Ahhhhhhh, Remember the babes-in-arms days? In honor of all you glorious MOTHERS out there, Here's some freeing news and encouragement that will lighten your load! Gained from 28 years in the trenches. Including a few confessions (one of which could get me arrested in another country), and more than a few liberations. (And no, there's no gag factor here. We're not a perfect family. Never have been. Never will be. We just smile pretty.) You can watch the video just below here-----or the text is here as well!
1. When you're in the store shopping with your young children, and they're hanging all over the cart, and an elderly woman comes up to you with tears in her eyes saying, "Enjoy every moment, honey. These are the best years of your life!"—Don’t slit your throat. Don’t believe her. It DOES get better than this. Much better.
2. Don't wait for the "payback" from all you've poured into your children. Who knows what will happen? They may all rise and call you blessed---or not. Love them just as they are now. In doing that alone, your life is already filled with love.
3. You will emerge on the other side of diapers, teething, science projects, teenage angst. Your children will launch (those who are able.) AND, even better news, you will emerge from those kid-raising years smarter, more efficient, wiser, kinder, more empathetic, stronger than when you began.
5. Don’t be afraid of disciplining your kids. With 5 iron-willed boys and an equally headstrong daughter, consequences and even spankings were a daily fact of life in our household. My kids have grown up to thank my husband and I for our discipline. (Except—they say they got away with so much more than we know.)
6. How many children should you have? We planned on four, and ended up with six. My life is incalculably richer for every one of my children. My love was not divided between them; my love was multiplied. Distinguish between the short-term pain of bearing and raising children and the long term gain of bringing amazing people into the world. But---small families are beautiful as well!
7. Don’t get caught up in materialism when raising your children. They don’t need trendy new clothes, private lessons, a sporty car, the “best private schools” to have a fabulous childhood. Your time and your presence is the most valuable commodity you can give your kids.
8. Don’t just dress up for work or to go out. Dress up when you’re home with your kids. Put on makeup and jewelry, whatever makes you feel beautiful. You are beautiful. Give that gift of beauty to your family, who deserve it most of all!
9. Parenting isn’t over when your kids leave home. Give them plenty of space, know they’ll make mistakes, but they still need you as their cheerleader and support. Don’t stop sending cookies.
10. No one in the Bible had perfect parents, even the “champions of the faith” listed in Hebrews 11. Moses’ adoptive mother, hand picked by God, was an unmarried pagan Egyptian princess. Jepthah’s mother was a prostitute. Abel’s mother was deceived---and ate the fruit that lost us the garden. Our imperfections and limitations do not limit what God wants to do in your family. He will work His good purposes through all the gaps, the brokenness and imperfections.
BONUS: Children aren’t here to make us happy. They’re here to teach us how to love. And hasn’t it been a grand success, then?
What have I missed? You all know as much (or more) as I do. Please----add your wisdom below!!