I am sure you’ve never been out in public with young children and been embarrassed by their behavior. Never, not you. Not your kids. But just…
Some moms think every stage of motherhood is the best stage. Some moms never feel the urge to move on to the next season. This blog post is not for those moms. I am writing to you moms who feel the current stage is an especially tough one, and you look ahead hoping it will get easier.
As many seasoned moms have said, it will get easier. But, it’s worth noting, it will also get harder. Each stage is different, and new challenges (and joys) come with each one.
Step outside of the current stage you are in, and consider what other moms of various stages are experiencing:
- Moms of newborns feel sleep deprived (because they are).
- Moms of babies are dealing with hard-to-figure-out problems coming from a child that can’t communicate via words.
- Moms of toddlers are exhausted from chasing little people who seem to find danger around every corner.
- Moms of elementary aged children are starting to own the huge responsibility of helping their children become productive individuals with good character.
- Moms of teens are feeling the weight of the huge decisions their kids are making.
- Moms of college students are learning to let go.
- Moms of adult children deal with the pain of watching their adult child deal with life’s trials.
And that is just naming ONE challenge that each stage brings. Every mom reading this could fill in 15 more challenges that fit the category she is in.
Admit it’s Hard
Motherhood is never easy, regardless of the stage. Sure, maybe our personalities are more prone to enjoy a particular stage over another – nevertheless, challenges await each season. It is tempting to look ahead and think “oh that stage won’t be so hard for me.” But that is like the inexperienced pregnant woman looking at a crying baby, while thinking, “mine will never cry like that.” Ha. We all know what that woman eventually realized. The truth is, we are all pretty normal moms, and like most moms, we will find each stage to be difficult in its own way.
Sometimes we get too myopic in our thinking, and that is what gives us the impression the grass will be greener in a future stage (or for some, it’s tempting to focus on the ease of past stages). We assume our current situation is extra rough, and we think, “if my life was more like hers, it would be easier.” But usually, that’s just not true. Our life is probably already a lot like “hers.” It may be that we deal with trials differently, or we simply don’t see all the details of “her” life.
Since we are talking about “enjoying motherhood” it may seem illogical to contemplate the challenges. But admitting the reality of difficulty is a good starting point. For if we are always waiting for it to get easier, we will have a hard time enjoying where we are at.
Admit It’s Also Really Great
If you can accept that your current challenges are normal and expected – then you can put those aside and stop dwelling on them. Instead, take a moment to think about what’s good during this stage of motherhood. How can you apply 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “ give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”?
What is unique to your current season that you should stop to appreciate? Consider the fact that many challenges come with a positive way to look at them. For example:
- Instead of complaining you never get a break – thank God that you get to spend a lot of time with your children!
- Don’t complain that children are always hanging on you – be grateful for the many hugs and cuddles.
- Though you could be bummed you don’t get as much time with your children, be glad they are growing in independence.
Then there are things unrelated to challenges that are just really cool. What are those things that you should notice and appreciate?
- Are you seeing their character start to develop?
- Do they make you laugh?
- Are they learning to appreciate your love for them?
- Is your time with them more enjoyable?
- Do you get to watch them make a difference in people’s lives?
- Are they providing you with grand babies?!
- Do they appreciate your company?
There is surely plenty to enjoy about your relationship with your children right now. And it’s time you start enjoying it.
Any mom who has passed a stage (any stage), looks back and wants those behind her to know “it will go by fast.” That statement usually means there was much to enjoy in the previous stages, and whether or not they appreciated motherhood then, they do now.
So enjoy it. Before it passes you! Though some days (or weeks) may be tough, let’s learn to love every stage of motherhood and bask in the uniqueness of each season.