These are some ideas that Melissa Hertz shared on her blog which you can find over here that she graciously allowed me to reblog for this series:
Motherhood has stretched me… stretched my skin, my womb, my patience and the way I think. Motherhood has made me grow and I have learned a few lessons along the way. Here are my most valuable lessons so far.
Unfortunately babies are not born with a manual strapped to their chest and each child, as small as they may be, has a unique personality, and has a unique life purpose and plan. What I do for my daughter does not necessarily work for my son. What you do for your son, may not work for my daughter.
It is my duty as a mother to learn who my children are and not try to conform them into who I want them to be. I need to encourage my children to know Him and discover their calling and dreams placed in their hearts by Him.
2. I have learned to trust my instincts.
I had my daughter when I was only 20 years old and had no family nearby to advise me on how to raise and look after this tiny little new born person. I had to learn quickly to trust my God given intuition and am so very glad that I did. Things that I instinctively did, like skin on skin contact, co sleeping, breast feeding and baby wearing all turned out to be very beneficial to my baby and to myself. I didn’t know it at the time and only found out later that these things that I had instinctively felt to do, had been scientifically proven to help my babys’ immune system, among many other neurological benefits.
I have learned to question everything, read up and research everything, question doctors and teachers, coaches and anyone else around my children, because although God is the only one who knows what is best for my children, my husband and I know our child better than anyone.
3. I have learned not to judge other mothers.
I have a confession to make. Before I had children I used to judge the way that other parents raise their children. Before I had children I knew so much about how to be a parent and a disciplinarian. I had all these perfect ideas of what it was like to be a mother, and then I became a mother and somehow knew less than I did before. I learned very quickly that motherhood is not a Pampers nappy television advert with perfect smiles and a clean perfect house and a child that is happy 24/7.
I have learned to give other mothers lots and lots of grace, because that is what I need.
4. I have learned that love really is the greatest gift of all.
Yes that sounds super cheesy. But also super true. Holding and meeting my children for the first time was one of the greatest gifts in this life time that I will always treasure. These guys are my treasures here on earth and I have discovered a love so deep and a bond so unbreakable and yet, I will never be able to fully grasp the concept of Gods’ unfailing love for me. But being a mother has given me just a teeny tiny teensy taste of how much God loves me. I love my children with every part of me and all that I am. And yet no matter how much I love my children, God loves me so much more. Mind blowing.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son…” John 3:165. I have learned to laugh at myself and not take myself so seriously.
Motherhood is a serious job and if I mess up my child I have to stand before God someday and please explain. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t have fun. I have been vomited on, peed on, I have had my children blurt out the most embarrassing questions and remark in public, and I have had moments that are so ridiculous that I have had to just laugh out loud or I would burst into tears. To gain perspective I have often had to ask myself the very important question; “What will matter more in five years?”
6. Motherhood has stretched me and taught me to be brave and strong even when I don’t feel it.
There have been moments where I have been completely freaked out by this enormous task and responsibility of being a mother. Questions like, “What if my teenagers run away from home” or “What if we can’t afford to send them university” have crossed my mind. But in moments like that I need to control my thoughts and be brave and trust myself and trust God that it will all work out.
I don’t always know what I’m doing but God created these children for me, and created me for these children, so He will give me what I need when I need it. All I can do is take one day at a time, one step at a time, with lots and lots of grace from God.
Be brave butterfly….
7. I have learned to grow a thick skin. To hold onto the good stuff and exhale the bad stuff. I have learned to let go of what people think because it really doesn’t matter in the bigger scheme of things. I have learned to fly against the wind and resistance and not always go with what society says I should do.
Be bold butterfly….
“They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.” John 17:16
8. I have learned that it is such a short season of sacrifice.
My daughter is turning eight next month and it feels like yesterday that she was moving inside of my big pregnant belly. I have sacrificed many things for these children, but I actually can’t even name them because it is irrelevant. They are just so worth it. Soon these days of standing on Lego at 3 am and reading bedtime stories will be over for me. I need to treasure and embrace this season because I will miss it so very much…
9. I have been so completely humbled.
I really can’t do this motherhood thing on my own. I am seriously desperate for Jesus to guide me and show me and protect my family. I seriously don’t even know how people who don’t have Jesus in their lives do it… It is too much stress, too much noise and too much mess to actually cope alone…
10. I have learned that although I am the one who is meant to teach them, the irony is that they teach me… about life, about love and about myself.
When I gave birth to them they really gave birth to me. They are showing me one day at a time who I need to be, who I am meant to be and who I want to be. And life is so beautiful because they are mine for this short time here on earth…
Yes motherhood has stretched me… stretched my arms so that I can embrace the little arms around my neck, and my heart wider so that I can be filled with love that children seem to naturally bring with them when they are born into this world.
I have stretch marks on my heart and a few on my body too, best of all I have me these amazing two little people who call me “Mommy”.
And the stretch marks, well they don’t really matter anyway do they?