Is being a mom is a lot harder than you thought it would be? Do you feel overwhelmed with everything you have to handle? Have you thought about throwing in the towel?
Trust me, I’ve been there. And in this post I want to share why I believe 21st century motherhood is so challenging. I’ll also give you some action steps you can take to move from feeling overwhelmed and out of control to feeling guided and in order.
This post will also be packed with awesome resources that will get you out of a place of feeling stuck and into purpose-filled motherhood. Because as moms, there’s nothing more discouraging than feeling purposeless!
But before I begin, let me share a little bit of my own journey…
For me, becoming a stay at home mom was what I was born for. I had always planned to go to college and get a degree, which I did. But more than that, I wanted to be a mom. I wanted to have the impacting, irreplaceable presence that a mother has, both in her family and to others.
So when I first got pregnant, I was delighted! In my mind, I imagined how my days would run. I’d spend lots of quality time with my baby. The house would be sparkling and dinner would be on the stove when my hubby got home. He’d come home to a peaceful and restful haven, complete with warm drinks and slices of homemade cake.
But from the moment I brought my baby home, I realized that it was probably going to be a lot different than I thought. To begin, our financial situation was a bit stressful. I didn’t have the dream nursery I wanted for my baby (or any nursery at all, actually). And I definitely hadn’t created a home system that would allow me to accomplish a sparkling home and home cooked dinner everyday!
Beyond that, I never could have imagined the mental and emotional whirlwind I would find myself in when I had a child. It’s like a whole new realm of thoughts and emotions was opened to me, and I didn’t know how to navigate through them.
So as the days turned into months and months turned into years, a deep dissatisfaction begin to set in. And when my second daughter was three, I hit an all time low.
I wanted out. I wanted to throw in the towel.
What had happened? Motherhood was something I always dreamed about, and now it was almost becoming something I despised! I didn’t want this to be the case, but it was, nonetheless.
And it’s not that I didn’t love my children. That wasn’t it. But there were some deeply rooted lies that needed to be brought to light, and I was in desperate need of guidance.
I know I’m speaking very transparently here. But I also know that there are many mamas out there who may be wrestling with the shocking reality that motherhood is not what they thought it was going to be. Don’t be discouraged, and don’t give up!
Here are four reasons why I believe modern day motherhood is challenging, along with many actionable ways to walk into the motherhood you want to have.
Reason #1: Lack of preparedness
Unless you were trained from a young child on how to keep a home and take care of small children, chances are you feel like you don’t know what in the world you’re doing.
Young girls everywhere are assured that they can accomplish anything. They are encouraged to pursue higher education and have successful careers. Which I agree with, 100%.
Many women also take a detour to become wives and mothers, just as many young men grow to be husbands and fathers. And for that, there’s no degree.
You need just as much training for motherhood as you do for a career outside of the home (if not more!). Motherhood training takes place in the home you grew up in (or at least it was supposed to). And if moms don’t train their daughters on how to be mothers and wives, is it any wonder that they grow up to be moms who struggle?
Now don’t get me wrong. Even with training, raising children is no easy task. But how much easier would it be if you already walked into motherhood with understanding of how to handle the different situations you face daily? If you had systems and paved paths that you could easily walk down?
Thank goodness for moms who write books and blogs! If it were not for women pouring out their wisdom in this manner, I don’t know where I would be today!
So here’s an actionable step to take: find yourself a mom older than you who can mentor you. Try to meet with her often. If that’s not possible, then grab a hold of some resources from moms who can mother you, like the ebooks you’ll find in Ultimate Bundles.
Resource: The Parenting Bundle from Ultimate Bundles is oh. my. goodness…absolutely PACKED with mom wisdom. It’s like a candy store for a stay at home mom. I’m talking about 35 eBooks, 10 eCourses, 9 workbooks and 20+ printables about pretty much any topic related to being a mom. It’s over $1200 worth of material for less than $50. Get your ultimate parenting bundle today and get the guidance you need.
Reason #2: Lack of vision
Vision is something all moms need. But I didn’t know this at first. In fact, I didn’t know this until I read Grace Based Parenting about two years ago.
Vision refers to your ability as a mom to see what you want your child to become. And this is crucial, because it will determine how we train and relate to our kids now.
For example, my vision is that my kids will love God with all their heart, souls, and minds and love people. So what do I need to to as a parent? Well first I need to make sure that my life is an example. Secondly, I need to make sure that I’m intentional about training them in the knowledge of God (reading Bible stories, meditating on Scripture) and in prayer.
If you have a vision for where you want to lead your kids, it makes training them easier because the terms are defined. There’s guidance when there’s a vision and a plan.
Actionable step: First, I highly recommend getting one of the following resources. They are both phenomenal. Then you will have clear guidance to making a vision and a plan!
Resource: Grace Based Parenting really helped me begin to develop vision for my kids. I read this book twice and watched a series of videos about it. It was while reading this book that I really began to see why I struggled so much as a mom. I cried often while I read this book, as it helped me to see where I was erring as a mom and gave me guidance on how to get on the right track.
Resource: Beyond Parenting. This man came to speak at our church for a month and all of us were blown away! He and his wife have truly repaved an ancient path that all of us mamas can follow as we seek to train our children. And his daughters, who are now older teenagers, were there with him and they are exactly how I desire my daughters to be. Grab this resource-you WILL be blessed!
Reason #3: Deficient character
Along with the above two reasons, we may find ourselves struggling as moms because of deficient character. And if I could pick one thing above all that makes motherhood so hard, this would be it.
When our toddler poops on the carpet or draws on the walls, we lose it. And when our young children fight or tell on each other, we yell back at them in anger. And then we feel bad…guilty…and frustrated that we can’t seem to get it together.
If and when you begin to realize that your own character is deficient, it can be downright overwhelming. You can feel like you’re constantly failing, and no one likes that feeling!
But if you feel like this, let me assure you that you are not alone. I would venture to say that most moms, unless they’ve been excellently trained by their own parents, have areas of deficient character that only motherhood exposes. But we don’t have to stay in this position!
So here are some actionable tips: Go to the Lord in prayer. Talk to Him about what you see and ask Him for His help to walk in love. Thank Him for the grace He’s already given us that teaches us to say no to ungodliness (Titus 2:11). And then renew your mind in the word and make changes to your actions.
Resource: I have thoroughly come to enjoy How to Build Character as a Family. It shares 49 character traits, defines what they are in simple terms, and gives examples on exactly how to build them into your whole family in everyday life. Purchase your copy here.
Reason #4: Cultural influence
As if the above three reasons weren’t enough, we also have the added challenges of cultural influence.
Our 21st century American culture is one of extreme self-focus. I have a friend from Australia who even told me that they refer to us as “self-centered Americans”.
Sad! But true.
And that selfish mentality doesn’t lend itself very well to motherhood. Because motherhood is a place where you can’t be about yourself. You wake up in the morning and literally, your little kids can’t survive without you.
But here’s the truth: God hasn’t called us to follow what our culture is doing, especially if what our culture is doing is contrary to the Word. It is Biblically a parent’s responsibility to raise and equip their children. So as moms who love Jesus, we uphold this.
Here’s what we need to remember: Christ has called us to follow Him, no matter what everyone around us is doing. Our allegiance is to Him, and we are not of this world. And Matthew 16:24 says that if we are going to follow after Him, than the first thing we need to do is to deny ourselves.
Here are some actionable steps: Wake up in the morning and say to yourself, “It’s not about me. I’m here to serve my family.” Keep in mind the vision and plans you have to raise kids who love God and live for Him. And above all, stay in fellowship with the Lord and His Word!
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