A dear friend and I have been dialoguing recently by e-mail about the joys and difficulties of being at home with several little ones. It’s such an intense stage of life: one one hand I want to soak up every moment with my girls while they are little, because I can already tell how quickly time slips away; yet on the other hand, I must constantly fight the temptation to live for the next nap, the next bedtime, the next break. The pace can be brutal, but the rewards are rich and many. It’s an interesting place to be.
My friend suggested I do a series about why I love my life and how I find joy in mothering (mothering joy… MoJo… get it? That part was totally my idea!) Fabulous idea, I thought, not least because it will force me to flex my blogging muscle more than just a weekly Wordless Wednesday!
Mondays seemed like a good time to focus my heart and mind on finding joy in the week lying ahead, plus, you know, it starts with M. So here we are!
To start from the very beginning (a very good place to start…), I love my life and find joy by…
Remembering How I Got Here
Becoming a mother, of course, all began with a boy and a girl falling in love. If I lose myself in a moment thinking about this, I find I wake up back to my real life feeling just a little bit warm and fuzzy to see where I am today.
Moms of little ones, try it with me: take yourself back to when it was all new. You’re crazy about this guy. Is it too soon to start thinking he might be the one? Yes, probably so, but you can’t help it. You look into his eyes and you wonder if he just *might* be the one that will someday be the father of your children. You hope so, but who knows? Anything could happen… it’s all such a long way off.
Now WAKE UP! You’re here! You are living your fairytale, and it’s a dream come true. It may not be quite how you imagined it would be, but it is amazing what God has done in your lives to bring you to where you are now. Celebrate the fact that you are spending your days with the incredible little beings that flowed out of your love for each other! Isn’t it marvelous?
It’s all too easy once little ones arrive on the scene to forget who your true love is, but I’m slowly learning that if I keep my focus first on God, then on my marriage, the mothering part ends up being a much easier and more joyful experience.
Titus 2:3b-5 (ESV) says this of the older women of the church (emphasis mine):
They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
Do you know what this means for us younger women? That we need to learn to love our husbands (and probably to submit to them as well, but that’s a topic for another post)! I am so guilty sometimes of putting the girls before Trevor. It’s easily done, after all, he can do a lot more for himself! But there are two things that I know I can do each day to be a help to him: make his lunch for work, and send him an e-mail just to say hi and chat about our days while he’s there. These are simple things he has told me really mean a lot to him, and yet I still manage to neglect one or both of them several times a week.
Becoming a student of my husband and learning to love him better serves my family in so many ways. Not only am I serving him in the most direct sense, but I am giving my children a sense of security while modeling to them what a Godly relationship should look like. It’s totally win-win.
So, as is always the case when I set out to give words of wisdom here, I have ended up preaching to myself more than anyone else. Tip number one for having joy in your days while mothering? Remember how you got here, and love on the one who made you a mother!