The other day I was thinking of what changed for me between my first two children and the next three. I didn’t enjoy the baby days and the smallness with my first two nearly as much as I have with the others. I was more stressed than at peace in my mothering years before. While there were definitely life issues at hand and learning curves to get past, that wasn’t the real root of how I felt as a mom.
And then it struck me.
If I could go back in time and redo one thing as a mother when my first two children were born, it would be to read less parenting books and more of my Bible. Yes, parenting books can be a wonderful resource, but they can also bring rigidness and ideas that don’t belong in your house if God has not been centered first. Especially as a new mom. Without the Bible in me, I constantly searched for answers because I felt ill-equipped… and I really didn’t want to mess up the little people who He gave me. My focus was on me getting to sleep and them obeying at every moment, instead of focusing on how short the time really was. I was stressed if they didn’t take a nap on time, I was frustrated if they woke up at night, and I was embarrassed if they threw a tantrum in public; because the books told me if I did x, y, and z then my children would become consistant-sleeping-model-citizens everyday, and I would have extra time for myself.
But the Bible tells me differently. God’s word says that I am to train them, but I cannot control them. I can only control my own selfishness and reactions. The Bible tells me that our days are numbered and that while training is important, there should also be joy. This simple truth of controlling my wants while training my babies has given me the freedom to enjoy the long days and let go of what doesn’t work for my house and my kids. To not just hold them because the physical touch is so important, but to hold them because I know the days will be gone in a blink. This simple truth has given me joy in the midst of exhaustion. A real joy, not a smile I put on in front of others, but a smile that I carry behind closed doors as well. My life has never looked more chaotic, sounded so loud, or been so physically tiring. But I have never enjoyed motherhood more and have never had more peace in my days.
With all of this said, new mom or seasoned mom, the peace and rest and answers that we are all searching for is probably right next to you, or close on the coffee table. Before you open your newest book on parenting, or changing daily habits, or being present in your days, open your Bible. No author of the most popular book can give us any sort of real peace if His word is not in us first. He will guide you in what to keep from the books you read, and will give you freedom to throw out what He didn’t design for your family. He will give you the eyes to see that in a blink, these days will be gone.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)