As a new mom, the suggestions and recommendations on the best way to raise your child can be overwhelming or even mind numbing making a mother fearful or doubtful of her abilities. Although it is natural to express concerns, especially since a baby does not come with an instruction manual, too much information can overload and boggle your mind. So how does one create a balance? Here are a few suggestions from a life long learning mom:
Educate and appreciate: There are literally hundreds of books on parenting. Some are better than others, but find one that fits the information you are looking for to help guide you through the expected childhood milestones. Then, set the book aside and enjoy every moment you have been given with your child. Take the time now. Set down the technology. Let the endless laundry rest. The dishes can wait. Instead appreciate the blessing in front of you.
“Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord.” (Psalm 127:3)
Don’t worry. Be happy: Kids are going to get hurt. That is one guarantee in life. It’s how you handle the hurts that matters most. An overreacting mom can turn a simple boo-boo into an overly dramatic experience setting up a pattern of reaction to future “owies”. Also, when you become anxious and worrisome, your child can feed off of your emotions. Therefore, turn your worries over to the one who knows your child best.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;” (Philippians 4:6)
Monkey see. Monkey do. Kids learn by example regardless if the model is good or bad. When your child sees you smiling they want to mimic your smile. If you are constantly fretting or complaining you will see the results reflected in your child even at a very young age. Instead of allowing life’s burdens to take you down, celebrate what you have rather than what you don’t. Encourage your child to “Be the Light” (B.T.L.) wherever they go.
“Let your light so shine before men,that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
Expectations are imperative: Being part of a family means to function as a team. Children love to help out and role play every day tasks especially at a young age. Give your child age appropriate chores to show them the importance of contributing to the family. Simple tasks such as emptying the trash can, carrying their laundry basket to the washer, or even putting away the clean silverware tells a child they are needed in this family and establishes a foundation for greater responsibilities in the future.
“Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4)
Develop Patience and Spread the Love: How such a small creature could cause moms to decline in their patience is one of those “God shelf” questions. Their constant demands can cause one to fall to their knees more often than visiting the refrigerator. Yet, God knew exactly how a tiny little being could not only grow our patience in a rapid manner, but also teach us what it really means to love beyond measure. Tell your child often how much you love them, even if you get mad at them sometimes, let them know that your love is not connected to your emotions.
“Love is patient and kind;…Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4,7)
Be encouraged, You are not alone in your journey into motherhood and that making mistakes along the way is to be expected. However, be quick to forgive yourself when you do because most likely your child has already moved on to the next activity while you are still trying to forgive yourself.
What advice would you give to a new mom? Would you share part of your story?