Tindell Baldwin »

Image result for teen textingI remember the first time my dad uttered the words, I was a freshman raging about something that was “so not fair” and he told me, “I understand how you feel.” What a joke I thought, how could he understand the pressures I was facing at 15, or the complete and utter fear I felt about losing my spot in the social circle, or the constant moral dilemmas that made my once strong faith stagger. He couldn’t possibly understand.

Then I grew up a bit, graduated high school, and stopped seeing my parents as parents and more as people with feelings (imagine that). I realized they knew a lot more than I thought. The more I learned of their story and their lives I saw that the longing for love and acceptance might have looked different when my dad was 16 but it was the same beast, just wearing different clothes.

I am a parent now, a mom of two girls and one boy. I have been doing high school ministry in some capacity since graduating college and as I sit in small groups and help girls through their high school years I realize I will never be able to tell my daughters that I fully understand. Things have changed too much.

I am of the last generation to graduate high school without the internet in my back pocket. I had one of those great Nokia phones that had snake and they didn’t add the camera into it until I was 18 and even then you couldn’t send pictures (praise the sweet lord above). I paid for my first cell phone at 15 and before that begged my parents unsuccessfully for a pager. It was different times.  I was not exposed to pornography except through hear say from guy friends. My real internet life didn’t start until college because Facebook required a college email to join. Social media didn’t truly take off until I was graduated college and by then I was married and didn’t care as much about how cool I was.

We can’t truly understand what kids are facing because we never had to navigate the burden of social media which is like adding a 100lb weight to the “normal” pressures of past. Not only that, the true discipline it takes actually put the phone down and engage in real life is something most adults haven’t mastered (myself included).

As an adult you have an idea of how popular you were in high school but imagine if you now had a number that really gave you concrete evidence to how accepted you were? Imagine having to see images of all the parties you weren’t actually invited to, the first love who moved on much too quickly, or your best friend claiming someone else is now her best friend to the whole cyber sphere. Now add on the raging hormones that are the hallmark to every high school experience and you have pain and angst we really just can’t grasp.

How can we fully understand something we have never experienced? Love and acceptance are the same desires but the beasts have changed, shifted, and molded, into something so huge most parents are left grasping at straws to help their child navigate a world they themselves have not fully mastered. Because lets be real, we all still want to be loved an accepted, and we may not be on snap chat but it still hurts when all the neighborhood moms go out for a glass of wine and you weren’t invited but you saw the picture. Age doesn’t change our desires. It still stings when some social function happens you weren’t included but you feel like you should have been, no matter how old you are.

So what can we do? First we need to stop telling kids we understand. We don’t. Tell them you are so sorry they are facing unimaginable pressures, pain, and expectations in this new terrain of high school. Tell them you are willing to listen, and then actually do. Don’t tell them it’s silly because it’s not to them, remember how badly you wanted your first crush to ask you out? Now chuckle because you most likely didn’t end up with him or her but it doesn’t change how real the desire was. Pray for understanding and wisdom and ask questions and explore the real world they are in. This is not the time to look away and hope it turns out OK.

If we are going to help we must learn to control the beast in our own lives. In other words put your phone down. If you’re doing something with your kids, don’t put all of it on social media. Don’t send the message that to be special it has to be public. This has changed faith in truly shocking way, times alone with God have become about how perfect the setting is, how beautiful your journal is, and what wisdom you gleaned in ten minutes. I think most Christians would agree that real growth with God happens in the times you were hidden, quiet, and struggling with just God, not God and your 1k followers. The real world doesn’t shine a spotlight on most people. Real life is somewhat mundane, waking up, working hard, and finding bits and pieces of glory in the average. We aren’t setting kids up for success if the only joy they can feel is from outward praise. We must prepare them for the ordinary by not having to make every moment special.

