Friday, July 9, 2010

The Early Years of Motherhood: A Question For My Experienced Readers

A few weeks ago, I told you about two posts that stopped me in my tracks. What I Needed To Know When My Son Was One by FishMama and Martyr is Not Spelled M-O-M by Inspired2Action.

Fishmama's #1 point in her "letter to herself" was "Take a nap everyday."

That caught me by surprise.

But I kept thinking about it. And recently when Squishy is taking his afternoon nap, I've started making a point to slow down. To sit and read a book, write a letter, or just take a nap myself.

Wow. What a difference it makes! I am much less irritable or flustered in the evenings by the time Andrew makes it home. And somehow, even though I'm not spending Squish's naptime doing lots of stuff (my default setting), the day goes more smoothly and peacefully.

So, my question for the more experienced mothers reading is this: What would you do differently if you could go back and re-live your early years of motherhood? What advice would you give the younger you?

To the younger moms, what has helped you stay sane as a mother and wife? Or what do you struggle with in particular when it comes to all things mommy?

This post is linked to Finer Things Friday (because learning from those who have gone before you is a finer thing!) and Company Girl Coffee (I'm about to brew some coffee over here, ladies! Looking forward to it...).


  1. I have been better about getting the rest I need, but my biggest struggle is that it seems I can never get everything done! I read a post recently about busyness (how we shouldn't be), and I believe in every word, but I also want to have a clean house and spend time with my little girl and cook healthy meals to put on our family table. Not to mention reading my Bible, loving my husband, and trying to handle the odd project here and there.

    So I guess my question is, how do I balance all the things that are vying for my attention?

  2. Being a mom of three teenagers I'd do a couple of things differently if I could do over their younger years, not related to naps though. I'd follow more of a set schedule with my children. I think routines are good and seems like these days we are flying all over the place to activities. The children now have an attitude of, "I'll get to it mom on my own time." Second thing I'd do differently is give more chores at an earlier age. Trying to increase their chore list at the age they are now is very difficult. My kids are very good Christian children so I don't want to give the wrong impression of them, these are just two things I'd do differently.

  3. Ah, Audrey...what a question! I feel like all mothers are always asking that all the time.Balance is a constant issue... I think we are always learning about it.
    When I read your comment, I thought about how rest always has to go hand-in-hand with discipline. In order to even *start* to do all the things you listed we have to be disciplined to wake up, have a plan, etc.
    I find too that the more organized I am the easier that is...
    @Nancy: Thanks for what you shared. I remember loving schedule as a kid. But hey, I love it as an adult, too, so maybe you can't go by me...hehe.

  4. Thanks for visiting my blog! I love that because I get to see who you are and visit you! I will stop back again...your blog is so nice!
    I am a mom of 7 children....2 grown and moved out and 5 teenagers, one of which will be attending college this fall..gonna miss that boy...sniff! sniff!..
    I think if I could go back and talk with 'me' when the kids were young again, I would tell me to quit freaking out and making big deals out of molehills...I have learned a lot over the years and that is a a mom, we are the ones who create the atmosphere in our homes everyday, whether or not it is peaceful or tense. Our moods set the tone...spending each morning with the Lord has definitely helped me in this and my kids are for sure grateful that I have my quiet time! LOL!
    Be blessed!!

  5. I'm soon to be 24 Sept, and have 2 kids. I found that by joining a local playgroup with other moms (I was lucky to find one which has quite a few SAHM like me and can relate) helps me to feel younger and more 'alive'! The kids/babies play while the moms talk and I've found since becoming a SAHM it helps me to get out and interact with others! I always feel the need to get stuff done while the baby is sleeping but I really do need to take a step back and relax, I think my anxiety is what keeps me from settling down! :/ Great post as always :)

  6. For me, I would been easier on my oldest (she is 6 now) when she was a toddler. I was so hasty to "make her behave" because I thought that if she did not, it was a poor reflection on myself and on my mothering ability. I think I would have made more of a point to realize that she (or, now, they) are not extensions of me -- God created them a certain way for a certain reason. It's my job to mold them, but not to control their every move.

  7. Well I was told once by a very kind grandmotherly co worker that while you chores will always be there to do, your children will grow and move on, so instead of stressing over housework, try to focus more on them and being with them. Of course I have a very neat freak hubby who doesn't quite agree with that, but I do my housework little by little while the kids are awake mostly but I do it with them, I bring most of my chores to them and they help or just enjoy watching as long as I engage them a little. Both my kids LOVE the vacuum and watching me fold clothes (as they sometimes unfold!) Takes longer but at least we have fun! And during the one time of day both my kids nap, I do try to do something more relaxing as you mentioned. We all need down time! And during my young son's first nap, my daughter LOVES working out with me, I am still doing something for me and spending time with her!

  8. @Tiffany: I just joined a playgroup with the moms from the church we have been going to in our new town, and it has been so refreshing.

    @Jen: I think I will probably deal with the same tendency. Thanks for sharing.

    @Crystal: I love your approach! That's a good perspective to have.

    I've really enjoyed reading all of your comments...thank you!

  9. I am not there yet--I just have one 20-month-old. But I appreciate the comments here! I am pregnant so I definitely take a nap when I need one! I just try to regroup during naptime--whether it's some Skype chat time, blogging, having a snack, or resting and watching TV.

  10. I work full time and I have a one year old-I haven't quite figured it out how to balance it all yet. I am not the neat freak that I used to be,I try to spend as much time with my little guy when I get home and do chores after he has gone to bed. The first year flew by and I almost feel like I missed it-I am going to try slow down more and enjoy the gift that God has given me.


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