Motherhood is serious business. There is no other task that has been so all-consuming as raising and tending to the 4 little lives God has entrusted to me. And yet, it can feel difficult to see my achievement and see the fruit of my labors. There is no Motherhood GPA, Degree Plan for Discipline, or Honors in Housekeeping. There aren’t clearcut expectations or performance reviews or promotions (unless you see the addition of a new child as a sort of promotion in itself!). So, how do you know if you are doing a good job? How do you increase your mothering skills, your homemaking capacities, and your child training strategies? How do you learn to adapt to your children as they grow and change, and meet the needs of their hearts?
I think the answer comes in many forms for many different people. But what I hope to suggest and encourage you with today is to TAKE THOSE STEPS. Fill your mind and your spirit with truth and solid advice, and don’t go at it alone.
My hope is that you will use all of these resources as avenues towards growing in your mothering. I hope they will give you the internal shift you need to wrap your mind around your role as a mom, and result in an external shift as well. To mom BETTER.
Real life moms.
There are mothers who have walked in your shoes. The best advice for “filling your motherhood cup,” so to speak, is to get together with some other moms. These may not necessarily be moms you would typically arrange a play date with, but moms who are a few steps ahead of you. Intentionally create relationships with moms whose kids you admire, who are a little older than yours. As you get to know them, you can develop a relationship and glean some of their tips and tricks along the way. One of my friends is a mom of 11. I see her maybe twice a month, and each time have something new that I come away with. I will sometimes text her an issue I am facing, and receive some heartfelt advice in response. This is such a valuable aspect of relationships, creating connections within the generations, but one that is often untapped in our age-segregated culture. Go against the grain – seek out other moms – and you will be richly rewarded with a wealth of wisdom!
The internet has also opened up an ENORMOUS amount of resources to us mothers in this day and age. While there may be plenty of poor examples out there, there are also some FANTASTIC ones. It is worthwhile to cull a list of meaningful mothers to read and learn from through their blogs. I have some suggestions here of some moms who have particularly impacted me with their posts.
One of the other benefits of the online community is that you can take “coursework” to develop your mothering skills. Whether you are struggling with discipline (who isn’t?), keeping up with the housework, or making dinner every night, there is an online course out there that could offer some guidance or at the very least provide some new ideas for you to consider! Another bonus is that many online courses include Q&A with the instructor, which may be the perfect way to tackle some of your parenting or home management questions.
This is one of my favorite ways to spend time in the car. The minutes often feel wasted, running errands and going here and there. But those minutes add up quickly! This year I’ve probably listened to at least 100 hours of podcasts. I have my favorites (listed here), and they feel like old friends when I flip on an episode. These are real moms, not some pretend screenplay, and their advice has propelled and prompted me to grow in my mothering in unparalleled ways. I always walk away with a unique perspective on some of the mothering issues I am facing (and it makes the time in the car fly by!)
As you feel you are running on empty, and need some refuel, consider looking for mothering instruction in these resources. It’s up to you: are you going to grow and be intentional with your time? Or will you stay the same, doing what you’ve always done, and making the same mistakes you’ve always made? I believe there is more for you, each day, as you pursue this worthy calling of mothering and press on towards being a BETTER MOM.