Have hours of the day that are phone free, and enforce it throughout the house. That means everyone has to put the phone down. My kids don’t have phones yet but my husband and I have had to create lots of parameters around our phones because even in our 30’s we can’t handle the allure of it all. We must discipline ourselves if we are going to teach the generation below us to be disciplined. We must come to grips with the reality of the distraction in our hands instead of pretending we are old enough for it not to control us. I’ve spent enough countless hours on bored panda scrolling through funny dog pictures to know I’m not immune.

Finally, take their phone at night. I know I have no right to say this because I don’t have high schoolers but see I’ve sat in small group rooms for the better part of ten years with girls from all over and the common denominator for bad phone decisions was time. Nothing productive happens after 11pm, besides the occasional long study session a phone and a teenager and midnight is dangerous. The temptation and options are limitless. Satan will pray on isolation and darkness. We all know people make most decisions they regret at night, it’s just how it goes. Bars and clubs are closed during the day, they just aren’t as appealing until the sun goes down. A cell phone in the hand of a lonely, heartbroken, or hurting teenager is like a grenade with the plug pulled, it’s not a matter of if it’s a matter of when.

Trust me as someone who has been trusted by a lot of teenagers, they want the boundaries, they want the lines, they want to know you will fight them for what’s right. I’ve had girls actually tell me they wish their parents had more rules. I met with a girl last summer who had everything most kids want out of high school and she wanted out, she was tired of being a pawn in the party scene and she said to me, “I wish my parents gave me more rules so it was easier for me to not give into temptation.”

Their world is full of pain and people who want something from them. They are surrounded by tangible evidence of how liked they are by their peers and they are hurting for people to help them navigate it all. They don’t need us to understand they need us to love them and listen and provide them with truth when necessary.

I wonder if we got progress reports and grades if we would feel like we were doing a good job as parents?  If there was a board of moms and we got sat down every quarter and were judged based on how many times we lost our temper or how long we breastfed or the times we chose to clean the dishes instead of play with the kids would we rest easy? Would we feel validated in all that we do? If we had people look at us and our kids and received grades would it be enough? Would we still feel guilty every time they got sick because should we have kept them home when they complained last week? Would we still lay awake at night and replay all the harsh words and teachable moments we passed by in sheer exhaustion? Or would we awake with refreshed minds ready to tackle the day if someone was watching us and handing out grades?

I have yet to meet a mother that truly feels like she is doing a good job. In fact the word I have heard the most in conversations about being a mom is failure. I read recently that one of the greatest markers for a millennial parent is the amount of guilt we lay heavy on ourselves. It’s not even that we don’t think the task is important it’s that it’s almost too important. “Be on all the time” is the tiny voice in our head. The soundtrack on repeat says things like never yell, always take the time to teach, and come up with creative ways to cut up their food for them to reject even though it’s in the shape of a mermaid.

I don’t think a progress report is what we need, I think we need to let the stuff go that isn’t worth feeling guilty about and ask God to help us where we fall short. One of the greatest pieces of parenting advice my dad ever gave me was, don’t pick every battle but win the ones you do. I said amen all the way home as Briggs and Claire bickered over whether cats were soft or not. Fight away children I thought or in more PC terms “this is a great way for them to learn how to work it out” which is mother speak for I just can’t.

The sheer number of challenges and accessibility of information gives us a false picture of just how poorly we are doing. We can’t plead ignorance for anything, from hot dog ingredients to sleep training there is research for everything and almost everything has two sides too… except the hot dog ingredients no one argues for hot dogs. Spanking, sleep training, the perfect preschool, how we teach, how they learn, when to give in and when to give up consume our brains. Of course we all feel like we are failing because we aren’t perfect. We are people. We are mothers. We are imperfect, broken, in need of a perfect savior. When we try to be the perfect parent we deprive God of showing us our real need for him and my friends, we need him. Strive to do the best you can of course but welcome the truth that you don’t have to be perfect.

