As a follow up to my two previous posts about being a stay at home mom (found here and here) I have been thinking about the days when I feel like I’m a really good mom. There have been a few things I’ve noticed that have really improved everyone’s attitude at home, and ultimately it comes down to me. The old saying, ‘When Mom’s not happy, no one’s happy.’ is terribly true: what a responsibility we have as mothers! Here are a few things that seem to help me be a good mom.
1. Sleep. Before you start laughing uncontrollably or cursing me thinking that I get lots of sleep, let me clarify. Ben is 9 1/2 months old and I still do not sleep the night (we’re almost there though!), but that’s not what I mean when I say I need sleep. I know the kind of person I am when I function on very little sleep and need caffeine to keep me somewhat of a decent person. This person, resembles:
Ok, that image even scares me: imagine how my poor husband and children feel when I’m like this. (Disclaimer – this picture may be a slight over exaggeration). Because I know that Ben doesn’t sleep the night and that my children get up at 6:30am, I have a responsibility to myself and my family to get to bed at a time where I know that I will get as much sleep as I possibly can so that I can be the best person I can be. I honestly think that most of my struggles during the day come from me being overtired.
2. Never date anyone more than I date my husband. This may sound funny, but hear me out. I went on a really fun and casual girls’ night last week. The week before I went out for smoothies with a friend. Before that, one evening I hung out at the mall with my sister. These things are all well and good, but got me thinking: Do I go out more with other people than with my own husband? Considering that he is my best friend and partner for life, I was disappointed in myself that the answer was ‘no’. I thoroughly enjoy my husband’s company and am shocked that we’ve allowed ourselves to stop dating each other. I want to date my husband more than other people, and by doing so we’ll unite ourselves closer to each other and it will make each day a whole lot better when we become fuel for each other.
3. Unity with my husband. I realize on days where we are angry and upset with each other that unity is so important. How can I encourage him in his struggles and he with mine when we have something that is causing us to be apart spiritually and emotionally? The simple answer is, we can’t. Unity is so important in raising children and on so many different levels. It doesn’t mean we agree with each other on every thing, because we certainly do not, but despite that, we’re together on this journey in parenthood.
4. Finding the good and being content. While reading my Bible study chapters, a particular verse jumped out at me. Philippians 4:11-12 seemed to speak right to my core:
“Not that I complain of want; for I have learned that whatever state I am, to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want.”
I need to apply that to life in general, but in a particular way I feel like that is speaking to me about the sale of our home. Despite the fact that some days the world just seems out to get me, and nothing seems to go right, there is ALWAYS ‘good’ to be found in any situation: it’s up to me to find it.
5. Limit pity-parties. I am so guilty of pity-parties. The feeling of entitlement is a strong temptation that I find myself struggling to resist on a daily basis. This is really quite embarassing to admit, but there are so many times a day I demand: “Why God?! Can’t you just give me a break today?” or “Haven’t I been patient all morning? Can’t you just make the kids fall asleep? Don’t I deserve an hour to myself?” Bottom line: kinda. I don’t actually deserve anything, least of all from God, but I do need breaks sometimes. The thing I have to remember is not to throw an adult tantrum when I don’t get them when I want them. I’ll get a break; the thing I need to remember is that it may not be until later and to accept that fact and not send out invites for a pity-party.
My musings have ended for another day, but maybe you can share with me what helps you to be a good mom. I can always use suggestions on making myself a better person.
I would add more pictures to this post, but Chloe’s nap has ended so now I must run and attend to her. Happy Monday!