It is easy to let our thoughts roll off the tongue as we parent our children — especially when they misbehave or push our buttons. All too often, we react to our children’s behavior with phrases that are unhelpful and sometimes even harmful. I know the times I’ve done this I immediately regret it. We don’t mean for our words to be discouraging or hurtful. We are just exasperated, worn out, and likely at our wits-end with parenthood. But it’s best if we know what to stay away from rather than discover it after the damage has been done. So here are five things you should never say to your child and what’s really at the root of your words.
Our children should receive words of encouragement from us everyday — but especially on the harder days. I am sure most of us are good at using positive reinforcement (saying things like “good job” and “that was very smart of you”) when they exhibit a desired behavior. But there are certain things you should say to your child every day that are not tied to their behavior.
Moms, our daughters learn from us. They repeat what we say, and they mirror what we do. So even when it’s hard to love or even like ourselves, we need to be cautious about what we say and do in front of our daughters. These 4 things a mother should never say to her daughter can be especially damaging. Maybe you remember your own mother saying them.
Parenting is exhausting, right Mom? I know it’s what we signed up for, but still—it’s a lot. Not only are we responsible for meeting our kids’ basic needs, but we also bear the weight of nurturing them and cultivating their independence. That’s a pretty big deal, so we often find ourselves making most (and sometimes all) of the decisions in their lives. But there are some decisions you shouldn’t make for your kids.
With the Lenten season beginning, I wanted to write a post that focuses on this sacred time of the year — specifically with mamas in mind. As you probably know, it is common for Christians to “give-up” something for the 40-day period we know as Lent. There are varying views on what “giving-up” and “taking-up” should look like during Lent. Personally, I believe the things we give-up and/or take-up should serve a primary purpose: to draw us closer to Jesus. That being said, I want to share with you two things us mama’s can give-up and take-up during this season of Lent that will help draw us nearer to Jesus — and also help us to be better mamas!
Your days will no longer be carefree and whimsy will begin to scare you. You will find sprinkles of freedom here and there, but you’ll also realize you no longer yearn to be free like before. You prefer to be home. You will still explore, but you won’t wander as far as you used to. Your adventures will no longer be about you — and that’s okay. You actually like it that way. You will find joy in her curiosity. You will find peace in her smile. Your late nights will look a little different. There will be tears and you will be tired. Some nights you will sit and wonder if the morning will ever come. I promise you it does. The sun always comes out again.
I watched another mom endure the same things I did during my own postpartum recovery. The things that made me feel weak, alone, and worthless. The things no one likes to talk about. The messy things. The gross things. The real things. I watched the mom in this ad over and over again. I admired her strength, her grace, and her perseverance. I yearned so badly to help her, even if it meant simply reassuring her that everything she is going through is normal and that it will soon pass. As I watched this mom again and again, an amazing thing happened — I began to see myself. I was no longer watching a stranger struggle through the woes of postpartum — I was watching me. I was admiring my own strength. My own grace. And my own perseverance. This ad — and the feelings it gave me — have inspired me to share the raw and messy details of my physical recovery with you — especially the things that I was not prepared for after childbirth.
The crumbs stayed in their places all day. The dishes piled up in the sink. The laundry from the wash never made it into the dryer. And the clean laundry sat in the basket for another day. Lunch was nothing special, either. Macaroni does just fine on days like today. Your toys were strewn about the house and I didn’t bother to put them away. To save some time, I’ll just say my to-do list stayed undone. But I didn’t do nothing today.
Let’s face it — motherhood changes us. Whether it’s for better or for worse, bringing a baby into this world alters something (or everything) about us. Trust me, mama — none of us journey through motherhood unscathed. The trap most of us mamas fall into is letting our original self fall to the wayside while we navigate the rough terrain of first-time motherhood. Now, hear me out — being “mama” is a beautiful thing. It is an incredibly special gift bestowed upon us by God. But motherhood is not our be-all and end-all. Balancing your pre-mom-self and new-mom-self will be work. It will take time. But, it is important — no, necessary — for your mental and emotional health. It is essential for you to figure out you in order to be the best mama you can be to your babe(s).
There you have it. This past season of #momlife has definitely been one for the books. And in the books it shall stay, because I do not wish to live in the craziness again anytime soon! But, I’m back now. I’m feeling great in the second trimester and am ready to get back into the swing of things. So unless this #momlife starts using me as a punching bag again soon, you should be back to hearing from me regularly. I’ve missed y’all. Thanks for sticking it out with me.