You might not feel this tension yet but it always manages to creep in, life will hit, you’ll have another baby, or one will have health issues, or so on and so forth and you’ll realize no matter how hard you work and try and strive it won’t be enough. You’ll lay in bed at night and promise to do better next time marking red lines and a big fat F all over your skills as a mom.

We are so worried about where are our kids are going in life, how they will do in all the trails that lay ahead but the reality is we have just as much of a journey ahead of us. We have much to learn about dependence on the only perfect father. Claire, my first born, is the child who challenges me, not because she is strong willed, just the opposite, she’s compassionate and kind and loves people. She challenges me because she is sensitive, she needs a soft tone and guiding hand, and I tend to act more like a drill sergeant on a power trip when I get stressed. Her big hazel eyes will look up and me and her lip will quiver when I raise my tone and I know I’ve blown it. She needs explanations and likes to stop and smell not only the roses but any plant or animal in a half a mile radius. I am in a hurry to get everything done.

I look at her and my weaknesses glare back at me. And God asks me, will you let me work on you or will you damage her spirit? Those are my options. My pride can fall and I can land on my knees begging God to teach me to be the mom I need to be or I can stomp on her heart and tell her to toughen up.  My weakness when it comes to my daughter is Gods invitation to be not only a better mom but a better everything. A better wife to Ben, a better friend, a better mom to my other kids.

I cannot be perfect. I cannot do it all. I can do the best I can and really ask God to grow me where he sees I need it. I can choose to pick the battles that matter and not worry about the ones that don’t. I can stick to triangles on their PBJ, an occasional hot dog, and letting Claire and Briggs “work it out on their own” for the little things. I can ask God every morning when I hear those tiny voices at the top of the stairs say “good morning mommy” for enough patience to get me through today and when I feel that red marker all over my mom report card and I will ask for forgiveness and grace and be glad tomorrow is a new day.

Ephesians 3:20

“now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think

James 1:5

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

“Mom, I can’t see God,” Claire yelled at me over the Jesus music as we drove to church.

We have this tradition on Sundays, the four of us meet Ben at church after he’s done serving in the middle school ministry (cause he’s a better person than me). I’m always playing worship music because its Sunday and I’ve gotten all three kids ready and out the door by myself and its harder to yell with Sons and Daughters playing in the background (not impossible but harder).

I turned the music down and asked her what she said.

“I can’t see God mom, where is he?” I went on to try to explain we saw him in everything because he is the creator, just like she can see part of me and daddy in herself because I grew her in my tummy. She then asked how she got into my tummy so I pretended the phone rang and spent five minutes talking to no one in hopes she’d forget. Really, I told her that was a question for another day and instead I told her about faith. How God asks us to have faith in him and faith is being confident in what we can’t see. She then proceeded to tell me that she’s never getting baptized because she would sink to the bottom. It was a really productive conversation.

It got me thinking though, how many times have I said those words out loud? I don’t see you God. I don’t see you moving or working in either my own pain, heart ache, or brokenness or that of the worlds. I wonder how often we forget about how much of the Christian life requires faith. How much of it require us to trust in what we cannot see?

In the giving of our lives to God and following him we are essentially saying we trust you with all the unseen’s and misunderstandings we feel in this life. We live our life a different way not because it makes him love us more but because we trust him. We handle people in a different way not because it will make him think more of us but because we think more of others.  We love those who hurt us, love us, and don’t even know us differently because he loved us first.

We are currently living in a very “I can’t see you God” time, watching hate consume hearts in ravaging waves, causing people to view people through the lens of opinions instead of love, and with information being fed to us 24/7, it seems like God has disappeared. We have all but given up on the notion of God being present in our world. Perhaps we are asking the wrong question. Instead of asking God where he is, what if we asked how we could help? We don’t help others because it makes God love us more, we help because it helps us understand Gods love more. So in a time when God seems to have all but disappeared and in his place is hatred and mistrust we can be the story we want to see.

