There was a time in my life in which I didn't allow myself to desire having children because I was too afraid of messing up and producing an adult who still struggled with his/her upbringing. Then, as time passed I grew more confident and secure in God, my marriage and myself. The desire for children became strong. Yet, even while pregnant with Tennyson I wondered if I could do this motherhood role. I still have many moments in which I mess up personally and as a wife. How would I be as a mother? This child will look to me for guidance and steadfast love, and those are two very weighty responsibilities. Fear. Fear of messing up in motherhood.. yeah, I've been there.
Fear can serve two purposes- hold us back or push us forward. I would like to think that my fear of messing up in motherhood motivates me to strive harder. When a day seems to progress two steps behind and he's fussy as a result, then the next day I work harder to be more disciplined at following our routine/schedule (which works wonders!). When I find myself wondering if we're getting enough play in the day, then I look up additional ideas for us for the next day.
Perhaps the greatest mess-up potential, though, is in regard to how I present myself. Children begin learning at a very early age how to respond to situations based on their parents' example (ie your stress or anger will likely coincide with a fussy baby). Courtney is absolutely correct when she says, "My children will only be as disciplined with their emotions as I am with mine." Am I emotionally calm or reactive? Does how I present myself convey steadfast love? An infant's developmental task is to establish trust, and an emotional roller coaster inhibits that progress. Fear can quickly take over, but because I recognize these things I'm, instead, motivated each day to work towards self-control and presenting myself in an manner appropriate for guiding a child in life.
I'm learning more and more the necessity of depending on the Lord. I liked how Courtney discussed the importance of a prayer in one's mothering- prayer for oneself as a mama and one's child. She writes, "I love parenting books and have read many, but none of them can replace the prayer of a mother for her child (pg. 137). I also love parenting books, but these can only get me so far. I need faith most of all in my parenting. I enjoy our Mama & Tennyson walks each morning as they provide a wonderful opportunity for prayer.
Using Joshua 1:9 ("Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the your God will be with you wherever you go.” (BibleGateway) ) as a springboard, pen a prayer here begging God to help you in the midst of the mess that is often motherhood. Then, believe that He will do it. Believe that He is always with you every step of the way!
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*Note: Reviving Homemaking is not an affiliate of www.womenlivingwell.org or the publishing companies (Thomas Nelson & HarperCollins Christian Publishing). No compensation has been received by either of these entities for the review of the book. All opinions are my own.
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