DEAR Mother: A Letter to Myself as a New Mother
(What I would tell myself about motherhood now that I didn't know then!)
Oh sweet girl, congratulations! You have become a mother! Treasure each passing moment. Your son will change so quickly and you will forget so many things. Write each phase down on paper so you won't easily forget. Oh, your brain has now become a mommy brain and it functions way different than your old brain. You will forget stuff! So write!!!
Stare at your boy, because each day he is growing, changing. One day you will wake up and he will be grown.
Never look back. Never live your life in the "what I could have done" thoughts. Just learn from your mistakes and grow and change as a mom. READ lots of books on parenting to help equip you with ideas on how to be a better parent. Glean what works for you and teaches you something you didn't know. But be careful not to forget your main resource as a parent- the BIBLE- use truth as your main guide to become a godly parent.
Have fun!!!! Your boy will want to play outside, catch bugs, play in the dirt, and make funny noises with his mouth. LAUGH! Have fun with him.
Your heart will now ache in a way it has never ever ached before. It will ache for someone besides yourself or your husband. When your boy is sad, gets hurt, or gets his feelings hurt, you will hurt. You heart will ache. Long after your boy is comforted, you will still will ache for him after he has forgotten all about it. Don't dwell on the ache too long because you don't want his hurts to become what he identifies himself with or how you parent him. Failing, hurting, falling down....these are ALL ways God is growing him and you.
There will be days when you say to yourself, "I need a break." TAKE ONE! Learn to communicate to your husband that you need a break. Don't wait for him to see that you need a break. He most likely won't even be aware that you need a break. He can't read your mind. Just Learn to take a break for an hour to just breathe! Then rise up the next day with hopefulness and take it on with new eyes. Never give up teaching your child. You will feel like a broken record at times, but keep teaching.
Pray for mommy friends. Friends that you can grow in the LORD with and your kids can grow with their kids. This is a hard one. Because it takes work. Most women are already secure in their group of friends and find it difficult to step outside the group to deepen a relationship with a new friend. Don't give up trying. Focus on being a friend to all mommies you meet and never take anything personally. Mommies are busy.
Pour Scripture into your boys heart continually through reading, memorizing and songs. Talk about it during your day. Point his heart continually on knowing and pleasing the LORD.
Learn to talk to your boy each day. Give him time to tell you what is on his mind. You will be surprised in learning that he will begin to tell you things if you ask and just listen.
Don't worry your mommy moments away by focusing on the things your boy is having difficulty getting like potty training, leaving places and not sharing. He will get it. Be patient with him. GOD IS PATIENT with you!!!
Hold his hand as long as he will let you because one day he might not want to hold your hand. Hug and kiss him and tell him you love him continually. As fast as he came into your life and you had to learn how to care for him continually, you will also have to learn to let go. To let him learn. To let him gain independence. Your heart will hurt every time he does more for himself because you will know he is becoming less dependent on you. It's the way God intended. Jesus grew in wisdom, in stature and in favor with God and man.
There will be many days you wonder about your mothering. It's called "doubt." That's OK. It's totally normal. Don't worry about the "doubt" feeling. It comes and goes. The more your worry about "how" you are mothering, the less focused you become as a mother. Learn to replace your doubts with truth and prayer.
Discipline brings life and freedom to your boy. He needs boundaries. Learn what works for you. Determine a plan that you KEEP consistently. That means if you have to leave a playdate for him to learn the consequence of his actions, leave. Your boy needs to learn that he is not the one controlling your parenting. He needs to learn the word "no." God told Adam and Eve the word "no." He followed through with the consequence by expelling them from the garden. He knew best. So do you.
When you think everything is going well in your parenting. Don't get comfortable with that feeling, because everything can change in a minute. Learn to identify when your boy is moving from one stage of life to another. Appreciate the moments or days when there isn't change.
It's OK to not wash your hair some days. (Big earrings and lip gloss can distract every one's eyes from looking at your hair!)
Some days, a cookie is the best way for you to get a little more done in the home. (smile)
You will begin to have a feeling like you can't get everything done, like you are always behind. You aren't. Learn to take a few minutes to just breathe. Then, try to get done what is possible to get done in a day. Learn to make goals for your week and then pursue them. You will feel a sense of accomplishment in doing so.
Finally, at the end of the day, you are a GOOD parent. No one will give you a performance review. Stay teachable. Stay young at heart. Stay close to the LORD. Remember, feeling inadequate is how you learn. It's not a sign that you are a bad parent. It's a sign that you are teachable. Love the job God has given you and take it to heart. You have great purpose!