Let me tell you why this is so important because when my daughter asks why she can’t see God she doesn’t want a church answer, she wants something tangible, and so do we. We want tangible love to attach to a hurting world. “Broken world full of sin isn’t” enough of an answer for our discouraged hearts anymore. Is it true, yes, but is it enough to fuel our faith, no. If we claim to know and love Jesus then our proof to the hurting world that he exists should be your resume of love.

Maybe instead of begging God to show himself amidst the pain we see, let’s extend the love he has already shown us to the hurting world around us.

“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.”

Luke 6:35-36

Last week I was washing dishes (from another dinner deemed inedible by my older kids) with the music loud enough to muffle the cries of the two kids who fighting over a toy while Ben changed the baby’s diaper. Briggs had woken up on this birthday with croup, Colbie had an ear infection and was on 100000 of a runny nose and teeth that like to torture her, and Claire was mad that its 6 months until her birthday (enter 1 million rolling eye emojis). We were supposed to go out of town with friends and we had to cancel because of all the germs.  A grocery bag with a dirty diaper falls from the second story balcony as Ben breaks up the quarreling older two. Someone falls and starts crying. Colbie yells mama through the stair slats and I take a deep breath and head back to the war zone to wash hair and argue about why the sun is still out at bedtime.

Motherhood is simultaneously harder and better than I expected. I knew I’d love my kids but I didn’t know how much, I knew I’d get frustrated but I underestimated how often, I knew I’d be busy but I didn’t realize I could do 7 things at one time, I thought I had experienced exhaustion, fear and joy but I realize I had only scratched the surface of the meaning of the words. I thought all these things about becoming a mom and what it would look like but mostly I thought it would be easier.

Even when it is just ordinary it is hard work.  I had an older man tell me recently that being a stay at home mom was not nearly as hard as “real jobs” and Ben said he saw steam leave my ears like one of those cartoons. I’m sure there is some truth in that statement but I told him if he wants to come potty train my son who has no problem with diapers but thinks the toilet has monsters in it and I’ll head to his catered meetings (in my head this is what jobs consist of….lies I know)  I wouldn’t complain.

Stay at home or working aside, being a mom is tough and most days it takes everything in me not to just survive until 7pm. On family vacation my sister in law encouraged us moms not to just wish these days away and survive until your next break. I was functioning on about 4 hours of sleep when she said it so I didn’t give it much thought but I circled back around to it recently. I’ve been thinking about all these hard things we have to do in life, mother, marriage, work, teach, give, care, about how when we really inconvenience ourselves for others we actually live a better life.

I keep thinking about my amazing brother and sister in law who just spent 3 weeks in china adopting their third child and how there was nothing like that moment when they walked up the escalator holding their son. Nothing like the moment their girls met their brother for the first time. Nothing like watching my own babies be born after 9 long hard months of pregnancy. Nothing like working through the hard times of marriage to get back to the really good ones, nothing like forgiving someone just because it was the right thing to do and feeling utter freedom yourself. Nothing like feeling the urge of to be obedient to God when it seems ludicrous and watch him show up. Nothing like these hard, grin and bear it type of days, where you give your it your all and then some. The hard days are the ones that make you. None of us were made to sit on a beach and sip pina coladas… forever. Why? Because we have a greater purpose and a greater God who asks us to see him in the hard unbearable days.

The way I see it I have five years to teach my kids all the basics of life, faith, manners, kindness, compassion, giving, loving, what’s important, and self-control.  Sure I’ll have time after they turn five but these years are scared. They are simple, uncomplicated, and yet incredibly challenging. Most of life seems to operate that way. Work hard to get what really matters. Push through the pain for the payoff.

It kind of sucks sometimes though. Sometimes things are harder than expected. The diagnosis is worse than

predicted. The road ahead is even rockier than it appeared. In these moments I find myself asking why? I come up empty with the exception of these two thoughts, because we need him more and because this isn’t permanent. In the light of forever this life seems manageable but keeping our eyes on eternity is a tricky thing. We ache for a better outcome only to be met with reality and sometimes we have to just keep going.

