I get weary.
I get impatient.
I get frustrated.
I get tired.
And yet, I love them so very much that even though I threaten to go on strike and throw in the towel, I know that I never will. But do they know that?
I’m beginning a new series this week called Dear Mom Mondays. This is a chance for us to come alongside one another and spur each other on to greater love, greater patience, greater depth of motherhood. I would love for you to join me in this longing of my heart to be the best Mom that I can be.
Not the perfect Mom. I will still get frustrated. I will still get tired. I will still lose my patience. I will still look at the destroyed kitchen in utter disbelief because didn’t I JUST clean it?!
But when my children are grown and have left the house, when they look back on these early memories, what will stand out the most? Will it be my short temper, or my desire to love quickly? When they write me letters in twenty years, what words will follow “Dear Mom?”
This week, my focus in motherhood is to start at step 1 – Take Care of my Heart.
Motherhood can be very discouraging. There are days when I just really don’t like my children. They are rude and disrespectful and mean and argumentative and by the time bed time rolls around I’m so battle weary that I dream of some sort of escape.
Then one of them wanders out of their bedroom for one last kiss and hug and whispers “I love you” in my ear and I melt and decide they’re not so bad after all.
If I’m guarding and protecting my heart, I find I am much more patient with my children throughout the day. One of the first and most important ways I can do that is to get more sleep. I have a nasty habit of staying up way too late doing a whole lot of nothin’. I like to convince myself that I’m doing productive things, but messing around on Facebook and Twitter, reading blogs and watching TV are hardly productive things.
Lately, I’ve been trying to stay up late and wake up early, which means by 2:00 every afternoon I am a crabby, exhausted mess prone to react to my children in frustration and anger. Simply going to bed at 10:00 would do wonders for my patience and would probably make me more productive in the day time hours as well.
The second part of taking care of my heart involves simply starting my day off with scripture and prayer. For me, this is the best way to not only begin my day, but it’s also the best way for me to love my children well. If I begin the day by bathing them in prayer, my heart tends to be so much softer to their needs throughout the day.
So when they freak out over something small and silly, I can respond to the wails with love rather than with a deep sigh and a roll of the eyes.
Praying for our children makes their childish behaviors less of a nuisance.
This is my heart and my desire this week. Everything I do will build upon this very important piece of the motherhood puzzle. If I am taking care of my heart in these two very simple but impactful ways, then I can begin to work on other areas in mothering that need improving.
So what about you? What areas of motherhood are a struggle for you and how can we be an encouragement as you work to improve in those areas?
Join me next week for Dear Mom Mondays as we continue to tackle the frustrations and joys of mothering in order to spur one another on to greater love and grace with our children.