In one day, my youngest pooped on my sisters floor, my middle child cried uncontrollably when I asked him to get dressed for the day and my oldest decided that ‘pest your siblings’ day was a good way to spend her entire Saturday. I also happen to be 6 months pregnant, my husband works Saturdays and I have been experiencing preterm labor symptoms for the past few weeks.
Being a mom is hard. Being a mom to tiny humans while physically not feeling well is harder. Being a mom with tiny humans while physically not feeling well and having no chance for escape is close to impossible. I’m not sure who said this but somewhere I read “you are stronger than your excuses” and that phrase has clung to my heart, especially as a mom. Mom’s are the greatest at making excuses! And I don’t just mean “sorry hunny we can’t go to the park today because the park is closed” excuses that get us out of doing things that we don’t want to, I mean “I can’t go on that coffee date for an hour because the world will fall apart and my kids will die if I do” bull crap excuses that we decided to believe somewhere along the last 2000 years.
Motherhood is the hardest thing I have ever had to navigate and I 100% think that we as a culture have put this burden on ourselves. We have literally damned ourselves to a point where we spend more time thinking about all the things we’re doing wrong than we do getting up and doing things that are right. Guys, my 4 year old son was losing his crap last Sunday because he had to wear jeans to church and not his sweatpants. And I mean like kicking the bedroom door, screaming til his face was bright red, hyperventilating, throwing toys, losing his mind over jeans! Naturally my husband and I disciplined him and then on the way to church I started crying because I felt guilty over disciplining him! Like, what is that?! If I had witnessed any other child behaving the way my son was that morning I’d be like “oh that child needs a good swift smack to the rear” and not think twice about it! But because he was my son suddenly I feel bad that I had to punish him for acting in a way that was 100% unreasonable and unnecessary and quite frankly deserved to have consequences.
I don’t know this 100% but I’m pretty sure my grandmother, who had 9 kids never felt guilty when she caught my dad sneaking over to the neighbors house when she flat out said no, you can’t and then proceeded to take a wooden spoon to his butt (which I’ve heard happened quite a few times to my dad). Yet, for some reason we as moms today are faced with this thing inside us that at every turn rears its ugly head as it tells us that we’re doing this mom thing all wrong. Excuse my language here, but I’m calling it you guys. I’m calling bull***t on the whole thing! I’m not sure where the narrative came from that we have to be the ‘perfect parent’ or all this debate on whether we should or shouldn’t spank or whether gluten free or keto free is the best diet for our family but it has all gotten way out of hand! We have become so focused on every single detail of motherhood that we have missed the big picture entirely.
God did not call us to be pro vaccination over anti vaccination. God didn’t call us to put our kids in public school over homeschooling. He didn’t tell us we need to encourage our kids to go to a 4 year College over going into the workforce. And yeah, to us those things feel really big and important but I tend to feel like God doesn’t really care as much about those things as what He says in scripture. In Colossians 1:10 it says “so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience” and then to follow that up with 1 Peter 5:2-3 where it says “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them - not because you must but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.”
I know that’s a lot of words but let me break that down for you… basically what I’m saying is our focus and our thoughts shouldn’t be overrun with GMO vs non GMO, instead we are called to live a life worthy of the Lord, bearing good fruit, continuing to learn, growing in our relationship with the Lord and as a result of that we will gain endurance and patience and oh by the way when you get your priorities straight and focus on those things, lead by example for the little humans that are watching you. I don’t know about you guys but if I’m being 100% real with myself, I’ve lived much of my life as a mom totally missing all of that.
I’m not saying vaccinations, schools, discipline and food aren’t important decisions to make as moms. I’m just saying I think we have put too much focus on those things and not enough focus on the Biblical things. Maybe I’m just speaking for myself and I’m the only mom living on an island of delusion but I’m pretty willing to bet that I’m not the only one who has mixed up my priorities as a mom.
I decided to do some research, so I spent the last few weeks/months taking an inventory of the days where I feel like I have it totally backwards and days where I feel like maybe I’m getting the hang of it. I mean we all have those days where we go to bed and we’re like “heck yes! Today I was super woman and super woman was me and I feel freaking fantastic and I’m that part in Proverbs 31 where ‘her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also praises her.’ I am queen, and all adore me”. And then we all have the days where we go to bed going “I spent too much time on my phone, I wasn’t patient, I should have done the puzzle for the 4th time with my kid, they ate leftover Mac n cheese for dinner, you literally can’t get lower than leftover boxed Mac n cheese, I yelled too much. I suck and I’m not meant to be a mom and the world hates me and no wonder because I totally suck.”
I’m not saying this is the magic cure all but I will say there was one pretty distinct difference between those two days that I am confident had a lot to do with the ins and outs of “good” days vs “bad” days. And for me, it has always stemmed back to my morning routine. The way I spend the first hour or two of my day holds way more power than I ever gave it credit for! Now, again this could be just me and I’m just speaking for a party of 1 but after speaking to quite a few women about this, I’m only about 110% sure in what I’m about to say. Having a morning routine will put your priorities as a mom in the order they’re supposed to be. Seriously. If you don’t believe me I double dog dare you to give it a try for just one week. For seven days I challenge you to wake up before your alarm, to go for a 10 minute walk, to drink that cup of coffee before anyone else wakes up, to shower before the kids are up, to spend time reading, to pray, to do a devotional, to meditate, do yoga, paint your nails, run to the closest Dunkin and listen to your favorite tunes with no one else in the car. I don’t know how it looks for you, and you have to figure out what your ‘thing’ is for your morning routine but I promise you that you will see a complete change in the way you show up as a mom simply by having that one thing that starts off your day right every day.
