- How many children do you have? I have two children.
- How old are your child(ren) OR how long have you been a mom? They are 23 and 27.
- Are you a mom of girls, boys, or both? I have one girl and one boy.
How is the treasure of Jesus transforming your motherhood?
When you first become pregnant, it’s all about you. How you feel, what you look like, the cute maternity clothes, and, of course, the shopping. It is all so fun!
Then the baby comes and everything changes; it’s not about you anymore. There is this precious life, a treasure of Christ, that God has given to you on loan. After a few nights of no sleep, poopy diapers, and hemorrhoids, you realize you are not qualified. Not by a long shot.
If you are honest, down deep you know you can’t be the kind of mother you’re supposed to be, especially on four hours of sleep. In fact, you don’t even know when you are getting your next shower, much less how to raise a godly child.
The sooner you realize this, the better it will be because being a mother means surrendering every day to God. It’s knowing you can’t do it without His wisdom and guidance. If you don’t have a prayer life, this is the time to start. You are going to need it, especially in the teen years!
What are some falsehoods that you believed regarding your role as a Mother?
I thought I had to have it all together. In fact, I wouldn’t go to our MOPS group at church because I was scared to meet other moms. I didn’t feel like I measured up. I thought I had to be perfect. That was such a wrong mindset. I missed out on some great friendships because I was fearful that I wasn’t enough.
What are some important conversations to be had concerning motherhood and emotional and mental health?
I struggled with postpartum depression after the birth of my second child. I also had a health issue on top of it. Eventually, I had to stop nursing and take medicine. I felt so defeated as a mother; it took about a year before I started feeling normal again.
During that time, I journaled and talked to a few friends about my feelings. It was the best thing I ever did. I realized there was more going on than just having a baby. I had some unresolved childhood trauma that was triggered.
Eventually, I went to a counselor.
Speak life to the mom who is weary and burned out.
The preschool and elementary years are physically hard. You are constantly chasing around kids, cleaning up after them, and trying to keep them from harm.
The teen years are even harder because you no longer have complete control anymore. You must take time away to recharge or you will be good to no one.
Take a long bath, get a hobby, and develop other mom friends. I joined a prayer group at church which was so helpful. Learn to set boundaries and say “no.” And have some fun!
What are some routines that help your day to run more smoothly?
Put your kids on a schedule.
I used Babywise when they were first born. Both of them were sleeping through the night at around six weeks. It was a dream! (No pun intended.)
When my kids were older, I realized a schedule was good during the summer and holidays. I’m a teacher so this came naturally, but anyone can do it!
Mornings we had devotions, chores, arts and crafts, playing outside, swim lessons or other activity, or friends over. The afternoon was filled with reading alone or together, room time or nap time, and screen time. Screen time was earned through reading and chores. I tried to keep their time on screens to a minimum. (I know it’s not easy, but they aren’t good for developing minds.) Your kids need to run, play, imagine, build, create, touch, dream, and learn how to get along with others. Screens rob them of those things on so many levels.
How do you handle the strong-willed child?
Strong-willed children are experiential learners. They won’t take what someone says to be true. Instead, they must find out for themselves.
Many times, they will challenge every single interaction you have with them, so it is important you reframe questions. Give them choices between two equally acceptable things. “Would you like the apple or the orange.” They need to feel they are in control of their life. Routines and rules written out on the refrigerator help.
Logically enforce the consequences when rules are broken. Listen, side-step power struggles, and respect how they feel. Do everything you can to keep your relationship intact without letting them run over you.
And don’t react when they are defiant, although internally you want to scream. (That one is hard!) One day your strong-willed child will direct all that energy into something great! Patience is the key.
How has God seen you through a “dark” period in motherhood?
My daughter had three concussions (Traumatic Brain Injury) within a very short period of time. She was in a dark room for months. Depression set in and left her lifeless. At one point, my twenty-one-year-old daughter was reading a third-grade book instead of attending her junior year at college. While it seemed horrible at the time, it was the best thing that could have happened to her.
As she slowly healed, God showed her His love for her and drew her back to Him. I am not going to lie; this season was absolutely devastating. But now I can see how God used it for His glory. Amazingly, throughout the process, I felt God tell me over and over again to trust Him. While I faltered at times, I did learn to let go and pray like never before.
Most of all, I saw God’s goodness as her restored her completely.
Since our inception in 2020, For the Moms has received over 2500 views in over almost 30 countries!
I am all the more grateful for the women (like Julie) who have chosen to join me on this journey of transparency. I can’t thank you enough.
For the Moms is an annual written blog series which aims to ignite and connect Godly Women in various stages of Motherhood toward the revelation of their Divinely given assignment and their impact as the gatekeepers of the home.
The purpose and mission is to elevate Christ and conceptualize Godly character in Motherhood – and to reach down and pull up those Mothers who are just starting, who are understandably worn, or who have somehow lost their way.
Further, For the Moms is a movement that is calling to attention the warriors within us for the times in which we live. We will aim to unravel the mistakes and cycles of generations past. We will wage war for our families. And, we will diligently seek the Lord’s face concerning His will for our children, and who we are becoming through our Motherhood.
My prayer is that the women who lay eyes on the For the Moms Series, will be encouraged, emboldened, and all the more hopeful.
For the Moms,