We all know the job of motherhood is hard.
We ask advice from our own mothers, vent to our girlfriends, and complain to our husbands.
It happens. Sometimes we just need to let it off of our chest.
Recently, I have been thinking of trying something just a little bit different.
Rather than letting the hard times and the difficult days linger in my mind, I am going to work on what is on the inside.
Those outward behaviors, those outbursts, that jab I had to get in with my husband are all heart issues.
In motherhood, it really does matter what happens on the inside.
How Will I Respond?
I muddle through the dirty clothes, the legos everywhere, the sometimes disobedient toddler, and an occasional word spoken back, but all of that is on the outside.
What truly matters is how I let it affect me on the inside.
I can look at the dirty clothes and sigh in exasperation.
I can yell at my kids to pick up the Legos one more gosh darn time.
I can argue back with the disobedient toddler.
I can stay mad at the tween who talks back.
But you know what will happen if I respond in that matter?
Over time, Satan will steal my joy in motherhood. He will allow fear to creep into my heart. He will cause me to compare myself to others to spur on jealous thoughts. He wants me to feel subpar, lonely, and isolated.
A Different Response
Now I am aware of my sometimes crabby, not so patient, even overbearing attitude.
So why do I do it? Why do I let Satan into my home and my mind?
I think a big reason has to do with my attitude. A bad attitude makes everything more difficult.
Over time, I hardly recognize myself. I will become irate over the smallest detail and ballistic at the little messes.
I have found that a simple change in my attitude makes all the difference.
That big laundry pile I mentioned – I can be thankful that I have 5 healthy, thriving children who play in those clothes and get them oh so dirty.
Those Legos on the floor – maybe I should surprise my kids and start building with them. Then, when we are done, have a mini lesson on picking them up!
That disobedient toddler – I need to stick to my guidelines. I laid them all out here in my Toddler Challenge if you are interested. Stick to the plan, instead of the way I am feeling.
And that tween who talked back one more time – I need to open my bible, sit down, and remind him what God says in His Word.
Isn’t that so much better?
A simple change in my attitude turned it all around.
When I change my complaining attitude to one of gratitude, I slam the door in Satan’s face.
I take my thoughts to Christ, and He helps me see past the messiness of my home, the disobedience of my kids, and the loneliness that I feel. He gives me the confidence I need to push through another day because I know what I am doing is worth it all.
#2 A Stuffed Brain
I know that is a weird expression but stick with me.
When I find myself blowing up out of nowhere or anxious about something I cannot put my finger on, I know that it is due to a stuffed brain.
“The mind is for ideas. Not holding them.” – David Allen
Sometimes I have so many ideas, to-dos, and conversations running in my head that I forget to live in the moment.
I forget the beauty around me and find myself overwhelmed.
The best way to deal with a stuffed brain is to do a brain dump.
My mentor Mystie Winckler taught me all I know about brain dumps.
You can find her amazing information right here.
I write down anything and everything that comes to my mind.
I just put it down. On paper. There for me to process.
Sometimes I get the items done that week, and sometimes I do not. The important thing is it is off my brain and onto paper.
This keeps my brain free and it makes it easier for me to be in the moment and deal with issues as they arise.
It is important not to compare.
I was created to be the perfect mother for my children just as you are the perfect mother for your children.
You do not have to follow what everyone else is doing.
Just because your friend does tons of crafts does not mean that you have to follow in her footsteps.
I have found that when I do what I love with my children, we are all much happier.
I plan things that I love, encourage my children in their abilities, and find time for what is truly important to me and my family.
If you are finding that joy is hard to find in motherhood, then maybe you are trying to live a life that is not yours. Take a closer look at how you spend your time and energy. It is an eye-opening experience.
#4 Marriage on the Backburner
Satan wants to destroy the family unit. This starts by destroying marriage.
I have found that I am a much better mother when I am pouring into my marriage.
The busy days, the demanding needs of babies and toddlers, and all of the daily tasks can make pouring into our husbands almost impossible.
I have found three simple ways to pour into my marriage.
- Have sex. Yes, I know it is the last item on your to-do list, but it is vital to a healthy marital relationship. Make it happen on a regular basis.
- Pray and study together. Dustin and I try to read the same book of the bible together. We try to find a small portion of the day to spend resting in God’s Word together.
- Make him feel special. Encourage your husband in his work. Praise and compliment him on a regular basis. Let him know how valuable he is to your relationship and children. Show him respect.
It is a fact, moms.
Satan is out to take our marriages, our children, and our joy in motherhood.
Let’s band together. It is time to make motherhood a calling filled with joy. It is time to take back our marriages in the name of Jesus. I will be on my knees praying for my marriage and parenting. Will you join me?