Knowing I am the eldest of six children, you would imagine I was all prepared for the reality of motherhood, but can anyone really ever be ready for what it brings? Spitup. Diapers. Laundry. Bottles. Food Processing. Snuggles. Love.
Then in a flash, all of those things have turned into a whole new list. Muddy boots. Pee Pants. Poopy Pants. "Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy" (while pulling your clothes right off your shoulders). Hitting. Biting. Negotiating. Crying (lots of crying, by both child and mommy). Personality. "Yes ma'am, mommy" (with held dropped in disappointment - every - time - they - have - to - say - it). And every now-n-then, the "I love you too, mommy."
Needless to say, I was, of course, warned about the terrible twos, but where were all the mom's who should have warned me about THREENAGERS? This is a real thing. My toddler has turned into a full blown, disrespectful teenager in a tiny body. How is this possible?
Mirror. Reflection. Oh no!! Has my behavior worn off on him? I know you all think that I am only the angel that you know and love, but I have a secret. When it's just me and my family and something sets me off, I raise my voice. They like to call it yelling. My temper is sometimes short, and my discipline not always consistent. And I look in the mirror and see why this sweet boy that was gifted to me is acting ugly. Then, guilt.
A whole flood of guilt creeps in like a raging storm. Of course, my angel is talking back and hitting. He gets spanked all day while I raise my voice and tell him what not to do, all. day. long.
Retreat. Thankfully, I was raised in a Christian home. Thankfully, I'm God's child. I know that I can retreat to His arms and ask forgiveness and receive it. I can ask for His guidance, and He'll give it.
Bad habits are hard to break. I can't sit here and tell you that I've stopped yelling. That we no longer spank without explanation. But I can tell you that if you listen, you will know if your actions are lead by Him or by flesh. And you can break the cycle. A little bit of change goes a long way because it leads to more change and future bettering of yourself, your child and your family.
It's like any relationship, really. Lines of communication need to be open and honest at all times, and there needs to be respect. When you feel yourself getting in a rut, stop and back up. Find a quiet place. Reflect. Pray. Restart.
Proverbs 20:15 says, " The rod and reproof give wisdom; but a child left to himself causeth shame to his mother."
I've been told this won't be the most challenging time of motherhood, but I can say, it sure feels like it. Some days, I do not know how we will manage to get through the day. Anxiety at an all time high, fear of failure creeping in, and then I remember Romans 4:20, "yet, looking unto the promise of God, he wavered not through unbelief, but waxed strong through faith, giving glory to God".
If you too have been suffering through hard days of parenting, stop and reflect on God's word, ask Him to share His wisdom and find peace in Him. For tomorrow brings a new day.
Today, I feel led to pray for you all of the mothers who are facing a challenging season. Won't you pray with me?
Dear Father, I come to you right now and praise you for who you are to us, for holding us in your arms and offering forgiveness when we are not worthy. Today, I ask you to touch the hearts of all mothers who need your touch, who need hope, who need confidence that they can be strong, loving mothers who offer biblical guidance and respect to their children. Grant them forgiveness for their shortcomings and love through their failures. Provide wisdom to change while we raise our children to be strong, loving, Godly people. We ask these things in your son's name. Amen.
I would not be capable of writing this without the love and support from other moms who have locked arms and decided to do this thing called motherhood with me. So, I'd love to hear from all the mothers who have "successfully" conquered this season with your first child. Sharing insights and tips with each other is what helps us become stronger, smarter moms. Comment below with your insight to support each other and me.