I won’t wrap this one in a bow I’ll leave with this ,” We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.[a]Because of the joy[b] awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people;[c] then you won’t become weary and give up. (Hebrews 12:2-3)

We can’t give up. I believe there is more riding on it than we know.

Last week I learned a respected author and leader has chosen to separate from her husband after a brave and long battle for their marriage. Ben and I were on our way home from a marriage event and bickering about how to discipline our threenager when I read the news. My heart sank and I found it hard to find my breath, not because she is a friend but because sin is so painful and I ache for her, her family, and the journey she is on.

Isn’t it interesting how when you hear about someone else’s life is coming to a crashing halt you vow to be different? We promise up and down to see what we have and appreciate the glory in our midst. It seems we are so committed to change and discipline when we are staring down some else’s reality. When it costs us nothing but empty words we promise to be the exception.  We are so eager to know just how to be different instead of embracing where we are all the same.

Adultery isn’t new, sin isn’t new, and we’ve all felt sins shattering effects even if we’ve called it by a different name. Yet somehow when it comes across our peripheral vision we see it so much clearer. When it is someone else’s life we are ready to eradicate it. However when it’s our own lives we make exceptions, break a few rules, promise it will be the last time, and before we know it we are the story people are telling over beers and making vows to be different from. We must stop acting like sin is a poisonous spider we didn’t know existed. The spider is already around house sleeping under your roof, in your life, heart and mind. Don’t pretend you’re above it, crush it. See it for the dangerous beast that it is and don’t coddle it with the idea that it won’t bite you.

Life change doesn’t happen because you hear a story that saddens you, life change happens when you see yourself in the story. Change happens when it becomes your kids, your marriage, your finances, and your reality. Not just because you want to be different but because you know you could take the same bait. My marriage isn’t bullet proof, its awaiting fire, and part of protecting it is knowing that. Christian or non christian, marriage is hard, blood, sweat, and tears type of work. 

I remember when I was in elementary school after hearing my grandparents were divorcing because of my grandfathers affair sitting in the bath tub and thinking how real life seemed harder than I expected. I fight for my marriage not just because I don’t want to cheat or get divorced but because I know I could. We are all ten steps away from being exactly where we said we would never be and it’s foolish to believe any different. I’m not naïve enough to think I’m above sin, I just trust God enough to believe he gave me a way out. (1 John 1:9)  By humbly confessing that I need every ounce of his power to deny every selfish and sinful desire that comes my way. From the little to the big, sin isn’t a spider I’ll hold.

In reality we will all feel the collateral damage of sin no matter how much we protect our life. It will ricochet off someone else’s life and clip you at the knees. However, I believe it gives us the opportunity to limp into the nearest church with our wounds bared and help another in pain. Christian culture should be the easiest place to talk about our sin, our hurt, and our shame. Let’s make it our common ground, “welcome to the broken, messed up world, let’s talk about how sin has wrecked us and a God who can mend us.” Let’s change things but pouring light into the dark spaces of our life. Let’s shine a flashlight on the spider and see all we need is a really big shoe to get our life back.

Hebrews 3:13

You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.

Displaying FullSizeRender.jpgAs the dust of Mother’s day settles I keep thinking that the real kill joy of being a mom is that you constantly feel under appreciated. It can be so easy to believe that there will be a time when you might feel the real enormity of your job as a mom. I really think the true tyrant of motherhood isn’t the time, intensity, or exhaustion, it’s the belief that it could all somehow seem as important as it really is. However, the truly important things can never accurately be measured, just like happiness and joy have no gauge, life change is accomplished one day at a time, one choice at a time. Rinse and repeat that is the rhythm of motherhood and it begins anew each morning.

