SummaryEmily Molitor shares wisdom from her mom, that is, we need to focus on taking our days just one at a time. There is grace to be found anew every single day.
Editors Note:Originally published April 15, 2015.
I have only been a stay at home mom for three years now, and am aware that I am just beginning my journey in my vocation as mother.
Through these three years, I have encountered struggles and experienced things which I have found to be crucial to my well-being, and I would like to offer them as encouragement to the many other young moms out there.
1. I Know How You Feel.
First of all, I know how you feel. The days can feel oh so lonely and long. The winter months in particular seem to drag, and the idea of entertaining our babies for one more hour sometimes feels unbearable. It’s okay to want to cry and vent, and it is perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed. So don’t ever think that it’s just you.
We all yearn to receive recognition for what we live out each day, and yet the payback is not usually apparent. Truly, our children are our reward.
When we look into their beautiful faces (even grumpy little faces) we know that we would give anything to make them happy. This is the grace of God at work in us; the pouring out of ourselves for the other.
If we could see with the eyes of God, we would realize just how beautiful we are to Him in these moments.
2. We Need Support.
The loneliness of motherhood can feel overwhelming, and we really do need community and support. Whether we reach out to others online, via telephone, or face to face, what is important is that we do reach out.
Sometimes we expect friends to come to us, to find us first, and it is in this way that we often become depressed or feel isolated. When we experience the desire for personal communication with others, perhaps it is the voice of God encouraging us to reach out beyond our comfort zone, and to offer support or compassion to another.
We can also find encouragement and can battle the feelings of loneliness by listening to an audio recording, when we may be unable to sit down and read. One way that I have found to be helpful during long afternoons is to turn on Catholic radio or online talks and podcasts.
I am still able to attend to my children or household work, but my mind is engaged and active, which helps give me more energy and enthusiasm for the day.
By listening to something which is intellectually or spiritually stimulating, I don’t find myself feeling so alone.
3. Find Joy in the Small Things.
Moms need to work hard to find glory and joy in the smaller things of life. Look forward to an evening with a cup of tea and a good book, instead of dreaming of a tropical getaway. Plan a special meal for your husband. Start a journal and write down all of the cute things that your child does each day.
Seek to find gratitude in your heart for it all. Often, we have to beg for a spirit of gratitude, and ask God to show us the moments where we can offer praise to Him throughout the long and stressful days. We feel like failures, but my own mom always reminds me that we need to focus on taking our days just one at a time.
When we look ahead to the months and years, we are more likely to feel disenchanted or discouraged with life. We need to strive to recall the beautiful truth that each day builds a bridge to heaven, and it is a never just a repeat of the day before. There is grace to be found anew every single day.
4. Find Time for Prayer.
Most importantly, we need to find time for prayer. Whether it is early in the morning, or late in the evening when our husbands come home, we should turn to God with all of our hearts and really talk to Him.
We hear this all of the time, I know, but do we really work at it, and do we engage in a conversation with Christ about all of our ups and downs? Perhaps if we recommit to prayer, we will discover a wellspring of joy and patience that we didn’t know we had inside of us.
5. Have a Hobby!
Finally, it’s good to have hobbies. I know that it is difficult to find time to pursue intellectual or physical hobbies, and we often must forego our desires in this area to attend first to our children.
Yet I have found that when I do have free time, it helps me immensely to do something productive, and something which I find to be enjoyable. It may be reading, music, crafting, or cooking, but whatever it is that brings you a sense of satisfaction, don’t hesitate to close your computer and do it. We will come away refreshed and with a feeling of accomplishment.
These are only a few ideas and points concerning the journey of motherhood, and I know that there are many wise and experienced stay at home mothers out there who only want to be there for us and to inspire us. I hope that we will take advantage of their prayers and encouragement to stay the course.
You and your beautiful families are our inspiration!