Dear Mom

They call my name four hundred times a day. “Mom? Mom?! MOM! MOOOOOOMMMMMMM!!!!!!” They need help with this, correction for that, reminders for everything and they want to eat all the time.

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.

Comments

  1. I SO wish I had guarded my heart better when my older 2 were growing up. My youngest has definitely reaped the benefits of my spiritual growth. Though I do still struggle with my tongue and tone, I am stopping and thinking more often before reacting!

    • The stopping and thinking part is what gets me. And when I’m tired, it’s even worse. I just feel beat down, which makes me so much less gracious. Booooo….

  2. You totally described me. I’ve started getting up earlier (my oldest just started kindergarten, so, you know, our entire routine changed!) and I’m slowly getting to bed earlier. When I get tired, I get irritable. And when I get irritable, I don’t guard my heart … or my mouth. So, yes, starting my days in God’s presence and ending my days a little earlier would do my whole family a world of good. I studied James with two different groups this summer; clearly God is out to teach me something about taming my tongue, trusting him, and praying along the way.

    In unrelated news, I just read all the posts in your love story. {Forget what I had been working on for a meeting about Marketplace 29 A.D. tonight — http://www.marketplacemurray.com/} And I have to tell you … a cricket jumped up my jeans’ leg once. Greg, who I met in February 1998 while we were both in college at Murray State, was studying abroad in Germany so he wasn’t around to protect me or laugh at me. I survived though, after much jumping up and down … and squealing, of course. So you can understand why I cringed when Ben, 2 1/2, brought one to me IN HIS HAND and wanted to bring it in our house. NO WAY. I told him he had to play with the cricket outside.

  3. Oh lady, such is the cry of my heart. I’m up these days around 5 am (to feed the baby and start the day). I am finding it more and more challenging to keep my eyes open past 10:15 pm. In fact, it’s darn near impossible. I’m usually good in the morning, because there’s coffee; it’s the evenings that I struggle with. My eldest son is currently annoying the TAR out of me. I have tried so hard to shake it and yet it remains. I long for him to talk to me about something besides video games or the latest movie or cartoon he watched. I long for him to speak with me about things that matter. But he’s not interested. So lately I’ve shut him down and told him I won’t listen to his stories about video games/movies/tv. I feel bad about it and I’m trying so hard to find a better tension/balance. How can I be grateful and interested in what he likes (I mean he’s only 7!) rather than always annoyed with him? There’s more to it but that’s the jist. I’m praying through it. I really don’t want him to turn out as an insecure man who thinks people are easily annoyed with him because of my irritability and short temper. I want to be grateful for who he is and what he likes; even if I don’t agree.

    • Ah yes…finding something in common. We have to learn to date our kids, meaning we need to be interested in the same things they are so we can enjoy being with them. In my case, I’ve had to learn to love talking about weather related disasters with Sloan. :)

      Love you. Tiff. You’re a great Mommy.

  4. So simple, these two things, but WOW! I really needed to hear that and need to apply both of these in my life! Especially with a 14 and a 5 yr old!! Thank you for the wonderful reminder Kelli!