We see everywhere the importance of self care and yeah things like getting a massage, a facial or a pedicure are great but the benefits of those things only last a few hours or maybe a week. I have found a way to love myself every single day in a way that costs zero dollars, doesn’t require a babysitter, and the benefits last way past a few hours! And those are our excuses for not taking action to self care more, right? We tell ourselves we shouldn’t spend the money, we feel guilty asking for a babysitter or we tell ourselves that getting an hour massage won’t matter because by that night you’ll be sore again from all the carrying of tiny humans you had to do. Remember that part where I read somewhere that thing that said “you are stronger than your excuses”? Yeah well, I re-enter that quote right here, and I’m going to change it up a bit.
YOU ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR EXCUSES.
Being a mom is hard because of how important it is, you guys. You as a mom are so unbelievably valuable. So valuable in fact that Jesus himself knew He needed a mom when He came to earth, and not just as a physical way to enter the world. Being a mom is the most important job in the world and don’t you think that means that we should spend a little more time making sure we are physically, emotionally and spiritually prioritizing what is most important in this line of work?
Spoiler Alert, it’s you. It’s not what your mother in law said, or the lady at the grocery store or the meme you read on facebook. The priorities of motherhood come from within you and making those things that Colossians 1:10 said be an actual part of your life. Walking with the Lord, bearing good fruit with your work, growing in knowledge, being strengthened, having endurance and patience. A few years ago I would have read that and been like ok great, so how do I get that? I would have rattled off a list of excuses as to why prioritizing Colossians 1:10 in my life was not only impractical, it was downright impossible in this season of motherhood.
But remember, we’re more important than our excuses. Our job as moms is more important than all the reasons why it’s impractical or impossible. We have little humans watching us, and more is caught than taught when it comes to kids. They learn more by what we do than by what we say. So you really want to be an awesome mom? You really want to screw up your kids as little as possible? (P.S. you will screw them up somehow) You really want to be the Proverbs 31 woman whose kids wake up and praise her? If you want all those things, then you have to stop making excuses for why you can’t. I love you so much, and I want you to read that again. You have to stop making excuses! Our kids won’t remember the time we disciplined them the wrong way, or the one time we said no to playing Baby Shark for the 1000000th time. They won’t remember the one night (or maybe week) where we fed them leftover boxed Mac n cheese. They will remember waking up every morning to see their mom starting her day off in a way that made her a better version of herself. And as you make your morning routine a habit they will remember a life lived with a mom who wasn’t worried about what Facebook said about her parenting, they will remember a mom who cared about what Christ said about her parenting. By seeing you make Colossians 1:10 a priority in your life, they will learn to make Colossians 1:10 a priority in their life as well. Choose to make your first 1-2 hours of your day about getting your heart right. Choose to love yourself every day enough to wake up early anyways. Choose to prioritize your emotional, physical and spiritual well being above all the other noise. Choose to dig deeper, to grow in knowledge and strength. Choose to endure and have patience and suddenly every single part of motherhood that you right now hate and stress over will feel like a dot in the map of motherhood.
If you are someone right now who feels like you need some order to your chaotic life, if you feel like your life is all clutter and you need some clarity but you don’t know how below is listed my morning routine. Please note that this is going to look different for every person. You have to figure out what works for you. It has taken me almost a year to figure out that this is the routine that works for me and even then there have been seasons where I have had to adjust it for one reason or another. Right now I am 6 months pregnant so getting up as early as I used to has become more difficult so in this season of life this is what my morning routine looks like every single day.
6:00 Wake up
6:15 Get Emma up for school
6:15 - 6:50 Getting Emma ready for school and making coffee, and getting her on the bus
7:00 My Morning Routine starts
- Start Today Journal by Rachel Hollis
- Devotional (currently reading Because Crack is Illegal by Raema Mauriello)
- Open my Bible to read the scripture referenced in the Devotional
- Journal in a separate journal some thoughts on the Devotional/Scripture reading (sometimes I feel inspired and write a lot, other times I’m just jotting down random thoughts)
- Set 5 intentions for my day (e.i. Be the most positive person I know, love my family the way they need loved, work hard and then rest hard, demonstrate an act of kindness in the exact moment that I don’t want to, Save money today, cook a bangin dinner, spend an hour with my phone off just talking to my kids, etc.)
- Eat breakfast
- Get dressed/showered and get my day started
I started with simply getting up early doing my Start Today Journal. Then I added in a devotional. For Christmas I received a Women’s Study Bible, so then I added referencing the scriptures in the actual Bible and reading the whole chapter. As that happened I found myself inspired by characters and stories in the Bible so I added my writing journal. In between there, I also would run for 30 minutes on the treadmill for a time, one season I tried meal prepping before everyone woke up and I also had a short period where I would start my day with a podcast. All of those things were great but what I found was they weren’t the thing that started my day off with setting fire under my butt. My current routine is what currently is setting my soul on fire, putting me in a place of having the right priorities. I’m sure when the baby comes that will change but what I do know is now that I have found the power and strength that comes from the habit of having a morning routine I will never go back. Because just like you, I am more important than my excuses. And our job that is too important to set on cruise control and hope for the best.
Hey, you! Thank you SO much for reading my ramblings! I hope this kinda kicked your butt and wrapped you in a hug all at the same time! I would love to hear your thoughts of this post. I love reading just about as much as I love writing so drop a comment below and don’t be shy!