Fourteen Random Thoughts About Motherhood

In honor of Mother’s Day yesterday, I thought I’d publish a list of thoughts I’ve been writing down as I spend the days with my kids. They’re personal, mostly gleaned from my own experience but some from conversations with other moms. This is not meant to be parenting advice, unless you just want to it to be! Instead, these are simply reflections, reminders, and (some) hot takes I’ve developed over the last 4.5 years of being a mom.

1) I did not realize how much I would love being able to have conversations with my children. They’re young enough that I remember the days when they couldn’t talk, so I still have moments where I think about how much fun, and often hilarious, it is to talk with them.

2) I wish I had gotten off Facebook and Instagram earlier than I did. I can think of no redeeming qualities either of these platforms gave to my entry into motherhood. It was only detrimental to me.

3) I wish I hadn’t placed so much of my identity in, and caused myself so much anxiety over, how they were fed as babies. There are so many variables surrounding nursing or formula-feeding your babies. I wish I had recognized that up front and given myself (and my babies) a lot more grace.

4) Time is so fleeting. I’ve written about this before but the reality of how fleeting time is frequently hits me hard. I wish I could go back and tell myself how fast my child would start kindergarten. Related—I had no idea how dramatic I would feel about my firstborn starting kindergarten!

5) Parenting books are better than parenting-themed social media accounts. This may sound like a hot-take, and maybe it is. However, I think there’s an attitude with which we approach books versus social media that allows us to take the principles and advice found within books and apply it helpfully to our own circumstances. There’s too much baggage in the comparison game that is social media to make parenting accounts actually helpful.

6) It’s possible to begin habit formation with your kids early, and consistency is key. At the same time, kids aren’t robots. I wish I could remember that more often!

7) Not everything my kids do is a reflection on me. I believe it’s my responsibility to raise my kids and teach them how to act appropriately, but they’re still little sinners (as am I) and they act like it (as do I). When I view their misbehavior as a reflection on my parenting, I’m more likely to discipline them in a way that’s not constructive because I’m disciplining out of my own embarassment or frustration. (This can work in the reverse, too—for example, when I pat myself on the back for the good things they do instead of simply being proud of them.)

8) My kids help me see the world differently. They are fascinated by nature and will spend a lengthy amount of time staring at an ant hill or a spider in its web. They get excited to see squirrels or even the most common of birds. Through their eyes, I am reminded anew of how cool the Lord’s creation is.

9) You have to teach kids everything from how to walk while wearing shoes to emotional intelligence. I so take for granted things I just know instinctively about the world, forgetting that someone had to teach me or that I had to passively learn how almost everything works.

10) They’re paying attention, even if they don’t seem to be.

11) Whoever says motherhood isn’t intellectually rigorous hasn’t been asked a million questions by their four year old who, apparently, wants to know literally everything.

12) I am so thankful for the community I had when I become a first-time mom. When we first moved to Houston, I was newly married with no kids, but my first friends there were all “veteran” moms raising 3-4 kids each. When I had my first child, they were an invaluable source of support and encouragement as I navigated those first months and years of parenting.

13) The stay-at-home-mom/working-mom balance never really gets easier, as much as I thought it would. Balancing presence with my kids and faithfulness in my job requires so much intentional planning and it’s a constant learning curve as my kids grow. I am so thankful that I get to do both, though.

14) The common thread in it all, though, is this: God is sovereign and His grace is sufficient for each day. He loves my kids more than me and He loves them perfectly. So I can raise my kids with hope and in His truth, knowing that they are a gift from Him to steward to the best of my ability.

In lieu of comments, please contact me with questions or feedback.

Photo by Benjamin Manley on Unsplash