If I could write a letter to my young mom self, the woman struggling to see beyond the diapers and sleep deprivation which defined my life 10 to 14 years ago, I would tell her the following…
It’s going to be okay. Those late nights, those salty tears, those frustrating and overwhelming moments, they won’t last forever.
At some time or another, we’re all tired. We’re all scared. We’re all filled with doubts and overcome by guilt. Trust me – you’re not alone in these feelings. So don’t bottle them all up inside. Share them with a good friend. And don’t forget to share them with the Lord. He’s waiting to hear your heart.
Know that it’s okay to ask for help. So swallow that pride and admit you don’t have it all together. For everyone’s sake.
Strive for perspective. Not perfection.
It’s okay not to have all of life planned out. Leave room for the Spirit to work. And know that sometimes fear and uncertainty can be good motivators too.
You don’t have to know it all … and remember, you don’t know it all. So be careful when talking about what has worked for you with other moms. This goes for nursing, diapers, potty training, manners, discipline, school choices, family rules, work, marriage, and matters of faith. Don’t give glib answers or be too quick to Band-Aid situations with well-meaning insensitive statements. In 14 years’ time, you’ll realize how much you really don’t know and how much you still have to learn.
Yes, training those kiddos for tomorrow is important, but don’t forget that today matters too. I know you’re doing your best to simply survive. But what if you could thrive in this season? What would it take to make that happen? (Please note: This question may need a strong cup of coffee to accompany it.)
Hold on to your dreams and passions. Those things that make your soul come alive. Now may not be the time for your art to shine, but someday, that time will come.
Don’t just be the woman behind the camera. Be the woman enjoying the party too.
The laundry and housecleaning will always be there begging for your attention. Your children will not.
Take time to breathe. Regularly. No mama can survive without oxygen.
Instill a deeply rooted love for God and His people within your children. And don’t forget to water that same love within your own heart.
Don’t shy away from beauty, for it is the food that will feed your soul. Especially in the dark hours.
Be intentional. Be all there. Don’t let moments of joy pass you by due to busyness.
Hold your babies tightly and your expectations loosely.
Don’t compare your life to another mom’s. Trust me, it’s not worth it.
Love intentionally. No strings attached.
Know you’re doing a great job! So be kind to yourself. You may not hear such words of praise from children. In fact, you may not hear it from anyone else around you. But don’t do it just for them. Do it ALL for Him. Eyes fixed. Running in His direction. And no one else’s.
Keep in mind: This will all look a whole lot different in the years to come.
Most importantly, cling to Jesus. He is the glue that holds it all together. He is the tender hand wiping your tears. He is the strong Rock on which you can depend. He is all and in all. He’s got this. It’s going to be okay. I promise.
Sending hugs for the hard days.
P.S. – One more thing: There will be days you forget that you are a masterpiece. So hold that truth super close to your heart and live like the beautiful work of art that you are – holy, chosen, beloved, daughter of the Most High King. He’s got plans for you, girl. Good plans.