Oxygen & Encouragement for MOMS – part 2

I love to laugh, and I find popsicle jokes funny! As a mom or grandma, keeping a sense of humor is helpful.

Here are a few quotes to make you smile before we dive into motherhood.

  • “You know you’re a mom when you understand why Mama Bear’s porridge was cold.”
  • “My kids wanted to know what it was like to be a mom, so I woke them up at 2 am to let them know my sock came off.” 
  • “Silence is golden. Unless you have kids, then it’s suspicious.”
  • “At bedtime, my children turn into dehydrated philosophers who need a hug.”

Have you been there, done that, and can you relate? Me too!

Some seasons of motherhood just plain wear you out. Do you ever feel the need to escape, regroup, get it together, push the reset button, straighten out one or all of your kids, and put your priorities in order?

I remember being so overwhelmed that I thought, “What if I just got sick, not too sick, but enough to get into a hospital? Then I could sleep, a nurse would bring me my meals, and I could just lay there and rest!” (Pretty pathetic, I know!)

Of course, if you’ve spent time in a hospital, you know how noisy and intrusive they are. Someone is constantly interrupting you with the need to check vitals, bring in medicine, or change a trash can. It was silly, but at the time, I just wanted rest!

Here is what I found worked for me instead of a hospital.

When I feel overwhelmed, I take a mini-retreat. When my boys were young, I’d check in with my husband and arrange to have a half day on a Saturday morning to get away. 

My mini-retreat is taking a cup of coffee, a notebook, and a pen and finding a quiet table at a park. Being out in the fresh air with nature revitalizes me and allows me to think.

I assess how things are going with my life, marriage, and kids. At first, I journal. I write down my thoughts, frustrations, concerns, and hopes, what is going well, and what needs to be improved.

Once I’m honest with myself, I begin to list what my “ideal self” would look like: spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally. 

I’m not comparing myself to anyone else. This process is simply looking at who God created me to be, then asking how I can live this out.

For example, when I was a young mom, I wrote in my journal that emotionally, I’d like to be balanced, slow to anger, and not easily upset or rattled. I want to be positive and self-controlled without raising my voice when parenting.

After I worked on my goals, I would write out each of my boys’ names, making a list of issues we needed to work on to build their character or correct their course. Some years when I’ve done this exercise, I’d have a son’s name listed, along with a long list of things to work on.

To avoid overwhelming him or me, I chose the top three issues to work on intentionally. I did this for each son. An example would be: 

1. “Focus on reaching and changing ____’s heart, do not focus on his outward behavior.” 

2. “Correct ____’s negative attitude.” 

3. Discipline and train _____to stop lying.

This process made me feel like I wasn’t being tossed about on a rough sea, out of control. Instead, I felt focused and purposeful. 

Once I had a new plan for each area of my life, I would pray over it and ask God to give me the wisdom, strength, and energy to be the best wife, mom, and follower of Jesus I could be. 

Then I would head back home feeling clear-headed, refreshed, and determined. I would also share my new plan with my husband, so we would be on the same page with parenting our boys.

A mini-retreat and self-care are like oxygen for the soul. Whatever season you are in, I encourage you to get away for a couple of hours or a whole day to take inventory and set some priorities for yourself. 

The endless grind is exhausting, but when you live within your priorities, you’ll tend to feel that your life has more meaning and purpose.

Whether caring for your children or grandchildren, this verse helps me remember a truth that gives energy to my work.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)

Moms wear a lot of hats, right?! The family nurse or doctor, nutritionist, chef, chauffeur, counselor, house cleaner, home school teacher, home re-stocker (how does that toothpaste and toilet paper magically appear in the bathroom?), team mom, room mom, snack coordinator – you get it.

All you do each day may not get the appreciation that you deserve, but there is One who sees your sacrifice and service.

You can parent confidently, knowing that God is with you and He sees you. Your investment of time and energy is filled in by God’s love and grace.

God knows and loves you. He loves your children even more than you do. 

He created each of them and has a purpose and a plan for them. He entrusted your children to you to teach, train, love, nurture, and grow them, but in our shortcomings, God has them and fills in any gap.  

Let that sink in. It is not all on our shoulders. Our children belong to God.

You are the most influential person in your child’s life. Even when you feel like you fell short or failed, your unconditional love and care for your children shines through, and God fills in all around with His grace (unmerited favor).

Moms, may you feel cherished and honored for being the fantastic, dedicated, hardworking mom you are. God sees every effort, kind act, a teaching moment, sacrifice, and prayer spoken, and He says: “Well done my good and faithful servant.”

Would you pray with me?

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for this dear mom, who you love and adore.  Thank you for the privilege of being a mom, and raising children at this time, and for your glory.

Please encourage this mama’s heart, give her strength and grace, and may she feel your presence and power as she continues on her journey through motherhood.

I ask all of this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

What is your favorite way to be appreciated as a mom? Please share in the comments below.

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3 thoughts on “Oxygen & Encouragement for MOMS – part 2

  1. Renee Dodd

    Oh my goodness, this was sooo good! I loved that prayer at the end. Totally touched my heart. I also loved the verse and printed it to have next to my work computer. I loved that too.

    Gosh, I can so relate to you about back in the early years craving a full night’s sleep with no interruption. I used to dream about a night alone at the Apple Farm Hotel. I also used to wish I’d end up in a hospital so I could have meals brought to me and get to sleep. I was actually just sharing that exact story with Courtney yesterday.

    Such great ideas to self-reflect on your mini retreat. I have never done that with goals and ideas for each child and myself/husband. Wow, that is so good and intentional. My idea of a mini-retreat would be more like an hour massage and facial with no one talking to me and just relaxing/sleeping and getting pampered!

    My favorite way of being appreciated as a mom is words of affirmation. I love when my kids or husband tell me I am doing a good job and I love when they are specific about what they appreciate about me. It puts a spring in my step and makes me want to do even better. I love being a mom. Even with all of the exhausting days, it is the best, most fulfilling job on earth.

    1. LeannSeale Post author

      Thank you for sharing that Words of Affirmation give a spring to your step and wind in your sail. You nailed it… the specific examples of ways your family appreciates you is life-giving and truly cause you to do even more and be even better. You are a very intentional and excellent mom, and you deserve to be praised! Thank you for reading and remembering life back then… but parenting never stops. Motherhood is the life-long job. Happy to be in it with you.

  2. Lorie Porter

    Whew, another good one. Still wiping my eyes. I’m sure I heard it from you and Nee, but I too wanted a night or two in the hospital (maybe that’s just a mom thing?). I’m with Renee on my idea of a retreat is a day at the spa, relaxing by a pool, and a nice dinner out! But your idea is much more productive.

    I always thought acts of service was my go-to way to feel appreciated, but Hannah wrote the sweetest letter to me this year and I think I’m with Nee on the words of affirmation. It made me feel so good to hear her kind words. Matt did cut daisies from our front yard, cleaned the house, did the laundry, and trimmed the trees. His version of “free gifts”. 😉 So, I got both and felt very fulfilled this Mother’s Day.

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