My mommy days are behind me now, and as I’m watching others in this special, yet demanding role, I have done some reminiscing over the years when my girls were young. I have plenty of regrets, as all moms do, but I’m not going to dwell on those, because I can’t change them, and because doing so would not fall under the Philippians 4:8 things I should think about! It’s in the past. But there are things that were so good about those days. As I think back, I remember things that we did that I would definitely do again, if I had the chance.
Here they are:
- Be a stay-at-home mom. I’m so thankful that I was there for all but 9 months of both of my girls’ lives. The nine months I worked were the longest months of my life! I hated being taken away from my family and my home. I was under a teaching contract, and I kept my word to the prinicple, but when the school year was done, so was I! My husband and I decided that it was best for me to pour into our own children, rather than someone else’s!
- Be relatively poor. Does that sound strange? I would have never anticipated saying that! Our churches did the best they could to care for us, but when the girls were young, things were tight. Very tight. As I stated above, I was a stay-at-home mom, so we lived on my husband’s salary alone. We homeschooled, so we had book fees and satellite costs, which were a large chunk of money every year that we never had on hand. We were in ministry all those years, and we needed time away – times to rest and refresh as a family and recharge our spiritual batteries and physical bodies. We had growing girls and we entertained missionaries and guest speakers, so groceries were another cost that stretched us. Where did we get the money for these things? We prayed. Our inefficiencies ran us to our all-sufficient God. He provided for us in amazing, life-changing ways! Had we had all the money we wanted or needed, it wouldn’t have taught us to depend on Him so greatly. Being needy turned into a great blessing.
- Read aloud to my girls. One way we entertained ourselves at bedtime, around the kitchen table, in the car, or on a blanket in the backyard was through books. We read a varied kind of books, and they were carefully chosen, and opened a whole world to us, even while we stayed home.
- Use God’s Word in discipline. We always sat down and talked with our girls in their bedrooms at discipline times. We explained from the Scriptures what they had done wrong that God considered sin. This kept us from acting quickly out of anger (we sent them to their room and we’d cool off before addressing the issue!). They knew it wasn’t just that mommy and daddy didn’t like what they did, but they saw it in God’s Word, and it guided their thinking and changed their behavior.
- Laugh and have fun. We had lots of laughs as a family. I should have laughed at myself more, but we shared many fun times around games, out in the snow, in the car playing the alphabet game, baking in the kitchen, or building a fire in the backyard.
- Be faithful to Sunday school and church. It’s not just because we’re a ministry family that we went to church. We love being in God’s house and with God’s people! Worshiping, singing, reading Scripture, giving our tithes, and fellowshipping with other believers helped all of us to grow!
- Show outward affection and say, “I love you.” We’re a “touchy” family, in that we hug and love on one another. Using words to express love between parents and children is so important. Our children learn how to love by watching us. The first place they should feel acceptance and unconditional love is at home.
- Leave the girls once in a while to go on a date with their dad. We were making a stronger home for them, and they lived through the trauma of it all! A parent can feel really guilty leaving a crying child, even though they’re in great hands with grandparents or other caring adults, but without those times away, your relationship will get stagnant, and you’ll only discuss things like empty milk jugs and unfinished homework!
- Spend time alone with God every day. When the girls were small, this time was limited, but I would read what I could and pray over each of my family. Sometimes it came a verse at a time, with interruptions in between. Sometimes my prayers were while I was ironing their clothes. It was then that I’d pray for the one whose clothes I was pressing. I often left verses on cards around the house so I could meditate on that passage. Those “little moments” fed my soul and kept my heart right with God so I could parent them and point my girls to Christ.
- Marry my girls dad. I let them know often how much I loved their daddy and how God brought us together. He had to be my first priority because that’s God’s order. Why? Because God knew that I’d be where I am today – an Empty nester, and He wanted my home to be just as fulfilling now as it was when our daughters were here.
And you know what?
What are you doing right now that you know you’ll be glad you’re doing as a mom? Keep doing it! What are you regretting? Ask God how to change it and watch for how He steps in!
Refresh your children by being the mom God will enable you to be by His grace.