- How many children do you have? I have 3 children.
- How old are your child(ren) OR how long have you been a mom? I have a 9-year-old daughter, a 7-year-old son, and a 20-month-old son.
- Are you a mom of girls, boys, or both? Both! One girl and two boys.
How does having this treasure of Christ influence and transform your approach and ability to mother?
Having a relationship with Christ puts motherhood into a deeper perspective. For one thing, it helps to know I’m not alone in my motherhood. When I am weak, He is strong. When I lack faith, He is faithful. When I am overwhelmed and don’t know what to do, I can turn to Him for wisdom.
I have the ability to lean on Him and allow Him to help me and guide me through my parenting. And, because of His love, I have the ability to truly know what love is and extend that kind of love to my own children. There is no greater blessing than this.
What do you struggle with the most as a Mother?
I struggle with not giving myself enough grace. Many nights when I lay my head on my pillow, I think about all the things I could have done better that day. The things I could have said differently. The times I lost my patience or was a little too harsh in my words. I often feel like a failure as a mother based on my actions.
Yet, kids are some of the most forgiving humans on the planet. No matter how the previous day went, they still need and want “mommy” the next day, they’re always ready to offer a hug, and always have a smile to share. Often, they’re such beautiful reflections of God’s grace toward us.
Did you experience postpartum blues / depression? If so, how did you seek out support or overcome?
After giving birth to my first child, I struggled to really enjoy her for the first 3 months. Due to feeding issues that led to pumping, bottle feeding, and attempting to breastfeed (all of these at the same time!), I wasn’t sleeping, minimal tasks were overwhelming, and I was really disappointed in my new role as a mom. I remember when people came to visit, they’d smile and enjoy her as they snuggled with her. But when I held her, I felt I only had tasks to do– tasks that I wasn’t even doing well, and I didn’t have the luxury of truly enjoying motherhood. I believe I had postpartum depression then, but it wasn’t diagnosed.
While pregnant with our third child, I felt depressed and had a lack of motivation on and off, which leads to believe I had perinatal depression. After giving birth, these feelings continued and I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. It was almost helpful to put a label on it, as it helped me to feel like I wasn’t just “crazy” or uncontrollable.
I had similar feeding issues with this child as well, and I learned that breastfeeding was a huge trigger for my depression. My lactation consultant actually suggested that I speak to a therapist for several weeks to talk through everything I was feeling. Although I was hesitant at first, it happened to be the best thing for me. Sharing things with someone who didn’t know me, who could be encouraging, yet objective was what I needed. And, this therapist even helped me learn about a hands-free, mobile breast pump option that allowed me to breastfeed for my son’s entire first year (something that I was never able to do with my previous children). Several weeks after my therapy sessions ended, my postpartum depression was gone.
My advice: (1) Pay attention to what triggers “set you off” in terms of your depressive feelings. Do your best to avoid those things, if possible, or find a way to make doing those things less stressful (as I did with adjusting my feeding plan/methods). (2) Find a close friend who can encourage you and check in on you regularly to see how you’re doing. I had a close sister in Christ do this for me, and receiving her texts was a sweet encouragement to my soul. (3) Don’t be afraid to seek professional help. (4) Know it gets better. Be patient with yourself.
What does your family devotion time look like?
With children at different stages of learning, family devotional time can sometimes be tricky. We’ve tried different methods in the past, different devotional books, and videos. The key is to find something that works best for your family.
Beginning with prayer is non-negotiable. The enemy wants nothing more than to steal away the hearts of your children, and distraction and misbehavior during devotional time is an easy way to keep them from soaking up God’s Word. We pray against the spiritual warfare that comes during this time and that our children would learn what the Lord wants them to.
What we’ve found to work for us is to read through a passage in their Bible. After reading, we discuss what we read and ask questions. We then give them an assignment that they need to complete on their own before our devotional time the next day. It may be making a craft, drawing a picture, or a writing assignment to go along with what we’ve just learned from the passage. They present this to us at the start of the next day’s devotional time. This keeps them thinking about the passage long after devotional time is over and helps them put the pieces together.
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 Shanna) 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,