Mom life is the toughest job there is! How to flourish in Mommyhood when you feel like your gonna pop your top! *Free PDF copy of "Prayer Confessions for Mothers"
Kids are God's precious little gifts to us. They come into our lives and have a way of making our hearts grow triple the size it was before. As tiny infants, they are totally dependent on us as care givers to provide every single thing that they need to survive and thrive. I like to think when a child is born, so are there parents. As parents you have to learn and develop the skills and instincts needed to lovingly nurture a child. Sometimes some of those instincts come naturally, sometimes they don't. And since every chid is different, there are different ways that might soothe and comfort one child, that wouldn't the other, so your parenting can change as you learn how to cultivate the growth of each individual child.
As babies grow from newborns to infants they have a way of stealing your heart and pulling you in to there little world, and it's such a lovely, beautiful experience. You're learning the foods they enjoy, the toys they like, how to successfully put them to sleep, what diapers are the best for them. It's trail and error as your learn and observe your little one. You enjoy pointing out the physical resemblances of other family members, and they're a joy to watch bloom into their own charachter. Once they start crawling, waking and talking though.... oh girl, call in the troops cuz it's about to get crazy!
Toddlers are curious by nature. It's kind of their job to look for stuff to put in there mouth that the vacuum didn't suck up, or to get into your Mary Kay bag and face paint with your foundation, or draw a beautiful mural on the wall with crayons, to see how far to spit the food that they don't like out of there mouths, or to start using the dreadful word NO correctly. They are trying to establish what boundaries are and how far they should go with things; they're learning right form wrong. And who do they ask? They ask us, but not in words, they ask us in actions like the ones I just spelled out, and we have to respond, we have to teach them. How we do that can determine if they'll need therapy later in life, or if they'll perhaps be the one's giving the sessions. Hahahahaha, that was extreme, maybe a little bit true though, but I digress. As Moms we gotta stick together and figure out a way to deal with not only toddler drama, but children drama, adolescent drama, teenage drama, and then grown kid drama, where we don't become the "Drama Queen" of the house. It's true that a woman's job is never done, even if your man or kids don't see the hard work being done, we know its true. So we have to find some strength to be the superwoman that everyone expects us to be (wether or not they see it as super) and put on our invisible capes and get work done to check off all of our to-do lists. But let's not forget to enjoy life though (see, super woman to even do that).
I just sit and stare at my 2 year old sometime. When my 6 and 8 year old sons and my 5 year old daughter are running around the house I think of all how they all used to be that small and needy for me. Well, my 2 year old won't let me hold him as much cuz he's trying to run around with them... but he still wears a diaper so he's not that independent, now is he? But seriously though, I put a lot of focus on everything that I HAVE to do to take care of them that I didn't realize that those were the things i GET to do for them, and how shortly the time would last for baby drama and toddler drama. Now were into childhood drama with 3 of them, and oh how I would love for it to be as easy as toddler drama, but it's issues still at every stage, just another level of them.
I listen to every Mom in the grocery store that sees me struggle with 4 kids in the grocery cart (yes, I will go the stores that have the carts where I can stuff em all in there) it's always one that says, (come on say it with me) "YOU SURE DO HAVE YOUR HANDS FULL", then proceed to say, "I had 3, 4, 5 kids, or (however many they had), and those were crazy times, but I would give anything to have that time back. They're all in college, or moved away, or living lives of there own now and I don't get to see them that much. I sure do miss when they were that little." I ALWAYS take that conversation to heart with total stranger grandmas and great grandmas. They see the struggle I'm facing that causes me to be at my wits end, and they smile as they reminisce in that chaos and see the joy in it, that I may be missing at that point. I feel like God sends me those reminders right when I need them. I use the wisdom in there words and I make it a point to try my hardest to look for the joy in it... to enjoy them, my beautiful tribe of children. They are mine and my husbands biggest blessings that prayerfully, one day will have beautiful blessings stressing them out too, lol!
