Dear First Time Moms

 

Dear First Time Moms,

Congratulations! You have joined the honored circle of motherhood. It may look like most mothers have it all together, but the truth is, they really don’t. Most of us are trying to stay one step ahead of our children. Remember this. None of us have children and motherhood all figured out. None of us have it all together.

 

Advice for new moms, things to remember.

 

1. Don’t Compare. Those perfect pictures shown on Instagram, in magazines, and elsewhere are only a thin slice of reality. You have no idea how long it took to get everyone set up for the picture, or how long perfection was maintained after the picture. Remember, none of us have it together for more than a few minutes. Life is full of peaceful, clean, everyone dressed and smiling moments, only occasionally.

2. Every mother is different. One is calm and assured. One is nervous and unsure. One seems to have all the right answers, then baby two comes along and nothing works. All of us are similar and yet different. And what works for one mother, fails for another.

3. Every Child is different. One sleeps through the night. One screams through the night. One loves to be cuddled, the other doesn’t. One loves tummy time, the other detests it. One is eating everything, the other is allergic to everything. One loves the new and interesting surprises of life, the other loves the established routine. One walks at 9 months, the other at 19 months. One crawls, the other never crawls. One newborn poops 4 times a day, the other once a week. There is a wide range of normal.

4. Trust your intuition. When your baby is not sleeping through the night, you will be tempted to turn to Dr. Google, the fount of all knowledge. And you will discover 5,391 different methods people claim work for getting their child to sleep through the night. You may try a few, and none may work. Or one may. Just remember you know your child, home, and baby better than any internet person. Trust yourself and your instincts and do what is best for you and the little one. And if some technique sounds too good to be true, it often is.

Babies have been raised for thousands of years with just common sense and no internet or plethora of books. It involves the “feed the baby when she is hungry, change the baby when she is wet, let the baby sleep when tired” method. And then cuddle and love the baby.

5. Enjoy the little one. Babies are meant to be loved, cuddled, and enjoyed. You are a gift to your child. Your child is a gift to you.

6. Take pride in being a mother, life-giver, and life sustainer. This is a hard job, and it will stretch you to within moments of sanity, but it is so worth it. Motherhood will take you on a ride you will never forget.

7. Don’t sweat the small things. Perfection is not possible with children. Don’t stress about a dirty home and that you’re still in your robe at 5 pm. Your first job is the little one.

Don’t stress that on your last grocery trip your chest started getting warm and your milk started letting down in the dairy section. In ten years, this will be a funny story.

8. There will be rotten, no-good, horrible days where you will lose it and feel like resigning. Days you cry in the closet and feel like a horrible mother. Days where you wonder if you will make it ten more minutes. Days where nothing seems to go right. This is all part of normal motherhood.

Give yourself and your child grace. Remember every day is a new day. A fresh start. Never judge yourself as a mother based on your day, your child, or how you are feeling.

9. There will be wonderful days where everything seems to go right. Often, they happen when relatives are not visiting, and no one is there to notice. So, notice them yourself. Treasure them up, for when you need the memories.

10. Celebrate the small things. The days both of you are dressed and clean. The trip to the store that doesn’t involve nursing in the car twice. The day you don’t cry. The day baby first smiles and your heart breaks in two from so much love.

11. You have got this. You are smarter, more capable, and stronger than you ever thought. Because motherhood reshapes and reforms you into a better you.

So, welcome to motherhood!

Delight in your child and who you are becoming.

Delight in your new life and role.

 

This guest post first appeared at Mothering Beyond Expectations

P.S. Need more encouragement, Lisa Jo Baker has 50 Tips for New Moms – as Shared by You

Linking up at Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth) and Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope).

 

Changing the World with the Everyday Mundane

 

Dear Beautiful Important One:

Yes, I am talking to you!

Sometimes our life seems normal. Mundane. Routine. Boring.

Very little excitement is popping into our daily grind, except when we sleep through our alarm and try to get ready in less than 2 minutes. Which of course can’t be done. Or maybe you count the dog getting sick in the middle of the living room rug as a change of pace. Or the news that your child who was too shy to speak in class, is now the class clown and was sent to the principal’s office three times last week.

Occasionally there is the heart stopping recent hissy fit with the neighbor who was kindly telling you that she was going to report you to the homeowners’ association after she asked if you obtained permission to build that new shed in the back yard. One forgotten small detail you hadn’t thought of.

If your life is like mine, there is a lot of regularity and predictability with a few surprises thrown in, like your car insurance doubling for the coming year or your co-worker getting the promotion and not you. Once in a while, throw in some tragic news, a family crisis, a health concern, and that is life. At least mine. Maybe even yours.

