In about two weeks, my little girl is going to turn thirty. Thirty.
How did that happen? It can’t have been that long ago I carried my tiny baby girl home from the hospital, can it?
If you’ve got little ones at home I know it seems hard to believe that day will ever come but I’m here to assure you, it will. The years will fly by mama, faster than you know. Your children will grow in every way possible and one day, you’ll find yourself sitting in awe across the table from a fully grown woman with her own life, her own faith, her own opinions and tastes and likely her own family. (Oh, I pray she gives you grandchildren. They are worth the wait!)
Because I’ve got some perspective on the years, I can tell you this with confidence:
You’re doing a great job, better than you think you are.
You’re a good mom. No, you’re a great mom. Your children are little and no matter who you are, little children are hard. Relentlessly, continuously, monotonously, day after day, hard. And being consistent is wearying. I know. You’re bone tired at the end of the day and because you don’t see any change between yesterday and today, you think it’s you. You might not see any change but I promise you, change is happening!
Do me a favor, don’t measure their progress by days, try to measure it by months and years. It’s slow, painfully so somedays. But I promise you this:
Consistency pays off.
They will learn. They will grow. You will see change. And I promise you this too…
...you’re not doing it wrong. You just have to keep doing it. Set your mind for the marathon. Just like when you start a new exercise regimen, you have to decide to keep going but it’s perfectly okay to ask for help! In fact if you know some older moms, ask one of them to mentor you. There’s no shame in admitting you don’t have all the answers!
We have different perspectives you and I. You’re up to your chin in diapers and discipline, crayons and chaos and all you can see is today. But take it from someone who knows where this all ends up. I survived motherhood and you will too.
Here are a few more promises.
- You’re doing a great job. You really are!
- It does get better. I’m sure you hear that all the time and maybe you have a hard time believing it but it’s true.
- Your children will change. They will grow. They will mature. They’ll even clean their rooms one day!
- It’s not forever. In fact, you’ll be calling me again when they’re heading off to college and you’re suddenly left with an empty nest and you’re crying, “Is that all there is?” But that’s a whole other post! And yes, just as a little side note, the empty nest is real and it’s hard but it’s a whole new amazing season for you, mama.
Let these truths help you through the difficult days:
Children are messy and raising them is a messy job.
Being a mom is probably the toughest, most incredible job you’ll ever have.
Motherhood is difficult. And relentless. And never-ending. And rewarding. And fulfilling. And life-giving. And about the most frustrating/amazing thing ever.
Keep this in mind: you’re raising world-changers.
What you’re doing now is building lives and futures. One day, one diaper at a time.
Please don’t compare yourself to other moms. You are an expert in raising your child! Don’t let her Pinterest perfect life make you crazy or feel inadequate.
Some days are just plain ugly. There, I said it but you already know it’s true. Thank God His mercies are new every morning!
You might not love every season of raising your children and you know what? That’s okay. Seasons change.
Their bad behavior doesn’t equal bad parenting. Kids are going to be kids, they’re going to mess up and they’re going to disobey. Sometimes they’ll need strong discipline, other times, lots of grace and forgiveness. If your perfect angel throws a fit in the grocery store it’s not because you’re a bad mom it’s because she’s a child!!! Don’t sweat it mama. I can almost guarantee you it’ll happen again.
You’re doing a much better job than you think you are.
We live in a world and a time in history that’s confusing and overwhelming and stressful as all get-out. I hope these reminders can help you remember that what you’re doing has eternal value. I’m quite certain you’ll find your way through the mothering years, believe me they fly by all too quickly. But if you’re anything like I was, then I know you’ll find your way mama because I know this about you…
…you’re a good mom. No, you’re a great mom.