When you are a mom of little ones, it can seem like the only things you will ever do for the rest of your life is change diapers, deal with toddler meltdowns, fix PBJ's, and fall into bed exhausted!
Let me remind you know of how quickly they grow and that one day again you'll have time for reading a book, having lunch with a friend, a romantic get away with your husband!
When your in the trenches of this time, it really helps to fix your mind on Him, and to recognize the high calling that Mothering is. You are not just glorified babysitters. You are the nurturers of the next generation. The ones who will raise your grandchildren. Ah, now there is something you likely didn't consider. What you pour into your children will be poured into your grands and great-grands. So decide wisely what kind of mother you will be, for it is your choice.
Are you going to be focused on what our culture tells us we should be focused on? Did you know that you can opt out of that? I did. I became an intentional mother. I thought about what kind of people I would want them to be and poured myself into training that into them.
We decided we didn't want them to be unkind with each other so we didn't allow them to say "shut up" to each other, for example. We also tried to get to the heart during conflict and didn't allow an easy "I'm sorry," either. We required them to acknowledge what they'd done and ask for forgiveness. "I was wrong to take your toy. Please forgive me." Then we taught the forgiver to quickly and freely forgive (as they would want to be forgiven) "I forgive you" they would hug and off they go to practice getting along.
We wanted them to know the Lord so we read the Bible to them and had them learn verses and just talked to them as we went along our day. As we learned to recognize God's hand in something we mentioned it to our kids. We learned to speak words of thankfulness to God for safety, for provision, for grace. I see those things coming out of my older kids mouths now. It will happen Mamas so hold on and keep at it!
So many mothers today, don't really like their children. You all know what I mean. You see it when you are out and about. The out of control kids, and parents who are so worn out they either ignore it or yell constantly. The kids are out of control because the parents allowed it and continue to allow it. They don't even realize that if they had just loved and trained their children from the time they were infants, they would have children who you can take anywhere. These parents feel like they have no control, no say over how their children behave and so are controlled by their children. It's sad. Children need loving adults helping them to learn how to behave properly and how to treat others. They don't know it on their own, and so they naturally default to self focus (as we all are wont to do) and self centeredness.
It doesn't have to be that way.
Also make sure you take a bit of effort during these years to stay connected to your husband. Partner with him in raising your children. Sometimes we moms can act like "I've read the books, this is how you do it," and we don't allow our husbands to develop their own rapport with their kids. Let me tell you, if you tell your husband he's doing it wrong too many times, he'll stop trying.
I know women who act as if their husband don't have a brain when it comes to the kids! Your husband is a man and he may let the children be rougher in their play than you would but it doesn't mean it's wrong. And if your kids go out in public in clothes you wouldn't put on them, it's not the end of the world. The important thing is that Dad and the kids have a real and genuine relationship. All those wrestling matches on the floor are building fun memories and a trust between them, so that in the future they have a foundation that they'll know they can come to you or your husband about more weighty and serious things.
So let's recap a bit since this is so long.
1. Have a vision of family life and relationship. If you don't have one, decide on one. Think multigenerationally.
2. Be intentional in your parenting.
3. Teach them to know the Lord.
And here is one I didn't mention yet. Find support for yourself in the very young years. It's so easy to get overwhelmed by it all. So often young moms don't have anyone to turn to, as the women are mostly all out of the home. They don't have their mothers, sisters, aunties, grannies near by for help and fellowship.
If you find yourself in this situation, find an online source. There are other women out there with the same desire for their families and children as you. Momheart.org is a great place to start.
You can grow to LOVE this crazy season of life, and if you do, you and your children will have wonderful memories to remind each other of in the years to come!