Each day I spend with my little ones, I learn more about God’s love and grace. I truly believe that children teach us just as much as we teach them. They are our Creator’s little vessels of eternity and truth, and we would be wise to pause, pay attention, and learn each lesson He is teaching through these gifts.
Here are eight things that being a mother has taught me:
1. If I want to show my kids love, I must first love myself. I cannot give them something I don’t have. What’s one of the best ways I’ve found to love myself? Understanding, even just a little, how much Christ loves me. Dig into the word. The more I absorb his Living Word, the more I get to know Him.
2. Actions speak louder than words. If I want my kids to model a certain behavior, such as respect, I must practice it myself. If I don’t show my kids respect, they won’t respect me. That means listening to them when they’re talking to me, not interrupting them, and letting them know what they have to say is important.
3. Comparison leads to nothing but frustration and angst. I need to find a pattern that works well for my family and kids, follow it, and change it if needed. We live in a day and age when social media makes comparison easier than ever. If you find yourself falling into the comparison trap often when logging onto Facebook, Pinterest, or the like, it may be time to unplug for a bit.
4. Choose who you take advise from wisely. If the person does not care where his or her own life is going and has made a series of poor decisions, chances are they’re not going to care about yours either. Creating boundaries is not ungodly or uncaring. It’s simply setting a safe environment for you and your family.
5. Take time for yourself. This does not make you a bad mother. It makes you a better one. When we take time for ourselves, whether it be coffee with a friend, a painting class, or an hour of writing, we come back feeling refreshed and more emotionally equipped to handle the everyday challenges of mothering.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We were not meant to do this parenting thing alone. Often I feel like an aggravation when I ask for a favor, but almost every time, I’m shown grace and love. As the body of Christ, we are intended to lean on each other.
7. Your husband was your family first. Make time for him. Go on date nights. Hire a babysitter. With a newborn, sometimes this is difficult and you may need to take the baby along, but it is so important to keep that connection with your spouse. Healthy marriages make healthy kids. And when your kids are gone, you will need to remember who your husband is.
8. Connect with other moms. When I had my first child, I lived over two thousand miles away from my family and my in-laws, in an area where I didn’t know anyone. MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) was a Godsend for me. Knowing other women were experiencing the same struggles and emotions made the journey so much easier and more joyful.
Becoming a mother changed me in so many ways, and each day they teach me more about God’s love, about what’s truly important in life, and how each moment is a gift.
I thank God for choosing me to mother my two boys. Even on the most challenging days, I remember they were made in the image of their Creator, made to reflect his glory in every day-to-day moment.
*Picture courtesy of Derek + Diane Photography
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