Sometimes, being a young mom seems like yesterday, but on the other hand, it also feels like a lifetime ago. Today, I view motherhood through the lens of my daughters, now mothers of their own kids. Watching them care and raise their children brings back memories of what it was like during the long days of diapers, dishes, and trying to fit in devotions.
While writing, Raising Girls, Diaper to Diamond, this question was at the forefront of my mind—what do I wish I could tell the younger me? I will share what I’ve found to be the answer to that question. I would prefer to sit across from each one of you—to hear your questions, listen to your struggles and rejoice with your accomplishments. Since this isn’t possible, I hope my heart comes through in the words you read. I am cheering you on, and know this—motherhood is a journey we must take one day at a time.
10 Things I Wish I Knew About Motherhood:
1. Enjoy a close walk with God through the busyness
The hardest part may be staying consistent. My conviction to daily read God’s Word happened when my girls were very young. Yes, it was hard some days to find the time, but what started out as a demand, grew into a desire. Even if you’re only able to set five minutes aside or you rest on one verse for the week, don’t lose heart. Stay committed. I promise you, it’s worth it. Have that place you meet with God regularly and gain strength from His presence. Let Him be your hiding place (Psalm 32:7). This will be the best thing you can do for yourself and your family!
2. Have a marriage-centered home, not a child-centered home
I know this is a hard concept when there are so many little hands pulling at you, but it will be worth all the blood, sweat, and tears. If you’re married, you’ll want to keep your relationship with your husband your number one priority. Do what it takes to keep this relationship alive and healthy. Create date nights and getaways together. Find time to have conversation that isn’t child-focused. Continue pouring into this relationship.
3. Watch for teachable moments
Deuteronomy 6:5-7 encourages us to love the Lord with all we have and diligently teach His Word to our children from the rising to the setting of the sun. Teaching your children is not relegated to bedtime prayers or dinner devotions, but sharing about God in the ordinary—a car ride, a trip to the park, planting flowers or a hike in the mountains. Include God in every aspect of your day. We should strive to show our children how to see God in the mundane as well as the extraordinary.
4. Embrace sacrifice as an obedience to God and not a hindrance
I think we can sum up motherhood in one word—sacrifice. Mom, whatever you do, do as though you were doing it unto the Lord (Col. 3:23). I often refer to Proverbs 31:25-28 as the gentle reminder that we are called to serve our home and those in it. Next time you find yourself frustrated changing another diaper, washing another dish, planning another meal—you name it—stop and reframe your mindset to see your actions fulfilling the call God has for you to love others and see your families as your first ministry.
5. Allow others to help and remain faithful in prayer
Don’t try to do it all by yourself. Embrace help. Parenting takes a village and your “village” has never been more necessary than it is today. We live in a fast-paced, instant information, and pressure-packed world. Come together with your community for encouragement, support, and most importantly, prayer. Our prayer life is one of the greatest tools in parenting. Stay faithful in it.
6. Encourage your husband to spend one-on-one time with your child, regardless of age
Dads play such an important role in our children’s lives. Creating the space for them to invest in your child—just the two of them—is crucial because it helps build a strong foundation and trust.
7. Love your children in view of eternity
Loving your children through the lens of eternity will open your eyes to more than the here and now, but also the there and then. It will give you more patience when you lack it, more grace when you are empty and more love when you feel like there is nothing left to give. An eternal perspective allows you to see your children the way our Good Father sees them.
8. Seize the moment and be present in the now
It’s hard, but at times we find ourselves wishing for the next season—once they’re out of diapers, then… summer will be easier because… when they have their license, life will be… Work hard to not wish for the next season. Be where your feet are. Mark Batterson, in his book, Win the Day, writes, “time is measured in minutes; life is measured in moments.” Seize the moment and find the blessings in the present.
9. Friendship with your children is not during the rearing stage
Friendship with your children is a sweet and precious gift, but it is not meant to be experienced during each stage of parenthood. The rearing stage—those years leading up to adulthood—are full of guiding, teaching, and disciplining so that you may lead your children on a righteous path. We see this wisdom in Proverbs 22:6,”Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he grows older he will not abandon it.”
10. Never stop tucking your kids into bed
There is something special about these moments and it’s important to stay consistent with them. Don’t allow your child’s age to stop you from tucking them into bed. Two years old is as important as twelve, fifteen, the college years and beyond. Your children will share things with you in the dark of night that they would not share with you in the light of day.
Motherhood is a high calling, and God chose you for your child. Devote yourself to this calling with purpose and determination. The highs, lows, and everything in between, is worth it.
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Jessie Seneca is a national speaker, author, leadership trainer and the founder of More of Him Ministries and iMOM at home conference. She has a passion to help women experience God’s Word for themselves as she encourages you to move into a “wholehearted” lifestyle, one devoted fully to God. Raising Girls Diaper to Diamond is one of her eight books authored and the subject of her online book study that starts March 22nd. Jessie lives in Bethlehem, PA with her husband John. They have two daughters and two wonderful sons-in-law. She is also enjoying being a Mimi to two spunky little boys. Most days you can find her walking her two golden-doodles, Bella and Murphy. Visit Jessie at moreofhimministries.org.