This is a post dedicated to mothers of young children–babies and toddlers, to be precise.
I have a little secret to tell you…
Being a mother is hard. It is the hardest job you will ever do.
Babies don’t come with manuals. Sometimes the “maternal instinct” that you hear about is slow to kick in.
Sometimes you can’t differentiate between their cries. Sometimes breastfeeding is a nightmare. Sometimes you can’t get them to nap, to try new foods, to stop taking tantrums, to stop hitting or pulling hair, or to potty train. The list could go on!
It is easy to enter despair mode.
Here are five suggestions to keep you from loosing your mind:
1. Keep your eyes open for a Mom who is doing it right in your opinion and ask for help! Most older mothers are happy to empathize with and encourage a younger mom who wants to do things “right”, but lacks the self confidence or know– how. The time spent with another mom can only encourage you and sharpen your parenting skills!
2. Evaluate your goals. Your kids will not be perfect! Children are not “self-parenting” and this is why God gave kids parents.
Kids will throw tantrums and will need your intervention. Kids will bite and pull hair and need to be told “No!” It is easy to think “We just went over that!! Why isn’t this kid getting this?’”
Instead, think “Assembly Line Parenting”, and expect to do the same thing over.and.over.and.over again in order to cement principles and teach.
3. Do not live for your child. Your child is a wonderful addition to your world, but should never be the epicenter of it. Make time out with friends, and plan for dates with Dad. If you can’t get out, nap time should be your time of solitude. Time alone with your thoughts in quietness is essential to evaluate where you are going and how you will get there.
4. Don’t neglect your Bible reading and prayer time. Even if it is ever so short, something is better than nothing. Can you spare three to five minutes? Get a devotional for busy mothers and take care of your soul.
5. Don’t seek security in methods. Each child is so different. Be consistent, seek God’s word and humbly ask for help! “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” “If any of you lack wisdom, let Him ask of God, who giveth liberally…” God will give you the grace to do the job He has called you to do!!
Older mothers, what advice would you add to this list?