When my kids are fussing, I get all up in there drama and get stressed about it, them jokers can get mean... kid drama can get intense! But I have to always try to remind myself that I have to respond lovingly to them if that's how I want them to respond to each other. We have to constantly check ourselves, and monitor our actions in front of our kids, because they eventually become us. We are there first teachers, and there most influential ones. People always say that there's no manual on being a parent, but I beg to differ. God has given us lots of instruction on how to parent in His Word. Several men and women of God have written phenomenal books on how to parent by God's standards (if it's not based biblically, or it's contradictory to the Word I don't want it for my house, period), and there's so much knowledge to be attained on how to correctly parent, we just gotta go treasure hunting for the truths that we need in the Word. Remember, it starts with us on providing the best future for our kids. Its a tough, important, never ending job, but God will strengthen us to do it. And thank God, you can have some awesome people in your life to help strengthen your family outside of the home, like an extended church family.
Church is huge for me and my husband in raising our kids. The things that we teach them are reinforced when they go to church and hear the Word on their level. There's an old African proverb that says, "It takes A Village To Raise A Child", I stinking love that proverb because it's so true! My 'outside the home village' consists of mainly my Mom (she's a life savor and answers pretty much all my Mommy questions), my Dad (he's still got tons of Godly wisdom for the tough stuff), my church home (I got an awesome team of super Mommies), and I got a host of aunties and uncles that step in when the village has some serious trouble. If you don’t have a tribe of your own, get one! Be there when you’re needed by other families and sow seeds of loving so you can reap a harvest of love for yours.
When I’m super stressed from a full day with the kids and my husband doesn’t understand what the hype is all about, and I don’t like to complain so I won’t pick up the phone and vent to a friend, but I feel like I’m about to absolutely pop.... well what do I do you ask? It depends on the day you ask me. Sometimes I blow up on everyone and I yell and go the heck off. When that happens I always see some of there sweet innocent faces turn a little sour and I witness some of that innocence diminish as I treat em like they’re grown by how I dished out my rage. I chose to always swallow my pride and apologize to them when I do this, but it rarely ever happens anymore because it’s too painful of an experience. Sometimes I just ignore them. As long as they’re safe then I’m staying sane and scrolling down my timeline. Sometimes I go to my secret getaway... the bathroom (they find me there too and try to break the dang door down) but when I’m in there I gather all of my frustrations and rage and take a second and I thank God. Yup, I call on Jesus and I thank God for my babies. Then I ask God how He wants me to handle the situation with them (He the Papi 😆), and I come out a few pounds lighter and with a strategy (ewe, TMI....🤭🤣). But most every time when I’m prayed up first thing in the morning then they don’t work my nerves as much. Now they still have that childhood drama but I loose the "Drama Queen" and just respond as Queen. It’s like I have some super human vibrancy or something that has me dealing in wisdom, and my kids love it when I‘m lined up right. It’s so much more peace in the house, and anything that comes for the peace doesn’t stand a chance cuz I’ve already put my armor on and if I’m fighting the right foe (the enemy, not my family) then I’m gonna send him running with his tail between his legs.
Here's a chaotic moment that could have been rather treacherous had I not previously been in my prayerful, relaxed, loving state. You see that picture at the beginning of this article? That's my son Jojo when he was 4 years old. It was around noon on a Saturday, hubby's already at work, I cleaned up the whole house already, just got done bathing the baby, now I'm downstairs watching TV with Zaya, NayNay, and the baby just scrolling down my timeline while Jojo plays in his room. I use shea butter on the boys since they've been older so Jojo hadn't really seen powder in a while, so he went in the nursery and took the powder off of the changing table into his room so he could investigate and reminisce on all the lovely ways of baby powder. I'm all into the TV show and I hear Jojo's footsteps slowly climbing down the stairs. Where I'm positioned in the living room the other kids saw him before I could and all three of them (yes, even the baby) looked like they saw a ghost and I heard a collective... aaaaahhhhhhhh Jojo. He says nothing, but comes into the living room and stands directly in front of me with this look on his face that he knows he messed up big time.