Years go by and it seems you are doing nothing much at all. Unless you count washing dishes and grocery shopping, big things.

One day you figure out how many years you have been changing diapers, and you wonder if your talents have been wasted.

Shouldn’t you be doing something big? Something radical? Something more important than refereeing siblings during car trips across town and potty training the puppy and toddler. Or maybe you’ve had the same job for years and you wonder if you would even be noticed if you quit, or if you would be replaced just like that and forgotten in the first month. Maybe you wonder if your husband would be happier without you, or if the children will really rise up and call you blessed.

Other people seem to be more important. Doing better work. More involved in changing the world. Coming up with radical ideas that better things.

You do have a great impact on others, and affect positive change.

 

We may feel invisible. Insignificant. But that doesn’t mean we are. No matter how you feel. You are important and doing important things.

When you are changing that baby for the twentieth time in one day, you are serving the least of these. When you are wiping the noses of toddlers and teaching math to a tween, you are imparting knowledge. When you are helping your teen drive, you are laying your life down for another. When you are counting to ten at the sassy remark of your child and not retaliating in anger, you are dying to self. When you are crawling out of bed to care for a sick child, you are giving up your own needs and wants. When you are reading bible stories to kids who seem not to be listening, you are tucking God’s word into their hearts. When you are greeting your husband with a smile after your own hard day, especially when you would rather first complain, you are putting yourself in his shoes.

You are changing the world. One small service at a time.

When you smile at your neighbor, listen to a co-worker’s troubles, pray with a friend, ask the checkout clerk how her day is going, help the lady at the licensing department figure out how to take a ticket and get in line, you are serving, loving, and helping others.

You are changing the world. One small act at a time.

When you apologize for losing your temper, you are modeling a servant’s heart. When you listen to and respect your mate, you are modeling laying down your life for others. When you forgo new shoes, so your child can instead have a pair, you are modeling sacrifice. When you work late to help the boss, you are modeling commitment. When you encourage the waitress, after she messes up your order, you are modeling kindness and empathy. When you praise your child more than you criticize, you are modeling grace. When you realize that the kid at school is a bully because that is all he has known or been shown, you are modeling compassion. When you forgive your parents, who were far from perfect, you are modeling forgiveness. When you give up your plans to accept new plans, you are modeling dying to self. When you help at the food pantry, you are modeling loving the needy. When you begin to see others through God’s eyes, you are modeling his heart.

What you do, your children see. Your mate sees. Others around you see. God sees.   

Every day we choose what our life impact will be. 

 

You don’t need to be known by the news or seen as important to change the world. You just need to be faithful with the small and often taken-for-granted opportunities that present themselves throughout the day. When we give of our time, switch our attention to another, sacrifice our desires and give up our wants, we are doing kingdom work. We are changing the course of history. We are loving and serving those around us and becoming like Christ. We are letting the spirit change and mold us into new creatures.

Multiple times per day we have the opportunity with husbands, kids, co-workers, neighbors, friends, and strangers to show the love of God. To lay down our lives for those in our life. To impact others positively. It is our choice if we will do it.

It is our choice if we will benefit, bless, help, or serve those around us. Just like we choose if we will criticize, demean, withhold love, or not serve those around us. Yes, the ways for us to show love to others in our daily life are often small and seem unimportant. But all those small ways add up to huge ways.

 

Remembering what’s important.

 

Quit worrying about not doing great big wonderful things. Keep serving others. Dying to self. Loving others. Sacrificing for others. Multiple times a day. This will change today and the future. It will change you and those around you. It will affect eternity.

Each small act changes the world for the better. Changes us for better. Changes those around us for better.

Sure, you will fail. Repent, accept God’s grace (which can never run out) and keep trying. God wants you to succeed. He will make sure you do succeed. He does not start a good work and then abandon it. He is rooting for you and helping you. Calling you blessed. Calling you an overcomer.

Be faithful. Love those around you well. Serve them with joy. Cheer them on.

Your seemingly small and insignificant daily offerings will ripple across the pond and change into a giant wave of good.

Give your most important commodities. Your time. Your attention. Your love.

Despite what it feels like, you will be impacting the world in big wonderful ways. Ways you can’t even begin to imagine.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

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Join the discussion: What are some insignificant things people did for you that changed you?

May link up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory); and Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope),  Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).


