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Embracing a New Season of Motherhood

It would seem that this month we’re all reevaluating how we spend the daze. I’m working on an extreme home(school) makeover while contributor Lauren examines how to embrace a new season of motherhood.

January is always a time of fresh starts. I can’t wait to crack open my newly purchased calendar each year and plan our days. Knowing that I get to start over is a great feeling. You’re allowed to readjust the way you do things: your schedule, your commitments and even your vacation.

As a mom of several little ones, I’ve also learned that those times of needing a fresh start often happen at odd times of the year. I have caught myself completely revamping our schedule in the middle of October. Or I’ve recognized my need to overhaul our school curriculum at the end of April.

These aren’t typical planning times for most people.

With young children, each season of life passes unbelievably fast. During the first twelve months, those milestones are reached about as quickly as they outgrow clothes. All of a sudden the baby who slept in the swing all day is now a little toddler pulling all of the books off of the shelf.

But what does this mean for you as a mom? How do you keep up with your husband, your family life and your home through these quickly moving seasons of babyhood? How do you gracefully manage it all?

Examine Where You Are

Take a close look at where you are: do you have a newborn who wakes every 2 hours? Has your little one transitioned to only 1 nap a day? Do you have a little tornado that destroys every room in the house before you can blink? (We do!) Do you still have one or two children who need help feeding themselves at each meal?

All of these time and labor-intensive stages require energy.

It requires the kind of energy where you feel drained and exhausted every night when you lie on your pillow. While it’s fulfilling to spend each day with your children, it also can make a mama weary.

Be realistic with yourself if you are in this draining stage. It’s impossible to have a spotlessly clean house and still tend to those sweet faces that love you so dearly.

Be Willing to Give Your Schedule an Overhaul

My 13 month old started walking this past week. My little Mama’s heart just smiles every time I see her pop herself up and go again. She’s a red-head and very feisty and determined to walk where she pleases.

So last week, in the middle of January, I had to completely revamp the way our school flows in the morning. The baby is now old enough to stand at the desks and pull my son’s pencil out of his hand or stick her fingers in the do-a-dots the girls are working on. This new walking stage presents a new set of joys and challenges to work through.

Regardless of the time of year, be willing to stop what you’re doing and re-evaluate.

You don’t have to keep doing things the same way, despite the fact that major changes have taken place in your family. If you’ve just added a newborn to your family and you aren’t sleeping well, you don’t have to start school at 8am sharp as you did before. If your 7-month-old has just learned to crawl, you might have to add a chore time in the afternoon to vacuum the floor so she doesn’t crawl in crumbs.

It doesn’t have to be January to re-evaluate and create a new plan that can make your household run more smoothly.

Give Yourself Grace

There are harder times and there are easier times in mothering young children. If you’re facing one of those more challenging times right now, life will seem much more manageable if you give yourself an ample amount of grace.

I admittedly suffer from a healthy dose of mom guilt: Am I serving meals that are healthy enough? Have they had my full attention today? Did I make school “fun enough” this week?

During those times when mothering is more difficult, I have to remind myself that God intentionally did not make me superwoman. It is in these times that I must give myself grace. This may look like serving super simple meals for a while or maybe just doing very basic house cleaning for a couple of months.

I’ve proven to myself many times over, that when I give myself grace things seem instantly more manageable.

Don’t Rely on Yourself

As I said, God intentionally didn’t make me superwoman. He purposefully gave me more on my plate than I could handle. I honestly don’t know any mom that can handle a marriage, a home and a child or children without help from the Lord. He designed us to rely on Him.

When I lose focus of that and become too busy for a quiet time, the results are disastrous. I think it is God’s way of reminding me that He never intended for me to walk the road of motherhood without His help. I’m grateful He loves me enough to remind me to rely only on Him.

What are your biggest struggles as you enter different seasons of motherhood?

Lauren Hill is the ‘Mama’ behind Mama’s Learning Corner, a site that features all kinds of educational ideas and tips as well as free printable worksheets. She is the mom of four young children and loves to learn alongside them.

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Comments

  1. Excellent post! Lots of wisdom!

    Mothering requires a great deal of FLEXIBILITY!!!

    I’m in the season where all my babies are growing up!! With 3 young adults in their twenties, 5 TEENS, and only 2 children younger than their teens, life is interesting! I am surprised to discover how much time young adults take and how there are just as many interruptions as when they were all babies and little kids!! They are just different! For example, a kid calling from college who needs to talk, a son coming by during the school day with his fiance to discuss wedding plans, college kids needing you to edit their essays (when they finish writing them at 2 am!~~~)

    Yes, FLEXIBILITY may be a mother’s most needed character quality! :)

  2. This is great advice! I am not a mom yet, but I will keep these things in mind for the future. I tend to be a perfectionist and I know that will have to go when I am a mom!

  3. January is the month when I regroup. Find new blogs or newsletters. Different kinds of projects that I do with my kids, and reorganize my prayer life and my house. I have started drawing and knitting again this year. Thanks for the post.

  4. Wonderful thoughts! Babies do grow fast!

  5. Thank you for this nice reminder. I am the mom of 4 little ones, as well, with the youngest just shy of 1 year. I know, know, know this- that I need to give myself grace and pare down, but I honestly forget it every day! Somehow, it often takes an objective voice, such as yours, to get me to pay attention and slow down!! Thank you for your encouraging words. :)

  6. Emily @ Random Recycling says:

    Love this, especially since I’m going through similar changes with my 12 month old. His changes will mandate some changes to our day at home. His big sister loves to help him learn to walk, which is a curse and not a blessing. I’ve learned that it just means they need more undivided Mommy time to help everyone through the adjustment period.

  7. I have 2 sons 11 & 15. I am homeschooling my 15yr old 9th grader, first time home school mom? I have read a zillion books and recently took the class Total Transformation (which is great). My 9th grader has some issues ODD, add & depression…..since i have been homeschooling him he has improved but has a long way to go. My question is what if i am not being tough enough on him to do the right thing and i allow him too many privileges and he grows up with no work ethic. I don’t know what is appropriate and because he has ODD he is very hard to deal with when he loses privileges. thanks for your advice

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      I’m not familiar with ODD or the class you mentioned. But, I’ve found that I just have to test the nudging/pushing and see how far I can go in each different season of development. It’s so different with each kid.

  8. I am in the season of being a grandparent and love it but at the same time find myself, with my husband, raising a 22 month old grandchild. We have had him since he was 6 months old. The challenges are great especially as we are both 61 and 60 respectfully. But GOD has been good in seeing all our needs and we are truely blessed that HE has given us this opportunity. Thank you for your site. It really has been helpful.

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