Mommy Monday: You Are Worth More Than You Know {Part 3: Quality Over Quantity}

posted in: Motherhood, Womanhood | 0

Happy Mother’s Day! Did you wake up yesterday excited to celebrate motherhood? If you have children, did you look at them at some point in the day with an extra glimmer of gratitude? Did you appreciate your husband more tenderly as you reflected on the gifts you share with him. I hope at some time in the day you experienced one of these sentiments.

How did you wake up today? Did you have that same feeling towards motherhood? Yesterday doesn’t have to be a one-day-a-year kind of celebration. Mother’s Day is not the only day you can rejoice in your magnificent role. But — it’s Monday…I have to wonder.

I have been working through three questions that probe at some deeper thoughts relating to motherhood. If you didn’t read the first post in the series, it might be helpful to look back and also read through the first question I answered

When dialoguing with Moms about common struggles in motherhood, many times there is not a quick fix. We often boil over and when we do it is the result of a combination of things weighing on our soul. I am not prescribing my answers as solutions to your challenges in motherhood; rather to encourage you to explore your struggles further. Motherhood is dynamic — both perfectly wonderful and miserably hard at the same time. My goal is to be helpful, to provide encouragement and to equip you with practical tools on your own journey.

In continuing with this series, “You Are Worth More Than You Know,” the second question I ask Mamas who are feeling overwhelmed by motherhood is:

Can you let one of your other roles go for a season so that the responsibilities of motherhood lighten?

Most of the time, when we are feeling stressed as Moms we look outward for help. We suggest our husband needs to do more, we complain and desire a maid because we can’t stand being in our messy homes, and advice is often to just hire some help. My thoughts are often counter-cultural when I challenge women to do less everywhere else so they can do more in their direct sphere of influence {especially during a hard season of motherhood}.  Less is more? Wait what, Johnna, didn’t you just share in Part 2 that we need to ask for help? I’m confused. Yes, Mom, you do need to be able to ask for help. But there is a difference between taking help in a hard season, and relying on it for sustenance.

The following thoughts may seem loaded, but realize I want to respect the authority of your family’s choices. If you are still reading, consider my questions as an additional perspective for consideration rather than condemnation. There are multiple issues that can surface in this idea of “do less.” Everyone has their own family and your family is unique and — it is yours. Whether you are the Stay at home Mama, Working Mama, Work From Home Mama, Take Your Baby to Work Mom, Homeschooling Mama, Public School Mama, Private School Mama…on and on. Please know that I do not want to imply there is one way to raise a family and that I have found that way.

Nevertheless, let me get to the point.

When I write about “doing less,” we mothers need to look at our own lives and filter it accordingly. I know what “doing less” looks like in my life and so I will pass that on. However, doing less might look VERY different in your life. I have learned so much from all types of women and families.

When Moms are pressed to attend this group, that class, this meeting, that playdate — it becomes overwhelming very quickly. We all know that feeling. We look at the calendar for the week and say “Oh wow, I have a pretty free week.” Then all of a sudden the week is over, we feel exhausted, and the family suffers from our frustrations and the lack of intimacy. We try to recover on the weekend if we are not too busy. As a person inclined to make lists and check the items off, I have learned the value in ‘doing less’ in my own life. I love my lists, I love doing a lot of activities, but it takes great discipline, courage and self-control to say, “No.” Especially to things that are good. Good is often not best for us in particular moments in our lives.

Some of the greatest advice I received from a mentor nearly 5 years ago when my husband was deployed was, “Johnna, you very much could be doing all of that, but should you?” Should you? Coming to grips with what I can do, versus what I should do provided a whole new perspective on time management and a lot of freedom in motherhood. There is so much noise in our lives. I may be contributing to some of that noise right now. Go here, put your kids in this, do that co-op, have friends, read to your kids…how do we fit it all in?

Moms, it is OK to have nothing on your calendar — and then to strive to keep it free on purpose. And Moms of multiples at young ages, I would even dare say that it would be GOOD for you to keep a very minimal schedule. You are not lazy. You are not “doing nothing” by staying home all day with your 3 kids under 3. I will finalize that thought in my last post of the series, but for now we are practically addressing how you can do less.

My guide to help me “do less” is Titus 2. In verse 4, it lists what older women should teach younger women. 1) Love their husbands and children 2) be self controlled and pure 3) working at home 4) be kind 5) and submissive to their own husbands. I filter everything on my calendar through that verse. I will briefly address this for now as there are great books regarding this verse and will gladly write a post in the future if anyone would like.

My thoughts often go like this…By the time I love my husband, love my children — well that takes a lot of time/talent/energy. Then if I need to get the kids to this place, can I do it without losing my temper (be self- controlled)? Working at home — that doesn’t mean I can’t work outside the home, but are the responsibilities I have established with my husband taken care of before I run out and leave him overwhelmed (that comes back to #1, loving your husband). Can I do any of this while being kind (to my husband, friends I am meeting with, my 5 children who I am corralling up to get their socks and shoes tied? I hope you get the drift. When I am asking these types of questions for everything that comes my way, it becomes a lot easier to SAY NO and do less.

No, I can’t get there in time without losing my self-control on one of the kids. No, I can’t sign up for that event without skipping out on something important I said I would do at home. No, I can’t meet with that friend this week without gossipping about so and so or slandering my husband. No, I can’t sign up to lead that ministry or group if my husband is concerned about it. 

I am not saying NO because I can’t do it, I probably could, but should I? Conversely, I am not saying no out of fear, laziness, perfectionism, or pride. “No,” is not a crutch to prevent sanctification or fellowship. It is to honor God and to use the talents I have been given for His glory. I pray Christian woman are running to the Word for clarity and direction when they are feeling overwhelmed. There is so much more to glean from this topic and plenty of other verses that address it. The Bible is enough for us and provides answers to any problem we face. I hope you can see there is wisdom in doing less and that the Creator hasn’t left you to wonder. He has called you to motherhood to refine you and motherhood does just that.

Looking forward to answering the last question next week and finishing up this series!

With All My Love,

Johnna

Here is me on the job.

 

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