Ok. I’m going to be honest: mommy-ing is hard, and I’ve only been doing it for (almost) nine years. This summer I’ll become a momma of 5 kids. FIVE. I knew I would have a big family as a girl, but I didn’t know how big. (We leave for China this summer to bring home our sweet boy. Click here to be on the mailing list for updates!)
I definitely didn’t foresee adoption as part of my story, but I’m so glad God is writing this motherhood story! I didn’t see a lot of things (almost) nine years ago when the nurse handed me my baby for the first time.
I didn’t know a lot of things, so I want to tell you what I’ve learned since becoming a momma (almost) nine years ago. These things are hard things, that sometimes we moms don’t talk about, but they hopefully I can shine a little grace and truth into your heart.
- Falling in instant love with your child sometimes doesn’t happen. I wish someone had told me this as a new mom. I mean, I loved my son, right away. But it took me awhile to fall in love with him. The older he gets, the more I fall in love with him. It takes time and getting to know someone to love them with that deep-seeded emotion. So I felt a lot of guilt as a new mom when I didn’t have an overwhelming emotionally connection with him. The good truth is this: love will come and it will only grow.
- Hidden sins will come to light as you begin to parent. When my little ones hit the toddler years, I quickly learned how much I needed God’s grace in my own life as I started reacting to their actions. The tantrums, whining, crying, clinginess, and overall defiant attitudes did not bode well with my “gentle and quiet spirt” as a mother. In fact, that spirit flew out the window. The good truth is this: God’s grace covers a multitude of sins.
- Giving grace is just as important as punishment. Consequences for their sin happen in our household, but we also extend as much grace as we can. Even tonight my stubborn 4-year-old refused to eat her dinner. We warned her if she didn’t finish she wouldn’t get dessert. She was given a timer and failed to finish the smaller portion we had allotted to her. I reached over in that moment, and told her if she finished her little quesadilla she would get the dessert. The good truth is this: Grace is much sweeter than being “right” as a parent.
- Children thrive with boundaries. Making choices for my children is sometimes easy. No, you may not play in the street. No, you may not stay up until 3am. Sometimes I let them make their own choices. What do you want to eat for lunch? After we started giving our oldest choices in some things, we knew weren’t as important, he began to think maybe he got to make choices for everything. We had to change our mode of parenting fast. The good truth is this: Setting boundaries and limiting choices is such a freeing thing as a child.
- It is ok to change your mind. Sometimes a parenting tactic works for awhile and we have to switch things up. Or sometimes we try something and it totally backfires (see point 4 above). It is ok to change your mind and switch gears as a parent. Motherhood isn’t easy and we are all learning as we go. Just because you walk down a path doesn’t mean you have to stay on it. The good truth is this: you are feeling like you’ve made some decisions as a mother and they aren’t working, change it!
Let me end with this hilarious story which proves motherhood is full of funny surprises. When my oldest was just a few months old he was pretty fussy. I mean to say from 6-9 pm every single evening he would cry his eyeballs out over nothing. One day I just had to turn some music on because I couldn’t handle the crying any longer. I mean, I loved him and all, but I was over the fussing. I happen to play a certain song, and well, you can watch the video to find out what happened….
So momma, what have you learned in your journey as a mother? Comment below with your best advice, the age of your kids, or something funny you’ve had happen to you in your journey!
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