Three years of motherhood. Seems small when you put it that way. But as much as I’ve learned and experienced so far, I feel like it’s been many more years than that! Because of this feeling, I can only respect older moms (aka those who have been moms longer than I have) and trust a lot of what they say.
But not everything…
The Piece of Motherhood Advice That Still Affects Me Most
One of the most frequent comments I’ve ever heard out of parents’ mouths is some sort of wishing/pining/missing for a previous chapter — when their child hadn’t learned to crawl yet, when they would still snuggle, when they were just beginning to eat, when they still went to preschool, when they were still breastfeeding, etc.
I understood that and believed them when it was uttered, but my heart wondered if there was any way this pain could be avoided, or at least reduced.
One of my best friends, Leslie Ludy (just kidding — we’ve actually never met but she’s one of my favorites!), imparts valuable wisdom to today’s Christian mother in her book Set Apart Motherhood. I’ve quoted from it before and I’m sure I will again, but today you’ve gotta hear about this small chapter in the middle of the book when she talks about savoring the precious moments — my favorite piece of motherhood advice.
Savoring the Precious Moments
“Everyone is always telling me how fast kids grow up. But I believe that if we slow down and savor the moments we have with our children every day, we will not one day feel like the years with them passed us by, because we took time to treasure and enjoy them.”
Leslie seems to be like me in many ways — we like our homes to be organized, on a schedule, predictable and safe. Though these things have their place in maintaining a good home for our families, we must also consciously make every effort to embrace each chapter we go through.
I have honestly thought about this concept almost every day of my motherhood. Even on those days when my toddler is being extra “toddler-y” or when my baby is having an immensely terrible time teething, this advice runs through my head and I’m able to see things more brightly. There’s something about it!
Yesterday, I shared on Facebook a simple Bible verse, but I personalized it. This is what I did to Galatians 6:9:
“Let me, Sydney, not become weary in doing motherhood, for at the proper time I will reap a harvest [beautiful, Jesus-following children] if I do not give up.”
If you read my little story to go along with it, you’ll see I was just having one of “those days.” But then Leslie’s advice came rolling along again. It’s so important to see the moment within the bigger picture. Put on those “older mom” eyes and savor these times. Be thankful your living room floor is messy because it won’t always be. Be okay that you have soaking wet couch cushions, because it was just water and…well, I’m still getting over that one. 😉
Look into the Future
Pretend it’s 30 years from now and you’re looking back. What do you want to remember? How clean you always kept the house? How much you kept up with Facebook? Or do you want to remember the day you made messy chocolate cupcakes for Daddy or when you rolled each other up in blanket burritos for two hours?
“We can show love to our spouses and kids by tending to their practical needs, making our homes into sanctuaries, and building a stable routine for them. But we must also show love to them by spending purposeful time with them, becoming a trusted depository for their hopes, dreams, and struggles, and appreciating the unique people they are becoming.” –Leslie Ludy in Set Apart Motherhood
Leslie gives some great practical advice, too. For example, take moments to write down funny things your kids say (to share with your spouse later and just to have for the memory) or plan special days where you play with all kinds of bubbles. Take the time to make photo albums or digital scrapbooks. Put away your phone. Get on the floor and play with them at their level.
We’ll see how I feel when I’m an “older mom,” and surely there will be parts I miss, but I hope this motherhood advice penetrates my daily actions. With the combination of God’s Word and wise people like Leslie Ludy sharing their thoughts, I have the confidence to keep going strong.
Does this resonate with you? Is there any advice you’ve appreciated more than others?