Mother’s Day, a time to reflect, appreciate, honor moms and finally proclaim moms CAN find any misplaced item!
Seriously, Mother’s Day, can spark intense emotions, they flood our hearts and minds as we think about our mothers and examine our journey of motherhood. God uniquely created moms and women nine general, with a blend of super sonic strength, soft sweet love, and a fierce protective spirit. Sprinkled on top is a magical ingredient that extends our energy long past the life of our batteries.
As we dedicate this blog to mom and all the ladies out there, we are compelled to include anecdotes about our children and a plethora of unsolicited advice, that seems to happen quite naturally as our pregnancies become apparent. When our first baby arrives, we quickly come to the conclusion we weren’t as prepared for this job as we may have thought, which can deflate our confidence. After forty years of being a mother, I agree we are never really equipped, but that is why we lean heavily into our Father’s arms, because he is!
We asked some of our Northpark moms to share their answers to a few questions we posed about the funniest things their children have said, top moments that caused their prayer lives to increase, best and worst parenting advice they’ve been given. As each one shared, a smile escaped my lips at the realization we all share a sisterhood as moms, whether we have been one for months, or decades. Some of you have just begun this journey and I would encourage you to find steadfast friends to laugh your guts out with, spend time with, and most importantly to hold you when parenting hurts.
You will find some of those moms at church, and here are their stories: (*my personal commentary is in red)
The funniest thing Harrison has said is when he points to my belly button and says that is where his little sister came from. (Wait until you have to really explain that!) My prayer life has increased as his love for irritating his little sister has increased. The best parenting advice I ever received was, “my best is good enough.” I quickly found out mom guilt is real, and I know I can be very hard on myself. If I am giving it my best and it works for me and my family, that’s good enough. As a new mom, I would hold my babies all the time, even while they napped. I would have multiple people tell me I should put them down and not hold them as much. I would always reply with “there will come a day when they aren’t going to want to be held, so I’m going to hold them as long as I can.”
The best advice I was given is that everything is washable. Clothes, floors, counter tops, even kids themselves. Let them get dirty, let them explore. It’s worth it. (So true Bethany, even toothpaste as hair gel washes out, not easily mind you.)
My son tells me all the time, “Mommy I want you to have like five more babies, like a whole lot of babies.” (I am a mom of five and I can attest to the fact that the twins were a direct result of their older brother’s very specific prayers. Be careful!) Braylen has increased my prayer life in a sweet way as he initiates praying over his food at the table, a great reminder to me. My best advice was to be consistent, which by the way is hard when you are driving – this brings me to my worst advice received. I was told that if the kids are misbehaving in the car just pull over and spank them right then. I have found this approach does not work… they just climb over the seats and to the other side of the car out of reach.
We were living in Brooklyn, in a rough area with a lot of crime. There were a few instances where we had close calls, but made it safely home. One day my oldest daughter, who was about 5 at the time, asked if we were going to die or were going to get shot. Right then, I decided it was time to move. My prayer life increased a lot, I was baptized, and then moved to N.C. My best advice was from my mommy and grandma who always told me, “You’ve raised them right, all you can do now is talk to them, guide them and always pray for them!” (Great advice, Angela, for all moms!)
Some advice I was recently given, was not to give in to my toddler’s crazy dinner requests. My response – “Are you nuts? Sometimes popsicles for dinner are A-OK! If it keeps the peace and the other family members can interact with one another and enjoy their meal without a tantrum throwing toddler on the floor, I say go for it!” (We have all been there. I have proven you can keep a child alive on nothing but macaroni and cheese for an extended period of time.)
A mom post from Facebook past: “The MOST horrible thing….a melt down at the store. Every Walmart needs a screaming baby and today it was mine. Thank you to the kind older couple in front of me in line that ignored the snot that flew onto them, assured me that things do get better, and started tending to my groceries as I tried to discreetly hide my own tears. Yep. God is good…and so is a nap.”
And also his great conversation with my 7 year old son right before his sister was born – Ian: “I’ll still get the birth-right, right?” When I asked what is a birth-right he said: “Dad’s I-Pad, Wii, & any cattle we get later on.” Me: “What about the two Right Track Academy businesses we own? Don’t you think one day you would like to take over the family business?” Ian: “No, she can have those. I just want the cool stuff and the cattle. Could I get my birth-right right now?”
Having five kids, means more hilarious, ridiculous, and unbelievable moments than I could ever begin to share, or actually remember! From the first baby’s arrival I was put on my knees in prayer, and honestly some times I say I may have to quit my job and just stay there. My firstborn, (the same one who prayed for twins) would often answer the house phone (no cell) if I was occupied nursing his twin sisters, by proclaiming, “My mom can’t come to the phone right now. She is milking the babies.” Just hang a bell around my neck and call me Bessie. That same boy also sat with me outside his sisters’ bedroom door as I sobbed feeling defeated and overwhelmed. His simple words, “Don’t cry mom. They’re just babies,” and his hug gave me strength for another day.
Thank God for children who teach us mothers how to simply live out a childlike faith.
Moms, Grandmas, Aunts, Sisters, Daughters, Ladies, friends – you are loved and respected. Those who wish to be moms, we are praying for and cheering you on. Those who have lost moms, we care and feel your sorrow. Those who did not have a great mom or one that was absent, the women of this church want to help fill that void.
Our prayer for every mother, “Let her who gave birth to you rejoice [in your wise and godly choices].” Proverbs 23:25b
Happy Mother’s Day
With love, from your Northpark family