Nobody ever feels ready for being a mom.
All we have is a heart bursting with more love than we knew it could hold and faith that Jesus will walk us through the years ahead. No wonder we find ourselves praying, “Help me, Lord.”
Over the years, sometimes it will be a whisper, sometimes a shout.
Either way, He always does. Always will.
Hang on to this: You’re a mom by God’s design.
It doesn’t matter whether your kids came to you by birth, by adoption, or by marriage.
The Lord of heaven and earth entrusted you with each one, with your “easy” child and the one who pushes you to the edge day after day. You’re just right for each other.
Remember that on days you feel inadequate.
There’s no one-size-fits-all way to be a mom. Set your heart and mind on loving each child as they are, alert for their individual strengths.
Your call is to help each child grow strong from within and become ready for life.
Some “best practices” for moms:
- Be consistent. Otherwise your child will continually test you to see if you still mean it.
- Deliver on what you say. Don’t say it unless you mean it, but if you say it, make it stick. Sometimes you’ll be tempted to let it go “just this once.” If you do, next time your words won’t mean much.
- “Fence in” your kids. Set clear limits and stick to them—even when you’re not in the mood. Otherwise you start over tomorrow.
- Within those limits, allow choices and freedoms. Let your child make decisions and learn to exercise personal power, secure in knowing exactly what’s okay and what’s not. This is especially true with strong-willed kids, who are wired to need that sense of personal control.
- Only reinforce behavior you want to see repeated. For example, if a child throws a fit at the checkout stand—and is promised a treat for quieting down—the lesson learned is that making a fuss pays off.
- Teach your child that everything is a choice. For example, nobody made them mad. They chose to be angry. Once they understand they choose to be happy or unhappy, they’ll stop blaming others and feel a bit of power. (This is helpful for developing an anti-victim mindset.)
- Give up asking yourself, “Why won’t he or she behave?” Rather ask, “What does my child get out of this?” Work backward from there to find clues, and often motivation.
- Forget ending your instructions with, “Okay?” You’re the mom. It’s your job to instruct. Besides, it confuses your child when you give mixed messages such as this: “We need to leave for church. Put on your shoes now! Okay?”
Think about it. You’re not really offering alternatives, are you?
- Love your kids in ways that make them strong. Some youngsters constantly hear, “You’re amazing!” or “You’re so smart!” Instead, praise their efforts so they learn to take pride in doing their best.
- Catch your children doing something right and praise it. They’ll want to do it again.
- Keep your voice down. That’s hard to do sometimes, but if you lower your volume, they’ll listen harder.
- Your child is a student of you—with all the time in the world. He or she knows exactly how to push your buttons and how far they can go.
- Your faith impacts your kids more than you know. They’ll watch and learn from how much you value and live your faith in Christ.
Everything begins and ends with faith in Jesus.
Remember that sense of awe you felt when you first beheld your child?
The daily life of being a mom tends to wear that away. The only remedy is to stay connected to the Source of strength. Don’t stop with gathering your family and attending worship every week.
Read the Bible, even in short snippets. Pray as you breathe: constantly. God hears your silent prayers and your hollers for help just as much as your formal, lengthy prayers.
Copy Bible verses that touch you on sticky notes and post them around the house. Memorize Bible verses—and teach them to your children too—and then repeat them to yourself when feeling stressed.
- This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
–Psalm 118:24 ESV
- I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. –Philippians 4:13 ESV
- “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. . . . Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” –John 14:27 ESV
Every morning, may God give you a fresh supply of joy in being a mom. Remember, He gave you each child, so you’re a perfect match.