The Joy of Raising Children
Yesterday I had a big to-do list. I knew it was ambitious to tackle decluttering our entire office with 3 small kids hanging around, but I was determined. Until our youngest woke up with a cold. During her morning nap I had big things planned, but she didn’t know. She cried instead of sleeping.
In this past this would have flustered me. I would have been upset that my day was not going according to plan. Too often in motherhood I’ve been upset from unmet expectations. If parenting has taught me anything it is patience and flexibility.
In the past I’d let a sick day like this upset me. But I’ve learned there are going to be days where all you do is snuggle your sweet kids. And you know what? That’s okay!
Growing up all I ever wanted to be was a mother. My sister and I made babies out of everything. We made snow babies, water babies, bocce ball babies, you name it we probably pretended it was a baby. As I grew older my love for children continued to grow. I enjoyed babysitting kids of all ages, cuddling babies and working in preschools. It was such a joy being around young children. After I spent time with them I just felt happy.
In church last Sunday, a member talked about this same joy. He said he was blessed to help out in children’s ministry and how wonderful it was to impart something in the next generation. This got me thinking. Do I always remember the joy of raising children?
Sometimes with the sleepless nights, poop explosions, ongoing tantrums and constantly being needed you lose some of this joy. Has that every happened to you? I think it is “normal” to have moments of frustration, but I want to cherish these moments and hold on to the joy of raising children. Here are somethings I’ve found helpful along the way.
Remind Yourself of the Joy of Raising Children
- Ponder: Sit back and take a few minutes each day to reflect on everything that has happened. Although there may have been 5 tantrums, I’m sure there were a few sweet moments as well. Whenever I get the chance I sit and rock with Izzy for as long as she will let me. Even if it’s only for 1 minute (or 30 seconds) it’s a few moments where I can sit, ponder and remind myself of this wonderful blessing. Scripture reference: But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19 (NIV)
- Connect and Encourage: It’s so important to connect with other mothers! I love the mom’s group I attended this year and it was so nice to get a chance to talk with other people in the same stage of life. When you can uplift each other and share the good and the bad it makes life easier and more joyful. Scripture reference: Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
- Relax: Sometimes I find myself worrying as a mother. When Izzy was first born I constantly worried if she was still breathing at night. God showed me Psalm 121. I prayed it over Izzy every night. When I sit back and relax I find I can live in the moment and enjoy each stage of motherhood. Scripture reference: The Lord watches over you – the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. Psalm 121: 5-6
- Speak it: There is power in the tongue. The Bible tells us we can make mountains move. If you are feeling down or stressed as a mother, speak life to yourself. Speak out loud scriptures like “Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3 (NLT) or “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV). When you speak God’s word out loud something shifts in the atmosphere. It will also change your thoughts. When you speak life, your thoughts will transform from negative to positive.
What about you? Do you ever need help keeping perspective in motherhood? What helps you remember the blessing of raising young children?
Beautiful, Lauren. Wonderful reminders and points of focus for those tough moments.