’s help and with His grace, remember that you have PURPOSE. He is using you and me to raise and mold the next generation.
Amidst the fighting and the crying and the poopy diapers, remember that you are right where God wants you and He has a purpose for you in the lives of your little ones.
“I therefore…beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.” Ephesians 4:1
2. Be Thankful
I know this sounds so cliche. But honestly, when you’re feeling down, discouraged, or literally like you’re about to lose your mind, stop and ask yourself what there is to be thankful for.
I can guarantee that this simple step will change your attitude immediately. I’m not just talking about the “big” things either. Yes, I thank God for my salvation, my family, my health, my home. But I also try to thank God for the little things.
Did you get to finish your coffee today? Thank Him. Did you have a chance to brush your hair or throw some mascara on? Thank Him. Did you get all the breakfast dishes done? Thank Him!
Start thanking God for the little things as you go about your day. I have found that an attitude of gratefulness quite often changes my outlook.
I love how Harriet Crosby put it – “Simple gratitude helps us experience God at work in every moment of every day.”
3. Remind Yourself that You are only Human
I don’t know about you, but I think we as moms can sometimes be too hard on ourselves. If the house isn’t perfect, if our kids misbehave in public, if we accidentally burn the lasagna, we feel like a failure.
I struggle with this so much, and I think a lot of it has to do with comparison. We see other moms on social media that seem to have it all together, and we look in the mirror and wonder what we are doing wrong.
The fact of the matter is that no one is perfect. We all mess up. We all have bad days. We all burn dinner at some point in our lives.
Instead of feeling insecure about your weaknesses, remind yourself that you are only human. Did you know that God delights in using those that are weak?
“And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of the cross may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, than I am made strong.” II Corinthians 12:910
How amazing is that passage?
Do you feel like a failure? That’s normal. We can’t do this mom thing on our own. But with God’s help, anything is possible.
“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philipians 1:6
After reading all this you might be wondering where those more practical tips are that I promised I would share in the title of this post. Everyone is different, but here are a few things that seem to help this mom survive.
Tip #1 – Establish a Daily Routine
If your kids know what to expect every day, you won’t face as many battles. Do my kids still ask for fruit snacks at 9 am? Of course they do. But a simple reminder that we don’t have snacks until after lunchtime satisfies them 99.9% of the time.
Tip #2 – Establish Rules
Maybe I’m a strict mom, but my kids aren’t allowed to leave the table until I’ve checked their plate, hands and face. If their food is gone and their face and hands are clean, they are good to go. I don’t normally have to worry about my two year old smearing ketchup all over the couch because he’s running around with a chicken nugget in his hand. He knows better. Establishing rules will make your job a bit less stressful.
Tip #3 – Give your Kids Responsibilities
I can’t stress this enough. There is no reason why you should be constantly picking up after your children, or spending your evenings straightening their rooms. If they got it out, they need to learn that it’s their job to clean it up. They may not do the best job and it may pain you to watch them do it the wrong way (especially if you’re a perfectionist like me). But momma, you aren’t their slave and it will save you time and stress if you start giving them responsibilities now. The younger the better.
Every day before nap time I have my boys clean up any toys they brought out into the living room. We do the same before bed at night. More recently I’ve been having my boys help me unload the dishwasher. I take out the silverware compartment, give them each a stool and they put all the silverware away. Yes, I find forks in the spoon section and knives in the fork section. But they are learning and I want my boys to know the importance of responsibilities.
So there you have it. I hope this post has encouraged you in some way, and I want you to know that I still struggle in all of these areas. We will never be perfect, but we through His strength can strive to be the very best Moms we can be.
Do you have any practical tips that have helped you in raising little ones? Please comment and share below! I’d love to hear any advice you might have. 🙂