Why Litle Boys Love Peeing Outside

No one teaches little boys to pee outside under the canopy of the blue endless sky, but once they have done it, they will forever be drawn to the magical charm of peeing outdoors. Let me explain. #mothering #little boys #humor #Things to Remember We were three mothers standing in the cul-de-sac chatting about trivial things. Ripe strawberries, dogs, lost socks, dinner. The 5 children (1 girl and 4 boys), were playing kid stuff that involved running, stopping, yelling, bossing, and more running. We ladies were in the middle of a good laugh when my neighbor to the south glances at my front yard. Faster than a gate can swing shut in a cough of wind, her mouth fell open and her eyes widened to maximum orbit. She tried to say something, but only a few scratchy rounded vowel tones emerged from her tonsils. Her hands, though, were making small circles in the empty air as if they were grasping for something unseen.

My neighbor to the north and I stopped talking and turned around. We wanted to see what awesome or shocking thing had this mother of an adorable 6-year-old girl so speechless and so stupefied. Having had brothers and currently raising a boy or two, we just burst out in laughter at the sight.

“There he goes again,” my north neighbor stuttered between giggles.

I tapped her arm twice, struggling to birth some words between laughter. “Just watering.”

My southern neighbor finally closed her mouth enough to huff and puff a few times. “Did you see that?” she asked, he voice rising an octave between her first and fourth word.

We giggled some more.

“Doesn’t he know better?” Miss South asked, shock evident in her voice.

I nudged my northern neighbor. “At least it was your kid this time.”

Miss North wiped her eyes. “Do we owe you any damages for the yard?”

“Only if the grass turns yellow,” I laughed.

“D-did you teach him t-that? I mean d-does he, he, he do t-that everywhere? D-doesn’t he know better?” Miss South clearly had her vocal cords back, although she was stuttering from the shocking display.

“We occasionally allow him in the house,” Miss North giggled.

“You allow that, that kind of behavior? I mean . . . don’t you care?”

“He’s a boy,” Miss North and I said in unison.

“That can’t be normal? Miss South protested.

“Perfectly normal,” I said. ‘Actually quite normal.”

Miss South shook her head. It was obvious that she was glad for her one well-behaved girl who didn’t flash the neighbors and compromise her modesty when her bladder was full. Unlike Miss North’s son, who paused in the middle of running to pull down his pants and flash a cute little white heinny while watering the ground, only to start running again before the pants were firmly returned to his middle. He was clever too, because he wasn’t tagged during the whole 12-second episode.

Little boys peeing outside are motivated by what? 

 

One way boys and girls are different is that the grass on the other side of the yard always needs watering and young boys feel it is their responsibility to personally douse it, and douse it good. Even if there is a just clean and sanitized bathroom only 50 feet away.

My little blond boy during the summer tells me he is going next door. Thirty feet past the front door he pauses long enough to pee, then continues to the neighbors. “Go in the back fenced yard,” I tell him. He nods and pees out front again. His friends come over and I see them peeing in the front yard.

I’m not sure anyone teaches little boys to pee outside under the canopy of the blue endless sky, but once they have done it, they will forever be drawn to the magical charm of peeing outdoors. And not just little boys.

One grown man in my house looks for opportunities to take advantage of providing water to nature. He’ll step into the back yard, and under the cover of blackness, relieve his bladder. Then he’ll stroll in and comment on the briskness of night air or the chirping of crickets.

As a teenager I was quite embarrassed that my much younger brother often peed off the front porch.

“Doesn’t he know someone will see him?” I asked my mother, “And then what will they think of us?”
Mom took it all in stride and didn’t seem concerned. She must have already learned that little boys  pee outdoors because they enjoy it.

My son says he pees outside because it is easier and convenient. No lid to lift, toilet to flush, or seat to piddle on and get chastised for. Clearly it is also just plain fun.

What to do about little boys peeing outside?

 

I am taking my mom’s attitude these days. It may be a bit shocking to the neighbors, but it has been happening for centuries.

I figure I can be remembered by my son as the mom who nagged him about peeing in the front, side, and back yard, or I can be remembered as the mom who remembered what being a child was like, and who doesn’t sweat the small things; a mom who encouraged him to laugh, play, finds joy in life, and didn’t criticize imperfection in her children. A mom who loved him unconditionally, even if he chooses to pee outside.

I also figure his wife may enjoy his descriptions of the stars on dark night.


This post first appeared at Kindred Mom

This post is an excerpt of an earlier podcast, Episode # 30 of Life as it Comes, Front Yard Spectacle

Thanks for stopping by. Have a lovely day and keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

Linking up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory); and Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope).  A Wise Woman Builds her Home, Pat and Candy, Messy Marriage, Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth), Missional Women, Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement) and Lili Dunbar (#FaithOnFire).