He was covered from head to toe in... you guessed it, baby powder! My mind immediately flashed onto all this work I gotta do to clean up this awful mess, because if he looks like that, the room (that I just got done cleaning) is gonna be trashed. I saw how his face was drenched with regret and all eyes were on me, all the kids were waiting to see how Mommy was gonna react to something that crazy. I was quiet for a little bit, I took a second, looked at him again and then... I starting cracking up! I laughed so hard I cried! I said, boy don't you ever again do something that crazy again in your life, while I laughed and had him lead me to the area with all the powder. Thank God it was only in his bedroom, but powder was everywhere! I imagined that little boy having a ball squeezing that powder bottle with no restraint, seeing all the powder shoot through the air and fall to the ground, or the dresser, or the toy box, or the bed, on everything. Part of me wishes that I could've witnessed it. Well, I didn't get all worked up about it because while we all were laughing, he looked so guilty, and was so quiet and sad. He realized what he did wrong, I explained it to him too, but he learned in life that with having no restraint can eventually lead to regret. I just gave him a towel and the vacuum and watched him clean it all up. We only have so much time to teach our kids those kinds of hard lessons that could help them in life, 18 years is it (for a lot of us), let's use them! Let's build them up in love, let's use discernment, and lets not beat ourselves up WHEN we don't get it right (cuz let's face it, we will all mess it up sometimes).
The same way I made Jojo clean up his own mess, when we make a mess with our explosions then we have to clean it up. Let's not blame it on the kids for letting that anger flow out of our mouths with no restraint, but lets take ownership and apologize for how we talked to them. Trust me, that will kill your pride so much you won't be doing it much anymore. And the lesson it teaches your children on humility, that no one is perfect, that we all make mistakes, and when we do wrong we do whatever it takes to fix it... is sooooo good for their confidence. It will help you have more grace and empathy on them too and remind you that they are only kids trying to figure life out, experimenting, and they need us to show them the way. Still correct them, and give whatever punishment fits the crime, but let them still feel that loving guidance from you while you're doing that. That's how God does with us if we let Him. We're grown kids now, we can do what we want, but He's never leaving us, He's always there to help us. When I'm wrong He loves on me, then He brings the correction that I need to straighten up some of the areas in my life. He will never stop loving me, and never stop nudging me to grow, until I'm perfect (that's gonna be a looooonng time from now, so I'm expecting the continual nudging).
When you spend time with God right when you wake up, a few times throughout the day, and before bed, you’re putting yourself in a position to be a huge blessing to your family. You can set the tone for freedom and love for your household. The Bible says that a wise woman builds up her home, but the fool tears it down. I want that, I wanna build my family up, not tear them down because I couldn’t manage my emotions. The great thing about it is, with God as my guide throughout the day, He helps me put my emotions under subjection with the Word of God!
I've lived this thing after suffering from Post-Pardom depression, feeling like I had no control of my mind or the sadness, or any emotions I was feeling. I conquered that thing only with the Word of God and pushing with everything in me to get into His presence. I talked to my Dr who okayed me to get prescriptions for depression but I decided first to whole-heartledy trust the Word of God, and to my surprise it worked! (Which really shouldn't have been a surprise to me because His Word being applied to other situations have turned things around before, but it was different, it was such a stronghold that I felt completely wiped me the heck out.) But God did that thing for me. I called my Dr and told him that God set me free from it and that I was fine now, and to cancel my prescription, never even got them filled. I totally relied on prayers from the saints, and the Dynamus Power of the Word of God! He did it for me with depression and he can do it for you (and Me, I'm still a work in progress now y'all, still working it too) with Mommy melt downs.
I found some scriptures that I say all the time when I’m getting overwhelmed in my mommy role and I’m forwarding them over to you, It's Scripture Filled Prayer Confessions for Mothers On Raising Children God's Way. Use it to pray over yourself and watch God work! I use this during my prayer times in the morning and if I need to I’ll pray it during the day. It will help shape your mind to where God's standards are, and while you confess it out of loud from your mouth God will strengthen you and and mold you into to that Momma. I hope this blesses you as it does me. Please let me know if you’ve prayed this confession and how it helped you. Thanks for being on this journey with me through life together in Steph's Open Book!
I love you,
Stephani D. Sturgis