The trap has been set and the bait is the belief that you could feel as valuable as you really are. Your husband will never show quite enough gratitude even if he does everything you hoped he would. Your friends with or without kids can only really experience their own journey and society will never pay enough tribute to make you feel known.

Is it perhaps because our real reward for these sweet sacrifices are waiting on the other end of earth? Our gift is being grown in the lives of children and in the lives of the children our children will encounter. Could it be that what God wants you to see in the whole of this journey that greatest reward may not come for quite a while. There will be so many selfless acts we do every day to show love to people who may never say an unprompted thank you. The best thing we can do is make our peace with that now.

Isn’t that what Jesus did for us? Didn’t he sacrificially lay down his life to prove his love to a people who always had the option to say no? Didn’t God cross barriers by serving that mere words could never breach? Didn’t Jesus change lives by the fact that he considered the ones he loved as more important than himself. And he asks us to do the same. (Galatians 5:13)

Don’t buy into the rhetoric that to be a mother somehow has you in a position to experience less of life. Maybe more exhausted but you are not without help. Slightly more isolated but never alone. Let’s believe instead that God gave us this life and these people to love so we could experience a better understanding of love, patience, and service. Ben spent most of this weekend making me feel so loved and special but Monday came and the kids fights ensued and tantrums were thrown and sleep was cut short. Rinse and repeat, I thought. New day, same lessons.

Will the hard work ever pay off? I’d like to think so, there’s always a kid with a story of a mom who changed the course of their life. We are not victims, we are fighters on the front line of life change, waking up each day and getting people fed and dressed and teaching them just how the world works. You are appreciated, seen, understood, and valued even when those words feel like the farthest thing from the truth. So if the mother’s day passed and you felt slightly deflated remember there is a God who sees all you do, every nose wipe, every long talk, every sleepless night, and every battle you feel you have lost. He sees, he knows, and he will give you the strength to keep going.

For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.

Hebrews 6:10 NLT

Jesus is dead. The stone has been rolled over the grave. Every year Easter rolls around and I think this day in-between is really the most desperate day of the whole story. There must have been shreds of hope hanging thin as Jesus was on that cross and maybe even as they lowered him down but today he has been placed inside of the tomb. The stone has sealed shut a grave that holds the hopes and dreams of all the people who called him teacher, rabbi, friend. Today he has been in there without a rumble of return. Today is the pregnant pause not full of hope but of questions. Where do we go from here?

I wonder how many of us are in our day in-between. Death in our life has occurred and we don’t know if the rising is coming. We’ve laid our hopes and dreams and pain in the tomb and we just don’t know if God will breathe life back into it. It might simply be dead. It might be that we lay it or them down and we mourn and we ache and we pray and we wonder but we feel no hope. The sky is dark, the tomb is quiet, and our tears are many.

You see we all know what to do with despair and we know what to do with joy but what do we do on the in-between good Fridays and Easters of life? What do we do when we are simply waiting? Simply hoping. Simply watching. Simply praying. We look ahead and the prodigal isn’t on the hill. We watch a relationship crumble and we don’t see repair coming. We see death coming in close and we feel no miracle being handed in our direction. Jesus seems to simply have died and now we are left. Our in-between days can make it feel like Easter never happened.  The tomb is full and we see no rising coming.

For some reason I thought when I became a believer that life would just be good and honestly for the most part it has been. I have healthy kids and a husband who loves me so well but, we all have the fringe parts of our life that can make even the middle feel frayed. It is the fringe that has caused me to wonder when my Easter was coming. When does God show up in this story and breathe the life and answer a prayer I have prayed many nights…for many years? Will he answer at all?

Maybe not, but I have decided that it doesn’t mean God isn’t good.

