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Before I had babies, I was afraid I wouldn’t be good at it. Rearing babies, that is.
Turns out, I’m the baby whisperer.
When Baby Cakes visits, I implement my secret strategy.
It’s called, Turning On The Faucet.
I walk over to the kitchen sink, turn on the tap, pat her back while swaying, and her little head lays right down on my shoulder.
Turn off water = raised head.
Leave water on = giant water bill + sleeping baby.
At this point, I’ll take the sleeping baby.
All women clothe themselves in a robe of anxiety before becoming mamas. It breaks down something like this:
What if I can’t give birth without anesthesia?
What if I’m not good at nursing?
What if I don’t know how to calm the baby?
What if I don’t catch the fact that he may have a handicap?
What if I’m a failure at potty training?
What if I can’t ever get him to stop biting?
Pre-school and Kindergarteners
What if I’m not teaching him enough?
What if I can’t ever get her to stop sucking her thumb before she goes to school?
What if I can’t tell if he has special needs?
What if I can’t get them to do their homework?
What if I can’t get her through this awkward stage?
What if I don’t know what to say if he doesn’t make the team?
What if I can’t control them?
What if I’m never able to really connect with or understand them?
What if I can’t get them to take responsibility seriously?
What if I can’t guide them to a good career?
What if I can’t motivate them to finish college?
What if I can’t get them to move out of the house?!
What if I overstep boundaries and make their parents angry?
What if I spoil them too much?
What if I can’t find a connection with them?
What to do when you question your abilities as a mother. Click To Tweet
Did you notice that all the questions started with, “What if I”? Do you know why?
Because truthfully, when we wonder if our kid will ever potty-train, we think we’re failing in the whole bathroom business.
When our kids don’t turn in their homework on time or run consistently late for part-time jobs, we wonder where we went wrong.
If my kid becomes a two-year-old bully, my automatic thought is, “how did I fail so miserably at making this kid nice, and where is the sweet little baby I had mere months ago”?
You want to know the answer to all these questions?
The answer is:
I don’t know the answer.
Here’s the deal: your kids will be like no one else’s. Your situation will be different than all the other moms. Your husband will also be
a little weird different.
You may find this hard to believe, but there is no manual for rearing your personal children.
Every animal on the planet knows how to care for its young. They are born with an innate ability to know.
But with parenting, it’s different. For one thing, our young actually talk.
And sometimes they talk back.
We also rear our young for years as opposed to most animals leaving within a matter of months.
Why do you think God did that to us?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct Thy paths. ~Proverbs 3:5-6
Mothering examples from Scripture
Old Testament moms didn’t have all the answers either.
Hagar may have been oblivious when Ishmael kept making fun of Isaac (Genesis 21:9). When Sarah threw her out, she ran out of water in the desert, and all she could think to do was to put Ishmael under a shade tree and go have a good cry. But God told her not to fear – and He cared for them.
Rebekah used her faulty human influence over her son, Jacob, directing him to steal his brother’s birthright and deceive his father (she came from deceptive stock – and she passed it on; Genesis 27:8-10). But God later re-named Jacob Israel and that was the beginning of that great nation.
When the widow and her son were starving, her reasoning was to prepare one last meal for them both and then wait for death to come, yet God sent Elijah to provide for them (I Kings 17:12). Later on, her son became so ill that she couldn’t save him, and he died (verse 18). But after he brought her son back to life, she knew he was from God (vs. 24).
In New Testament days – even Mary didn’t understand Jesus (why in the world did he cause his parents so much worry by staying back to talk to the teachers – and not letting his parents know?!!). But He grew up to be the Savior of the world.
Moms have been asking the same questions for years.
And God has an answer for us.
And not only trust, but acknowledging God in all our ways.
What does trusting and actively seeking look like for a mother?
1.) Daily giving our children back to the Lord
Through prayer and Scripture reading, actively connecting with the Lord and bringing Him our concerns.
2.) Seeking out mentors
Seasoned mamas can be such a source of inspiration! Even though their experiences are different from yours, many child-rearing principles still remain the same – such as teaching obedience and consistency.
P.S. You can get weekly parenting tips and advice in your email by following RearReleaseRegroup.com here!
3.) Reading Christian parenting books
When my kids were growing up, I pored over books like The Strong-willed Child by James Dobson and How to make children mind without losing yours by Kevin Lehman. These days, there are even more great child rearing books such as Sally Clarkson’s The Ministry of Motherhood and The Mission of Motherhood.
4.) Studying our children
Familiarize yourself with their personalities, read up on their personality types and how to work with each, and help them develop their individual talents. Keep your eyes and ears open, and you will often figure out what needs done through observation.
About my secret…
I’ll bet you’re still wondering how I figured out the faucet trick, aren’t you?
One day when Baby Cakes threw a fit, I grabbed a milk bottle out of the ‘fridge and flipped on the water to warm it. As I stood by the sink waiting, Baby Cakes stopped crying and put her sweet little head on my shoulder. I decided to turn the spigot off since she calmed, but she straightened back up and started crying again.
Decided to resume bottle warming and after turning the faucet back on, I realized she calmed back down.
Her mother runs a white-noise maker at night. She’s used to sleeping with it.
Kinda like Pavlov’s dog, ya know?
(Nevermind if you don’t.)
Happy Mother’s Day, mom. You got this. And even if you don’t – God does! You’re going to make it – you’re doing it right now! Keep walking by faith – God will light your path for each step as you go! He will not leave you.
And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. ~Philippians 1:6
*What stage of parenting are you anxious about? Join the discussion in the comments below!