Seasons of Motherhood {A Guest Post}

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motherhoodbuttonI’m thrilled to have Christin with us this week for When Motherhood Comes Softly Series. As a mother of 5, she has much more experience than me! You can read more from this series by clicking the button to the left. We hope you are encouraged as you read about other woman as they struggle to grow into the role of mother by trusting in God day by day. If you would like to submit a post for this series, please read the introduction to this series and guest post submission guidelines. I look forward to reading your story!

The first few years of being a mother weren’t really that difficult for me. My first born was the easiest baby on the planet. A few years later I had my first son, who brought more challenges than I would’ve expected. The next three pregnancies kept me in survival mode for a few years. I got pregnant back to back to back and my goal was just to make it through the day and keep the kids fed. In 4 years I went from being a mother of two, to being a mother of five.

Now that it’s been 2 years since I’ve had my last baby, a new season of motherhood is unfolding for me. I’m in a place where my children can have more of me and I can function on a normal level. I’m not fatigued, I’m not hormonal, and I have no restrictions.

But the challenges have been great. Though they aren’t as taxing physically or emotionally, I am easing into being more of a full time mother.

Well, weren’t you a full time mother before?

Yes, I have always been the sole caretaker of my children, but I wasn’t 100% myself much of the time. I gave 100% of what I had to give, but I was probably operating at about 50%.

So now, being 100% myself again, motherhood is taking on a new season of growth for me and training in my children. We are no longer living in survival mode but are taking the steps to live intentionally and with purpose. The challenge is that I feel like a new mother in a lot of ways. It’s like I suddenly have 5 children that I need to raise rather than manage!

How does this look?

A shift in meal time.

Maybe that seems strange, but being in survival mode for so long meant that most meals were quick and more likely processed then whole and healthy (which take more time and energy to prepare). To help me shift our meal times, I’ve implemented a Meal Time Challenge on my blog. It is helping me to make goals each week to turn our once “quick meals with no mom engagement” to a memorable time around the table together, sharing in life.

Tightening up free time

My children were given lots of free time since I was so tired from pregnancies. I’ve come to learn just how this really isn’t the best thing for them. I once heard a saying said, “Too much free time is the devil’s playground.” When there is little direction involved in what our children are doing, it’s a temptation for trouble. In addition, it has created a lot more sibling rivalry then I’ve ever seen out of my children. Which brings me to my next change:

Teaching them to love one another

There is a major lack of respect for each other growing because I wasn’t involved enough to teach lessons, but would just solve the issues for them. (Which didn’t work by the way, because minutes later they were right back at it again). They simply need to learn what it means to love and honor one another.

These are a few of the things that I just have not been active in pursuing and now they are coming to a head. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, but it can really take it out of you for the rest of your family. It’s a good place to allow God to fill you and be your strength.

The Next Season

And now? God has called us to yet a new season. As we adjust to living in our current season, He is ever preparing our hearts for the season to come.

It’s important for us to realize that seasons come and go and we must be prepared to go when God calls.

So as we live and grow in this season, He is also preparing us for our upcoming adoption from Africa. You can read more about that here.

Right now, I don’t know exactly how that will look. I know it will be different than having and raising a traditional family. I know it will be more challenging and require more sacrifice. But I also know that God’s grace will not leave me and He is my ever-present help. He is preparing and equipping me for this new season.

I encourage you, mothers, to think about the season you’re in. To embrace it, yet realize, it’s not a season that will be around indefinitely. What is God preparing you for next?

Christin has a heart to encourage and equip women in aspects of discipleship, marriage, mothering, writing, blogging, and community. She sees the body of Christ as an important community of encouragement and discipleship and works to foster that around the web. Her biggest ministry is to her family and she knows how beautiful, hard, overwhelming, and exhausting mothering can be. Her passion is to encourage mothers who need a challenge or a lift (or both). She has been married 11 years and has 5 children ranging in age from 10 down to 2.
You can find her encouraging moms at her blog Joyful Mothering, helping women in blogging at Joyful Living Media, and chatting it up on Twitter as @ChristinWrites.

Linked with thanks at:
Miscellany Monday
Hear it, Use It
Playdates with God
Multitudes on Monday
The Better Mom
On, In, and Around Mondays

Heart and Home

Comments

  1. michy loving our journey says:

    Great guest post and series here…thank you for linking up today!
    I love the idea of accepting the seasons that change in motherhood…I am sometimes so slow to accept and transition and needed this reminder!

  2. Christine says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! We have a 5 year old, twin 2 year olds, a 13 month old and a one month old and I was so encouraged by this!

  3. Sarah Hempel Irani says:

    It took a little over two years to move from surviving to being a fuller mom for us. Some things that helped were to let go of my expectations and be more fully me. My family does things our way now and we are much better for it! My daughter was adopted from India and is our only child. The transition from no kids to a two year old with some deep emotional wounds was a very intense experience. Best of luck to you with your adoption. There will be many things that are the same as having your biological children, but somethings will be hard and different. It’s OK. Time is a great healer.

  4. God has definitely surprised me. We have two teenagers and were discussing earlier in the year what we would do when they left home in 4-6 years. A cruise maybe? Then we find out in April that we are expecting unexpectedly. What a blessing! God has shown us through this lil’ boy to never give up hope (as we thought we weren’t able to have anymore children) and while we will be raising another one from birth, we aren’t quite finished raising our oldest two.

  5. I love your testimony of motherhood here. Thank you for sharing :) I especially love you’re “live intentionally and with purpose” and the upcoming adoption. How wonderful :)

  6. messymarriage says:

    I’m always amazed at the wisdom of the young mommy bloggers out there. When I was a young mom, I didn’t think through the many ways I needed to prepare my boys for adulthood–at least not as thoroughly as you have, Christin. Now, i wish that I could go back and redo some things. But I trust Christ to be the great Redeemer that he is and complete what I did not start or finish in my boys. Great thoughts here! And thanks to Mary Beth, as well, for hosting your post today!

    • Wisdom is useless without action, though. ;) Anyone can spout out what we “should be doing”. My goal is to live with integrity and never share something I am not already doing or won’t do. God has blessed me with a vision for the needs my children have — but it’s up to me, ultimately, to act upon that. Thank you so much!!

  7. Christin-What a timely post for me to read this morning. I am in a season of 4, 2 & newborn plus 2 school age children. We are finished bearing children & that feels like a new season to me. Maybe closure of sorts. Thank u for ur honesty in sharing “survival mode.”It’s nice to know I’m not an isolated survivor. :)

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