I have decided that even though I have laid things in the grave with Jesus when he comes out no matter what he is holding he still came out. Therefor he is good. He conquered the things I couldn’t so and chose to love me when he shouldn’t so I can praise him. When my fringe circumstances don’t change I can cling to Easter and know the rising was all I need. We sing it all the time on Sundays, “he is enough for me.” Do we believe it though, if he comes out with open arms but no hint that things will get better can you still trust him? The sun is coming, he will rise but will you linger at the tomb waiting for what might never come back to life?

Luke 24:5-8

In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ Then they remembered his words. 

  • Dianne Baldwin - As always you remind me of the truths of the faith that I sometimes forget. Another great post!ReplyCancel

    • Tindell Baldwin - Thanks! That’s a very high compliment.ReplyCancel

Dear mom with your first baby,

I see you, at nursery pick up, in the target line looking burned out, at the park feeling lonely. I see you. I understand you. I’ve been you. I know this is the hardest thing you have ever done. I know it feels like your whole world just got flipped upside down and you don’t know which way is up. I know you wonder if your jeans will ever fit the same or if you will ever enjoy your husband again. I see you looking at me, you are asking how I manage three. You look at my load and think, one overtakes me how will I ever have more? You’re wondering if you will ever be ready for another baby or ever love another one this much?

I see your shell shocked face when I pick up gold fish off the floor and hand it to my screaming two year old because, have I never heard of germs? I know you think my son’s hair looks like it got cut by an edger instead of scissors and I don’t seem bothered by my daughter’s shirt being buttoned up the wrong way and with pants that don’t match. You wonder how I keep talking while the baby is yelling and the four year old is pelting questions at me. You think you have finally seen insanity in motion.

Oh Friend, if together was part of the equation women would have stopped having kids a long time ago. If polished was in the cards we would give birth to 20 year olds not newborns. You feel like you’re the only one who doesn’t have her act together? Well let me give you the secret recipe that all us moms of more than one know and you will too. Not one of us has it together we have just learned that, the mountains are really mole hills when it comes to life with littles and perfection is something to lay down not aim for. Just enjoy them. Breathe in the baby scent every time you hold them close and know someday soon it will turn into unbrushed teeth and stinky feet.  Hold them when you want to and let them cry when they need to. We are all here to tell you not only that they survive but so do you.  It’s OK to forget perfect behavior and adorable outfits both of those things only happen a fraction of the time. Expect them to put on their best behavior when no one is looking and act like the spawn of Satan in front of anyone you respect. And the fastest way to get them to each ketchup is to put them in white. Embrace the hard and don’t feel guilty that you “just” have one and are overwhelmed. Here’s another secret, we were once where you were and looked at the moms one stage ahead of us in awe and wonder like they were gorillas at the zoo.

The thing is, each child takes up 100% of you, you just add 100% more every child that comes along. I didn’t know I had 300% to give until I had three kids. God gives you another pint of that powerful love every time you bring another baby home.

Here’s what I wish I knew when I was you, one is hard and I won’t say “oh you just wait” because its hard today. That’s real. It’s also a wonderful season where you can focus on just one baby. Have fun, don’t stress if they aren’t eating anything but bananas, they will come around. Let the trivial go and lean into whatever God is trying to teach you in this season. Please remember busy is an idol not to be fooled with, enjoy being home, bond as a family, and keep your marriage as the highest priority. Get good friends and weather the weary together, listen and encourage through each trial, and have girl’s nights out where you laugh about the dumb stuff you hope your kids don’t remember.

Most of all, I promise you will make it. It all will pass hard and fast like a rainstorm that blows in strong and leaves the sun behind as it goes. And if you ever need a good pick me up go to target, get a Starbucks, and cruise the aisles listening to kids have meltdowns and feel good that it isn’t your kid….today.

Much love,

A mom one small step ahead.

  • anna - Loved it, wouldn’t trade it, miss it…. sort of. Maybe like for an hour… or 30 minutes 😉ReplyCancel

  • Stacey - 3 is madness and I learn more about myself everyday.ReplyCancel

S u b s c r i b e
S e a r c h