I’ll never forget that first time we brought our son home from hospital when he was just two days old. To be honest we probably left prematurely. I felt sick and in pain the whole journey home and yet I sat in the backseat of our little car just to keep a close eye on my beautiful boy, to check he was still breathing. I’d been around children for years, so felt like motherhood would be easy, but honestly, I felt overwhelmed. If only I knew then what I know now.
After recently sharing another bloggers post on a similar subject line which received mixed feedback, I decided to write my own post on this topic.
I believe being a good mummy has a whole lot more to do with your heart than always getting it right. However excelling in motherhood, this is something we can actually help ourselves out in by doing certain things to make life a little easier.
Just like in any job role there are always tips on how to do things in the best and most effective way, motherhood is no different. So here’s my thoughts, ten top tips to help us all thrive in motherhood:
About a year ago I started feeling extremely tired, more than that, exhausted. My son was sleeping brilliantly and had been for months, but I felt exhausted. I would sleep well and wake up tired. I would do things in the day and by the time I got home at lunchtime to put Jonas down for his nap, I would struggle to muster up the energy to walk up the stairs, let alone do any of the chores I needed to do that afternoon. This was difficult, I hated feeling like this because I am an active person; I love ‘doing’ things all the time. I felt trapped and I hated it.
You wouldn’t believe the things that have broken in our house over the last few months. First our little car massively failed it’s MOT and would have cost more to fix than it was worth, so we needed a new one. Then our washing machine broke, then the oven. Also my hairdryer, kitchen scales and the kettle, and no I’m not exaggerating. Then to top it all off, we have had problems with our electrics looking likely to cost over £400. Wow! Talk about it all coming at once.
Being a stay at home mum, in a one income household where spare money is incredible limited and definitely not naturally able to cover all these things, my first reaction was one of stress. How can we afford all these things? What are we going to do? Where will this money come from? But in that instant, when I started to feel stressed I felt God remind me of something. He reminded me of the countless times over the last couple of years that we have needed provision for something, we have prayed, and a week or so later we have received unexpected provision or a cheque through the post. Over and over again we have seen God’s faithfulness in this area and this is no different.
When I had my son, it was incredible. Nothing can prepare you for just how much you will love this little bundle of joy. But there was something else I hadn’t prepared for. Something I hadn’t been expecting. FEAR.
There are no two people I love more than my husband and my son. But my love for my boy was a new kind of love I’d not experienced before. A fierce, protective love! I was his protector. And more than that. Every action I do, every word I say to him, was impacting him, shaping him, raising him. I’d not known this love before because I’d always been the one protected. By my parents when I was younger, and now by my husband. But this love, this was new. And with new love, comes new responsibility, and with this, came FEAR.
Let me set the scene for you. My son throws something on the floor, I calmly and casually ask him to pick it up. He says ‘No’! I ask him again, this time sounding slightly more firm but still fairly laid back. He says ‘No’ again. I then tell him sternly to pick it up. Guess what he says, ‘No’! I then loudly tell him to pick it up before he decides to run into another room. Never one to back down and also someone who feels very strongly that when I ask something as a parent, if I don’t follow through on seeing it happen, my son will see a loop-hole every time I ask him to do something. So what do I do, follow him. Follow him and take him back to the thing he threw, until he eventually picks it up.
Are you having a hard time right now? Maybe things are difficult? Maybe you have gone through something really tough. Maybe you’re scared, or disappointed. You wonder why you have gone through some things. You question, will things get better? Let me tell you right now, YES! God is a restoring God, and he never leaves us in difficult things, His purpose is always to lead us through things and on the way, use any hardships to change us for the better, to mould us to be more like him, and to further His purposes in your life.
Jesus. I’m intrigued how many people click on this post! Will the title draw you in, intrigue you, or put you off reading? I guess I’ll see the answer when I see the number of readers! But one thing I know to be true, how ever many posts about parenting I have done so far, and how ever many I will do, it doesn’t matter whether they are about breastfeeding, bottle feeding, weaning, potty training, discipline, love, more important than any of these, is this name, this topic, this relationship: Jesus.
Why? Because no matter what the problem is, no matter what we are going through as parents, be it not knowing what to do, not knowing how to feed, or how to discipline. Maybe your toddler’s having tantrums,or you are experiencing emotional problems, or financial problems, there is one person that changes everything.
For some reason there is this part of me that wants to appear totally in control around health visitors, like they are judging every aspect of my parenting in that two-minute appointment and so everything needs to go smoothly! Well, not on this occasion! Jonas was about six months old and I had taken him to get weighed. I had accidentally ordered pull up nappies on the online shop and this was his first time wearing them. I took Jonas into the room, putting him on the changing mat and he emptied his bowels so much that it looked like three weeks worth had come out in one go! Well this new mummy did the only thing she could think of with nappies without the sticky bits, pull them down! Well, as I pulled them down the entire contents (I won’t go into too much detail for all those squeamish ladies) went everywhere! I’m talking on his hands, legs, feet, my hands and all over the changing mat kind of everywhere! I then started the difficult task of cleaning up this explosion, feeling incredibly flustered whilst the health visitor and her assistant watched me, standing silently. She then gave me one piece of wisdom which stands me in good stead to this day “you can tear the pull up nappies on the side so they come off easily.” I felt so embarrassed and so not looking like the in control, got it all covered, nothing phases me kinda mummy I wanted to look like!
Have you ever felt overwhelmed as a parent? I know I have! There have been many times that I have desperately needed a situation resolved, like the time when he was still waking five times a night at eight months. Or the times that until he was about five months he didn’t consistently sleep in the day. Or there’s been times I’ve felt overwhelmed by different advice on feeding techniques, or discipline. People offer advice but they don’t know our children like we do, they don’t know what is specifically the best thing for them. There have been times I have listened to advice and tried all the methods advised and yet still seen no change. I’ve needed an answer!