8 Things Being a Mother Taught Me

love myself 2

Each day I spend with my little ones, I learn more about God’s love and grace. I truly believe that children teach us just as much as we teach them. They are our Creator’s little vessels of eternity and truth, and we would be wise to pause, pay attention, and learn each lesson He is teaching through these gifts.

Here are eight things that being a mother has taught me:

1. If I want to show my kids love, I must first love myself. I cannot give them something I don’t have. What’s one of the best ways I’ve found to love myself? Understanding, even just a little, how much Christ loves me. Dig into the word. The more I absorb his Living Word, the more I get to know Him.

2. Actions speak louder than words. If I want my kids to model a certain behavior, such as respect, I must practice it myself. If I don’t show my kids respect, they won’t respect me. That means listening to them when they’re talking to me, not interrupting them, and letting them know what they have to say is important.

3. Comparison leads to nothing but frustration and angst. I need to find a pattern that works well for my family and kids, follow it, and change it if needed. We live in a day and age when social media makes comparison easier than ever. If you find yourself falling into the comparison trap often when logging onto Facebook, Pinterest, or the like, it may be time to unplug for a bit.

4. Choose who you take advise from wisely. If the person does not care where his or her own life is going and has made a series of poor decisions, chances are they’re not going to care about yours either. Creating boundaries is not ungodly or uncaring. It’s simply setting a safe environment for you and your family.

5. Take time for yourself. This does not make you a bad mother. It makes you a better one. When we take time for ourselves, whether it be coffee with a friend, a painting class, or an hour of writing, we come back feeling refreshed and more emotionally equipped to handle the everyday challenges of mothering.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We were not meant to do this parenting thing alone. Often I feel like an aggravation when I ask for a favor, but almost every time, I’m shown grace and love. As the body of Christ, we are intended to lean on each other.

7. Your husband was your family first. Make time for him. Go on date nights. Hire a babysitter. With a newborn, sometimes this is difficult and you may need to take the baby along, but it is so important to keep that connection with your spouse. Healthy marriages make healthy kids. And when your kids are gone, you will need to remember who your husband is.

8. Connect with other moms. When I had my first child, I lived over two thousand miles away from my family and my in-laws, in an area where I didn’t know anyone. MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) was a Godsend for me. Knowing other women were experiencing the same struggles and emotions made the journey so much easier and more joyful.

Becoming a mother changed me in so many ways, and each day they teach me more about God’s love, about what’s truly important in life, and how each moment is a gift.

I thank God for choosing me to mother my two boys. Even on the most challenging days, I remember they were made in the image of their Creator, made to reflect his glory in every day-to-day moment.

 

*Picture courtesy of Derek + Diane Photography

*Linking up with this communities today, who encourage and inspire each week. Click the buttons below to learn more.

     

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20 thoughts on “8 Things Being a Mother Taught Me

  1. Wow, Abby, I love this post! Incredible lessons! #7 has been a struggle for me in past years. Now as our children are older and we’re almost “empty nesters,” the value of making time for my husband all these years is becoming very apparent! Thank you for sharing such important words, my friend! Sending long-distance hugs your way!

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    • Thank you so much for your encouragement, Julie! I am learning more each day in this journey of motherhood, and pray that my eyes may be open to the truths God is speaking through it all. Hugs to you, too!

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  2. Abby,
    Amen to making your marriage a priority! Too many women put their children first. The comparison game leads only to dejection. And yes, thank goodness for MOPS- a true lifesaver when I was in that stage of life. Thanks Abby for sound and godly advice!
    Blessings,
    Bev

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    • Thank you for stopping by today, Bev! I agree about the perspective on marriage- I had a skewed view myself for a while. So important for us to stay connected. Blessings to you!

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  3. These are such wonderful and impactful lessons, and I can relate to all of them. Number six continues to be a struggle for me—I hate asking for help in all areas, but especially with parenting. I need to remember that every time I have managed to request some assistance, my friends and family have JUMPED at the opportunity to help. It’s certainly not an annoyance because they genuinely enjoy it.

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    • I am the same way, Katie, but lately I’ve been getting better about it. Especially with friends, since our closest family is over an hour away. And it feels good to return a favor too!

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  4. What a list! The love myself is so timely for me. I’m aging and putting on weight… and I keep getting asked for pictures to put with guest posts, etc. I spent hours one day looking through pictures and even having my husband take a few new shots. I made several derogatory comments about myself in front of my daughter, which my husband pointed out.

    Time to start doing better, loving all of me and teaching my daughters to love themselves, too.

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    • I hear you, Kirsten. That first one was something I had to work on quite a bit. I think understanding how much God loves us makes it easier, for sure, and I certainly don’t want to reflect a negative self image on my kids. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts here.

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  5. Hi Abby,
    I needed this reminder today… it has been one of ‘those’ days. The first three on this list are big ones for me… especially during weeks of transition (back to school) like this week. Phew. Thank God for girlfriends and ice cream to help me take a breather and keep my focus.

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  6. All true, Abby. Even though my child is now a teenager, I think the comparison trap gets stronger as he gets older. The world can be so competitive! Thank you for the reminders today:)

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  7. Your list makes a lot of sense. I like you that you included important things like be wisre about who you take advice from and asking for help…maybe from those other moms you are connecting with.

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    • Thanks for stopping by! Yes, I’ve received a lot of great advice from some moms I’ve connected with. I think the longer we are parents, the easier it becomes to know what advice to take and what isn’t the right path for us.

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  8. Thank you, Abby, for these reminders! I am grateful for words of wisdom, especially numbers 3 and 7 🙂 I am humbled, amazed, and thankful for lessons in motherhood. Thanks for sharing your teachability with your “little vessels.”

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    • Thank you for stopping here, Renee! Yes, those kids do humble us, don’t they? I’m so grateful for the many ways God teaches me through them. Have a great holiday weekend.

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