To all the mom’s who are keeping it real out there—I applaud you! I, too, could have filled my Facebook page with little people clutter and a van filled with car seats, smashed raisins, and clothing from every athletic team known to man when my four were growing up. I rarely cleaned out my van, and it nearly drove my husband crazy!
He would say, “Why don’t you just bring a load in each time you come in from the van?” Are you kidding me? I made it into the house with all four children, my purse, and belongings; I could care less about the rest of it! In fact, I usually left the keys in the ignition so I would know where they were.
When I think back on becoming a mom, I too felt terrified and totally unprepared. It didn’t matter that I had read books and attended childbirth classes. I was afraid to take our firstborn home from the hospital! In fact, I talked my doctor into letting me stay another day because my mother wasn’t there yet!
If I could go back to those days, here are a few of the things I would tell my younger self:
- My greatest contribution to my family is to love the Lord with my entire being, and then to love my kids from the overflow.
- I would worry less about the house and more about my heart. “For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.” Matthew 12:34
- I would read to them about our great God and His infinite love for us. I would memorize scripture and sing at the top of my lungs in worship.
- I would be in the floor more and leave the “fort” over the dining room table.
- I would paint more and play with play-doh.
- I would listen to their stories, laugh at their jokes, and enjoy every moment of snuggling before bedtime.
- I would worry less and pray more.
- I would take myself less seriously and God more seriously.
- I would compare less and serve more.
- I would bake cookies, read books, take walks, and lie in the grass and look at the clouds.
- I would do those things that make memories and build character.
Our youngest child got married this past June. My house is quiet and basically clean. I can do what I want to with my time, and guess what? I want to visit my children and play with my grandchildren! That is why grandparents are so much fun—they realize how quickly children grow. My husband says, “The days are long but the years are short.”
So, moms who are deep in the trenches, look up. The heavenly Father has chosen you to steward these precious children and prepare them for the great purpose for which He created them. None of us is up to the task. But the Father will strengthen us and give us wisdom when we ask. He created us for relationship, and we need each other!
Encourage your sisters. Laugh at yourself!
Hold your children with open hands and enjoy them while you can. I encourage you to live #MomLifeUnfiltered! If you will take the challenge, you will be more confident and a whole lot more fun!
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