Momma, You Aren't Alone - Finding Joy in Our Mundane
Being a momma to two terrible napping, big emotion feeling, stubborn, sensitive girls I can say there are a lot of truths I’ve butted heads with, and a lot of them have more to do with me than with them. You see I’ve been there with you in the trenches, feeling like when will I ever be able to take a bite without being beckoned or will the day of clothing browsing without an agenda come back? Those are small in comparison to the thoughts that scream at me in the middle of the night like – why does my child hate sleep? Are we seriously done taking naps before 2 years old? How in the world do other moms do it, I can barely get a shower! So I beg my mind to sprint away from those thoughts only to jump into the rabbit hole that is my mommy pity party. A part of my battle scars, besides my permanently bruised legs, is a wisdom learned from the classroom of mommyhood. Here are a few pieces of wisdom that I wish I was telling you over a quiet cup of coffee, but I for now moments between the cries of your children on a small illuminated screen will have to do.
Momma, You Aren’t the Only One!
Can I tell you something? Pity parties are okay; in fact I‘ve learned that they can be healthy. Most moms who come to me for advice don’t really want the crazy what worked for you ideas. What they really want is someone to breath life back into their thoughts of why me. How do you do that? Let them know they aren’t crazy for thinking their 10 month olds 24 minute nap schedule is going to put them into an early grave, that their 3 year olds irrational need to call everyone cartoon characters is in fact making their hairs grow grayer by the hour, or that its okay that feeling like a short order cook to these littles might make them throw themselves into the ground for a good old fashioned tantrum soon! It’s so refreshing to know that you aren’t alone in the craziness of motherhood. All of our children do something that makes them seem like the worst/most ever: insert our normal mommy thoughts here (worst sleeper ever, worst eater ever, most clingy ever, most strong willed ever). Validate those feelings, because in that moment, for that momma, it feels 100% true.
Children and Parenting Really Are Like Snowflakes
Another thing I’ve learned is children, toddlers, and babies are very much their own person. God designed us to be unique. As we are molded and created by the perfect artist, we become all that he gifted us to be. “And yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand.” Isaiah 64:8 What I mean by that is the new sleep solution that it seems like every.single.mom. uses and its like this magic fairy dust that makes any baby sleep 12 hours at a time doesn’t and shouldn’t work for all babies. Your sweet baby might only need 2 hours at a time (or 24 minute naps in my case, haha) that is how God designed them to be. I used to wrap my happiness up in whether or not my girls napped well; you can probably guess what my mood was frequently. Get all the advice you need, but tune out all the lies Satan is screaming to you! What works for Sally Somebody in your playgroup is wonderful for her child, but more than likely it isn’t going to work perfectly for you. Soak up their mommy wisdom, try it out, but don’t get consumed by it if it doesn’t work. Get to know your children on an intimate level by remembering that their difficulties are actually specially designed to make them who they are. And as for parenting styles, we should really just stop the shaming, because we all know the saying about opinions and a certain body part. We each have different styles of parenting and yours isn’t better, its just different. As long as we are fixated on being Jesus to our babies, that’s all that really matters!
Sunrise Really Is On the Horizon
Thank goodness for God’s reminders in my life. I so often get stuck in a season of parenting that I just plain don’t like (teething and the moment they learn the word “no”, can I get an amen?!). When one sleepless night turns into another, when one missed shower turns into a week, when toddler tantrums become so frequent you can’t remember a day without one remember this – it is just a season. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” 2 Corinthians 4:18. Pay attention to that word, TEMPORARY and ETERNAL. When I am fixated on the temporary it feels like the night will never end, but when I remember that this season is fleeting and I can be renewed in strength by a life that is eternal only then can I battle through these hard season.
Invite Him Into Our Mundane
One of my favorite lyrics from a song I like to listen to on hard mommy days is, “God you are worthy of all glory, worthy of all praise still you took the time to know me, find joy in my mundane.” (Who Can Ascend by Bailey & Tyler Dodds). Often I forget that God meets me in my daily life and he delights in having a relationship with me, even in my mundane blowout changing, crumb sweeping, boo-boo kissing days. I am not forgotten about, BUT I have to invite Him into my day. When Jesus healed a blind man in Mark 10 he asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man answered, “My rabbi, I want to see!” Before the man ever approached him, Jesus had to have known exactly what it was he wanted; yet he still asked him what he needed. It’s that relationship God desires. He is constantly whispering to us, dear child what is it that you need? Then, he patiently waits on us to respond. It is in that relationship that we find the joy in the mundane. There will still be runny noses to wipe, fights to referee and the never-ending piles of laundry, but instead of doing it alone, we will have the giver of joy on our side.
Their Happiness is Not My Barometer
Any mom who has desperately fought a massive meltdown in the middle of the grocery aisle can say, there is really is no way to make our children happy all the time. Quite honestly, those high expectations will constantly disappoint us. Toddlers and babies moods change like the slowing leaves in the fall. I have had to cling to this verse over and over again in this season of littles. “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Colossians 3:23. People, even tiny humans, will always let us down. My hamster wheel would never slow down if my goal it to work for them. If I’m honest I use my girls’ happiness as a barometer for my success as a mom. What a failure we must all be if that’s how we make the grade. Babies cry, toddlers whine, and children pout it’s just a part of life. Instead, I chose to work for God, because if pleasing Him is my prize then I cannot fail.
I am glad we aren’t alone mommas. These strong-willed precious little ones will leave us one day too soon, but for now it’s okay to feel all those feelings, its okay to both love and hate these hard seasons of motherhood. I sometimes beg God to give me back those days I wished away in anger, but I also know it was there in the fire he was creating beauty in the ashes, creating my mommy crown! “To all who mourn in Israel he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory. “ Isaiah 61:3
Check this out: Songs for the Church, Vol. 2 Tyler and Bailey Dodds https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SVYVMGI/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awdb_t1_FLeKBb85X4RRZ