5 Ways to Be a Better Mother

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I recently heard a woman (whose children are grown) lament that she wishes she could do things over with her children.  Sometimes I have those laments at the end of the day, wishing I could take back words or tones, wishing I had spent more time doing eternal things and less time stressing over the temporal.

Motherhood is hard.  And I don’t want to look back in 20 years wishing to do it all over.

Sometimes I think I’m not a very good mother.  The lies are whispered, comparisons made, and I can start to sink in a mire of self-pity.

But a new day dawns and not being one given to despair, I shake my fist at the enemy of my soul and remember  “greater is He that is in me”.

Then I regroup and refocus. I remember to keep the main thing the main thing.

Do you need a few mother reminders?

1.  Take time to deal with strife in the home, refusing the urge to just “make it stop”.  Use Scripture to address harsh words and selfish attitudes.  A few of my favorite:

  • “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones.”
  • “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
  • “Be kind one to another, with brotherly love, in honor, preferring one another.”

2.  Avoid distractions that hinder child training.  If necessary, let the phone ring.  Set strict parameters around your computer time.  Say “no” to excessive outside activities.  Be present, body and mind.

3.  Taking a walk on a hard day will do wonders to clear your mind and help you gain needed perspective.

4.  Put some space between incidents and your response to it.  Use opportunities of failure to teach repentance and humility.  Much worse than blowing it is the refusal to admit it and ask forgiveness.

5.  Assess whether you have emphasized team work in the home, with everyone doing his share.  If not, cheerfully reincorporate that into your daily training.  It will make a huge difference in how smoothly things run.

Life, learning, joy and growth. Those are the things we want to characterize our homes.  Yes, we fall down.  But warriors get back up again.

30 Responses to “5 Ways to Be a Better Mother”

  1. Kelly L says:

    great reminders! thanks.

  2. What an excellent post! Very good stuff! I just started my day walking with a good friend for an hour. Among other things, we were talking about the modesty issue, which you posted on recently.

  3. Lucy T says:

    Kelly ,I often feel the same.Thank you for reminding me too change my ways.It just seems like there isn’t enough time to fill my children with all that they need to know.I need to have more fun.They are growing up so fast.

  4. Nicki says:

    This was just what I needed!! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one out there that sometimes feels the same :) Thank you for being transparent! I love what you say…warriors get back up again! Amen!

  5. Jenny Straight says:

    Lucy – Exactly what I was thinking! I am constantly pulled between feeling that I am not “teaching” them everything that they need to know, and then feeling that I am focusing too much on academics, and letting slide the more important heart issues that God has truly placed me in their lives to teach them. God graciously let me have these children for a while, knowing my faults, but believing in me that I can “train them up in the way they should go.” Hard days, or weeks, are those that I lose sight of what He wants them to know, and focus on what the world says is important. I’m tired(I have 6 kids, ages 7 wks to 12,including one with special needs), my house is a mess, my husband works way too many hours. But I believe I am where I am because I am following Him, and if I truly seek to be led, I (and my children) will wind up where we should be.

  6. Lucy T says:

    Jenny, I read your comment with tears in my eyes and a pain in my heart .I have always tried to do everthing my way and then gave it to God when I failed.I know it must all be given to God I really don’t know why I have to be reminded so often.THANK YOU.

    You sound like an amazing wife and mother.I am praying for you today and thanking God for the way you have touched my heart.

  7. Diana says:

    Great reminders! Especially for me for today. Even just remembering that He has equipped me with all the tools and resources I need to accomplish what HE wants me to accomplish is a great encouragement.

  8. wannabegodly says:

    Thanks again for the reminders. It’s too easy to get busy and forget that our primary “busyness” needs to be dealing with sin and raising our children to honor and glorify God.

  9. Jenny Straight says:

    Lucy – Thank you! I can use all the prayer I can get! (Can’t we all?!) Today it is beautiful out here in Ohio, and I think, in the spirit of reminding ourselves what is important, I’m taking the kids to a park and letting the laundry and phonics lessons go ’til tomorrow! Praise God for sunsine!!!

  10. Lucy T says:

    Again Jenny,My husband and I decided to do the same.I have 10 loads of clean summer clothes to put away and about 6 of our 10 acres that need to be mowed but it will still be here tomorrow or when the kids are grown for that matter

    Kelly you really are wonderful.

  11. Kelly,

    I know you and I know your children, I don’t think you’ll have a lot of regrets in 20 years.

    Blessings!

  12. Word Warrior says:

    Kathy,

    Are you trying to make me cry? You’re always such a huge encouragement to me ;-)

    Lucy,

    I gathered my youngun’s too, headed out in this divine weather, and we sat in the field in front of the barn with 3 baby goats and several puppies frolicking around. I gave my most dramatic version of “Thanatopsis” and later on we drove to a strawberry farm to pick. We have had the best day together.(They still had to do math and English ;-) )

    Better go put up some berries now!

    So glad

  13. Lucy T says:

    Kelly, you are so creative.I wish you could bottle that and sell it.Mine still did math english and a few chores of course as well.We had a good time though.WE are all tired and ready for the pizza dad will be bringing home for dinner.It is so nice that my husbands second job is managing a mom and pops pizza place.Free food is always good.

  14. Jennifer says:

    What a beautiful picture :)

  15. Tricia says:

    Kelly, I think this is my favorite of all the posts I’ve read of yours. Beautiful! And the day you described here in the comments sounds mighty close to a perfect day to me!
    To help with number one (deal with strife), good literature with good examples of kindness (and even bad examples along with them, if read together and discussed) is a helpful addition (not substitute, though.)
    Also, please do remember that we do what we can do, we love Jesus and our husbands and our precious children, and we strive to grow continually and be examples of what we teach, but in the end, when of age, each of our children makes his or her own choices in life.

  16. Kim M says:

    Oh yes; I have those days too. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Gorgeous picture! You look radiant!

  17. Word Warrior says:

    Tricia,

    The literature idea you gave is so true!

  18. Heather says:

    I just sent you a Sunshine Blog Award. You can claim it here: http://llljourney.blogspot.com/2010/04/how-sweet.html

  19. Deanna says:

    We all get bogged down in thinking we have to do it all – guess what we don’t! I do not have to teach my children everything! Many things they will learn on their own…I am only responsible to do today what God has given to me today, that includes my interactions with my children and their academic and spiritual learning!

    So happy to hear that you all went and made memories!

  20. Michelle says:

    I love those scripture verses. Nothing is ever gained by harshness and force-except a rebellious heart fostered!

    #2 is something God has been convicting me of.

    I like the idea of going for a walk to clear the mind.

    #4 is something, through the grace of God I have been practicing for a while.

    I think it is key to preserving a quiet and gentle spirit. Not too many things require an instant reaction, unless there is a fire or someone is about to be hurt!

    So glad to have found your site! LAF is promoted on June Fuentes’ blog which is also a recent treasure I’ve discovered!

    Have a blessed weekend!

  21. Darcy says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I am behind in reading, but I think that was for a reason. I needed this today, not a couple of days ago! I just posted on Facebook and another site that I visit every day that I won’t be around for at least a week. I need to focus more on God and His Word instead of the internet.

  22. becky says:

    How can i be a better mother and put my kids first

  23. Eiley says:

    Hi

    Such a beautiful post, it has helped me so much, somedays I think i’m a crap mother having to work fulltime outside the home with 3 children between one and eight years of age. I try to do what stay at home mothers to in 3 hours of an evening which turns me into a mad woman I feel my kids are loosing out. Any advice please.x

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