Which mom are you?

You may be a boy  mom if you’ve heard, “Mom! I’m done! And it looks like a snake!”

Or a girl mom if you’ve yelled, “We don’t have time to brush your hair, just get in the car!”

You may be a SAHMom if you put on a jacket to drive kids to school because no one will know you aren’t wearing a bra. Or if you signed them all up for summer art camp, basketball camp, college for kids and dance camp because #operationkeepyoursanity.

You may be a mom in waiting who wishes she bought stock in FirstResponse. (been there!)

Or an empty nester who finally gets the spring break to Hawaii she planned 20 years ago. (Someday! Fingers crossed!)

You may be a mom of babies if the first question your spouse asks in the morning is “How did you sleep?” And you get excited to say you had a REM cycle!

You may be a dog mom if you enter the room, see something brown out of the corner of your eye, and automatically gasp. Phew, just a Lincoln Log.

You’re a cat mom if you go furniture shopping for your new house, but only come home with a new cat tree. Or if you’ve reassured the person pet sitting for you that Snickers didn’t escape, “He just doesn’t like people.” (cat moms I will never understand you. LOL)

You may be a Harry Potter mom if your most expensive decor in the living room is HP legos and you’ve instructed all children visitors they may not touch them. #don’tlosethepieces!

Or a Midwest mom when your kid asks if they need a coat, and you respond “Just a jacket, you’ll probably have indoor recess anyway.”

You’re a preschool mom if you met your new besties waiting in the pick up line. “How old is yours? 22 months?! Mine too!”

Or a mom of BIGS if your kid says they’re sick and your first question is “How sick?”

You may be a lunch packing mom if you’re excited for hamburger day because you can take a break. Or a hot lunch mom if you’ve gotten the email… You owe $4.13, your account is empty.”

You may be an allergy mom if you know the difference between a U or D.E.

Or a picky eaters mom if you’re excited he ate 2 chicken nuggets.

No matter what kind of mom you are, have been, or will be… I just wanted to make you smile and say GOOD JOB YOU! The honor of motherhood is so important even when you feel so insignificant. The lunch you make, the bottom you wipe, the hug you give, the lessons you teach– God gave you that job, He sees your work, and said, says, and will say… well done.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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AndreaWeb47

 

Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.

Find Andrea also at WhollyLoved Ministries and her devotionals on Crosswalk

 

#allthemoms

I was sitting on a bench at the park with a mom-friend having my only adult conversation of the day. Our kids were climbing the tornado slide and shooting hoops independently while we sat and took a break from mothering. Another mom sat across the park from us… in the sand, digging, laughing, and playing with her kids. Soon she got up, put her little boy on her shoulders while pushing a stroller up a hill.

We sat there watching her amazing mom efforts from our cozy restful bench, and I felt a little humbled by her obvious mothering prowess.

“You’re my hero!” I said to the woman who seemed to have more energy than me and my friend combined.

“Oh, I just finally have a day off to be with my kids! Gotta soak it up.” she said waiving off my compliment.

That little moment reminded me that there is no place for comparison in mothering. We are all struggling either inwardly or externally to be the best mom for our kids. And we are all amazing.  For some of us that means taking a break on the bench for sanity, and for some it means being present and playing in the sand.

We are all struggling either inwardly or externally to be the best mom for our kids. And we are all amazing. 

I’ve been on both sides of the mom coin. I’ve been a full-time working mom who misses her kid so much she doesn’t want to go anywhere on the weekends because she wants to soak in every moment with those little snuggle bugs. And I’ve been a stay at home mom who plays all day long and needs her little snuggle bugs to play independently at the park because she’s needs an adult moment.

No matter what way you do it, mothering is the best, hardest, most rewarding, and most emotionally challenging role in a woman’s life. It is full of tender moments that are only experienced between you and your child. And it is full of worry, self-doubt, and fear that you are doing it all wrong or not doing it as well as the next mom.

No matter what way you do it, mothering is the best, hardest, most rewarding, and most emotionally challenging role in a woman’s life.

Here’s some of what I want to say to all my mom friends out there… 

To my pre-moms who are are trying to get pregnant and struggling or who are pregnant and are hyper worried. You are already a good mom because you already love your someday baby and are already wishing and hoping and praying for it’s future. The pregnancy journey can be lonely and long, but God is there to listen to every worry, fear,  or doubt. You will be amazing!

