Each day as a parent can be one of extreme highs and lows, can’t it? Your child finally gets a truth you’re trying to teach him, and he obeys as a result! You are rejoicing! Then an hour later, he has spray painted the cat blue, dumped a liter of red soda on the carpet, and dropped your cell phone in the bath water! Since you really can’t lock yourself in the bathroom for the rest of the day (we’ve all wanted to!), what is a mother to do?
- Gather your children around you, sit down, and pray. Ask God to calm your heart. Ask Him to help the children to obey. Ephesians 6:1 Ask for His help and guidance. James 1:5
- Administer the discipline necessary for the disobedience. Proverbs 19:18 Note, this comes after you’ve calmed down and gotten your focus right. It’s easy to want to dismiss it due to your weariness. (We all know how much time and energy it takes to discipline properly!) However, if you let the disobedience or rebellion pass unnoticed, things will not get getter – they will only get worse.
- Look for an opportunity to have a brief break. If your children are of napping age, you rest while they’re napping. Don’t use this time to attack your list of “to-do’s!” Read a passage of Scripture, listen to some encouraging music. Drink a cup of tea, read a magazine, or do some little something you enjoy (scrapbook one picture even, make a card, work on a puzzle or crossword). You need to refresh yourself in a way that will help you to be ready to face motherhood again.
- Keep things structured for your children. If they have too much free time, trouble will ensue. You don’t have to plan out every minute, but keep a close tab on your children. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted from what’s going on in their world. Stay connected so you can stay on top of any attitudes or problems, and lovingly correct them.
- Plan for something fun to do with your children each day. Make a craft, bake something, take a walk while the children ride bikes, go to the library, take lunch to the park. These activities will give you and the children something to look forward to.
- Once every couple of weeks, get away from the house and the children. If you can’t leave the children with your husband, take turns with another mom so you can both have a morning away from parenting responsibilities. Go do something you love while you’re free!
- Make sure you’re getting up before the children and spending time with the Lord in His Word and prayer each day. Even if it’s 15 minutes, it will prepare your heart better than a three year-old waking you by poking their finger in your eye!
- Keep the children to a regular bedtime schedule. If they’re in bed by 8:30, then you and your husband will have time together, they’ll get adequate rest, and you can prepare some things the night before that will make mornings unfold much easier. Get the coffee ready, start breakfast by making muffins, or setting out the cereals and bowls. Pick up things around the house before heading to bed. Waking up to a clean, orderly home will help jump-start your day!
These things won’t make your days perfect, of course, but they’ll help things to run smoother. Take it from a mom who learned from her mistakes – you have to be a step ahead to win at the motherhood woes. The good news is, with God’s help you will make it – with a few extra wrinkles, maybe, but you will make it!
What are the most difficult times of your day as a mom?