Everything is a season.
When I was in the newborn days with my twins I never thought I’d come up for air. I was so tired. So, so tired. The exhaustion was overwhelming, and, being a first time mom, I didn’t have the perspective of fully understanding that every age and stage is a season. I would get stuck in the “this is my life forever” mindset until days turned into weeks and weeks in to months, and sleepless nights were replaced with toddler tantrums, boo-boo kisses, and another meal thrown on the floor that I spent an hour making. However, my mindset is different now.
This time I have a better outlook knowing that this is just a season that will be replaced with something else, a different kind of hard. This mindset is a beautiful thing that brings peace to the hard days and bittersweetness to the great days. Those snuggles aren’t forever. Those boo-boo kisses aren’t forever. Those arms reached high for me to hold them aren’t forever. They are a season. A challenging, sweet season. Keeping this outlook at the forefront of my mind helps me be intentional with my time with my little ones and savor these moments that will be gone all too soon.
Judgement is a killer.
After entering motherhood, I found that one of the most judgemental places to be is in this journey. There is always someone or something there to tell you you aren’t doing it right. Passing judgement kills relationships, confidence, and feelings. The Lord has used motherhood to soften my heart towards others’ ways and viewpoints. One of my favorite takeaways from Amy Poehler’s book Yes Please was her approach to other people’s beliefs that she didn’t share: Good for them, not for me. Mamas have it hard enough on a daily basis without our judgement. There is not just one way to mother, and that is a good, good thing.
Grace is a beautiful thing.
Motherhood is the ultimate test of patience, perseverance, and selflessness, all of which I fall short of daily. There are nights I go to bed thinking I could’ve done more for my kids, no, I should’ve done more for my kids. I should have read the extra book, rocked them a little longer, or gotten a little less frustrated at the umpteenth tantrum. The dishes are piling up, there is a suspicious stain on the carpet that I forgot to inspect for the third day in a row, and I ruined another carton of ice-cream by putting it in the pantry instead of the freezer in the midst of toddlers demanding my attention. I can’t do it all; I can’t be it all. That’s where grace steps in. Learning to give myself grace when I can’t have it all together is a beautiful thing. I’m not going to get everything right all the time, and that’s okay. I’ll wake tomorrow and try again.
Selflessness is a daily decision.
There are many days when there is nothing more I want than to lay in bed all day. I actually play up scenarios in my head of how much money I’d be willing to pay for that to happen. Don’t judge. Some days it’s just so hard to give more, do more, mother more. Laying down self is a decision we have to make every day and remembering it’s not about me and that this calling of motherhood is important work, oh so important work. I want to learn to wake each morning grateful for the opportunity to lay down self for such a high calling.
Community is God-given.
In my short journey of motherhood, I’ve learned the importance of having mom friends. It’s so important to have other women who just get it and can give you an encouraging word, a shoulder to cry on, or a tall glass of wine. Amen, yes? God created community because he designed us to need it. We aren’t alone in this journey. “Two are better than one … If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity [the mama] who falls and has no one to help [her] up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
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