He gives the childless woman a family,
making her a happy mother.
Praise the Lord! Psalm 113:9 NLT
I entitled this post, “Reflections of a Mother”, because my children are grown and I now have the grand title of “Meme” to my grandchildren. All I have now are memories of their childhood, and sad to say, even those tend to fade as I get older. I still remember looking out the picture window at my son waiting for the school bus when he was in elementary school. He would sign the words, “I love you” and I would sign back the same…precious memories. I remember my daughter singing to me even when she couldn’t pronounce the words correctly. (She still sings and writes music.) Sometimes the mispronunciation was very humorous, but I didn’t laugh…precious memories.
Then came the preteen years when it seemed anything I said or did embarrassed them. I never could figure out why and they never seemed to know definitively. It certainly wasn’t deliberate. But as you know, I’m a little outspoken. They preferred that I keep ALL my opinions to myself. But as a child, I was very bashful and didn’t want them to be that way.
The year my son was entering college, their father and I divorced. It was a hard time for everyone. My son was very angry with me and lashed out verbally on many occasions. I kept asking myself, “Why is he so angry with me and not his father?” Then it came to me…I’m his mother. He knows I love him unconditionally. He knows he can vent his anger on me without serious repercussions. It wasn’t easy, but I did understand. After all, that’s the way my Heavenly Father loves me…unconditionally and with much grace!
However, I must have done something right as a mother. Both of my children are happily married and productive members of society. My daughter has made me a grandmother to four beautiful girls that she home schools. My son works in the corporate office of Virginia College. I am very proud of both of them and give God the glory!
That’s the encapsulated background of my motherhood. Now that I’m pushing sixty (I won’t tell you which way I’m pushing!), I feel that I am experienced enough to give you some advice on the subject if you’re interested. And if you are…please read on, though it may seem a little lengthy. You really don’t expect me to give a lifetime of advice in a few sentences, do you?
(1) LIGHTEN UP!
I can look back now and see so many things that would have made time with my children more enjoyable if I’d just lightened up! One facet of my personality is perfectionism. When my children were small, I didn’t even realize it. Have you ever noticed that things that are blatantly obvious to other people, we often receive with a blind eye. When I was pregnant with my son, my first, I was petrified that I wouldn’t get to the hospital on time. I had hair below my waist and I was so paranoid that it wouldn’t be fresh when I went to the hospital, I washed it every other day. My poor son was probably traumatized before he came out of the womb!
(2) ENJOY EVERY MOMENT
Even in the trying times and mundane tasks that are required of motherhood, make an effort to savor the moment. So they found your scissors and cut off all their beautiful curls…it will grow back! Or maybe they used themselves as a human canvas with permanent marker!!! Don’t blow! Use it as a teaching tool, although it takes every effort not to manifest your horror.
(3) DO YOUR BEST NOT TO STRESS
This was the hardest for me, being a perfectionist. Stop for just a moment before jumping into crisis mode and ask the Lord to give you peace, wisdom and understanding. Most things in life are not worth the pounding stress gives your body. Ask yourself, “Is this permanent? Is it fixable? Will it make an impact on our lives a year from now?” If not, its not worth the stress.
(4) MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
This is something I rarely did when rearing my children. (By the way, I was a stay-at-home mom, so I was with them constantly.) I felt guilty when I made time for myself…a false guilt of course. It doesn’t have to be long periods of time, just little moments to reflect on your own hopes and desires. Spend five or ten minutes in a devotional time each morning. God understands your busy schedule. It doesn’t take Him long to speak peace into your day. Give Him the opportunity and give yourself the pleasure of His blessing.
(5) MAKE TIME FOR YOUR HUSBAND
Many times as mothers, our children become priority and our husband gets left behind in the whirlwind of numerous activities and projects. Don’t let it happen! He needs your love and attention too. If you can’t work out a date night, just put the kids to bed early and enjoy some alone time. It is of utmost importance! Many marriages don’t last after children come because couples grow apart in the wake of increased responsibility.
In short, if I had the whole motherhood thing to do over again with the insight I have now, I would live, laugh, love, breath in life deeply and only exhale after holding it as long as possible!
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, MY SISTERS AND FRIENDS!