To my SAHMoms of littles who are just plain exhausted. Keep going. Your love and snuggles and never-ending days will be short-lived, but you will smile when you look back on these days and your kids will remember all that you do. Take care of your heart so you can take care of your littles. Know that for you and your life, you are the only person God wanted to take care of those littles which means less of yourself and more of son-2935723_1920them right now. But it’s worth it and you are simply amazing.

To my working mom friends who are equally exhausted. You are loving your kids just as much and you are building confidence in their little hearts as they see you rockin’ it at whatever you do. I remember when my mom finished college in my teen years with high marks and got her first job at a bank. I had never been more proud of her in my life and I told everyone about her accomplishments. She has been my biggest cheerleader in school, and a listening ear for all my dreams in life– no matter how crazy they are. Working moms, you are simply amazing.

To my moms of teens who are just plain lost in the world of adolescence and are hanging on to motherhood by prayers and God’s wisdom. We are here with you to listen and pray and encourage you. Please remember the lessons you learn on this journey and pass them down to us moms of littles. We will need your help soon! You are our role models. Stay strong. You are amazing!

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To my single mom friends. You are stronger than anyone I know. You do it all. Often times with no recognition or help. You are master jugglers of work, school, kids, and emotions. You are so strong that sometimes it’s hard for you to accept help and support. But we are with you. We are for you. We are amazed by you as you lead your people in love.

To my moms of kids that face big challenges— kids who suffer from physical illnesses,  learning struggles, mental, emotional, or social battles. It’s just plain harder. I wish I could take some of your burden and lighten your worry load. But the only thing I know is that our God is bigger and stronger than anything that our kids will face. When you feel out of control, He is in control. Let God be God of every moment that feels too big or too much, and let yourself just be you, amazing and wonderful you.

And to my grandmas and mother-in-laws out there. Simply where would we be without you??? We are so thankful for all the meals, hugs, help, love, and wisdom you have filled us with. You tell us we can do it and we believe you. You lift us up when we feel like we have nothing else. You bring coffee and smiles and sanity to our lives. You invest your time in your grandkids when you could be off doing your own thing. You make this mothering business so much lighter and remind us to keep focused on what’s important. You are simply amazing.

I have so much love for all you moms out there. In a world that tells you you are not enough, I just wanted to tell you that you are amazing.

Happy Mother’s Day!

-andrea

Enduring Motherhood

It’s 5:45AM and I’m wiping puke off the toilet. He didn’t quite get there. Two hours before his sister was up scared needing a 5th tuck in. Two hours after puke, his little brother wants to watch Lion Guard. And I am defeated before the day begins. I’m not sure I have the endurance for this day, but I have a choice to make.

Will I grumble through the day? Or will I endure with grace and love following Jesus through the landmines.

And a verse comes to my mind.

“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young,” (Isaiah 40:11 NIV).

I stood in my bathroom, one of the only places I can lock the door for a moment and pray those words back to him. Jesus you say you gently lead mothers and I need you to do that today. I need you because I can’t do this day well without you. 

There is something so sacred and precious about the fact that our God sees us mothers and carries us close to his heart. He knows the humble and sometimes exhausting job we have to do. He sees our day and He honors it in his Word saying that He will gently lead us.

Gently. There’s no shove into perfection. No jab when we get it wrong. No guilt-trip that we’re not enough. No. Jesus is an opposite dose of everything the world around us is handing out. He gathers us to himself, carries us close, and gently leads when we surrender our day to him.

Jesus is an opposite dose of everything the world around us is handing out.

I think of you, friend, and what battles you face today. Whether it’s a whole bunch of little moments needing your attention, or a seemingly impossible giant ahead of you. At some point we all will have a day when we stretch ourselves to meet the needs of the people we care for. I pray that you remember Isaiah 40:11 on that day.

That God cares about all the little and big battles. He sees you and is with you especially when it’s hard. He tucks us in close and helps us endure.

 

book-bindings-3176776_1920Journal reflections:

When have you felt God carrying you in the past?

In what circumstances do you need God to gently lead you today?

Read Isaiah 40:11 again. What hits you? What soothes you? What is God saying to you?

 

 

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

The Power of Truth

I listen to the world too much. As I do, I feel my wheels going off the track in motherhood, in womanhood, and in faith. I’m done listening. I’m ready to be the one talking. Ready to fight back with Truth.

If you are a believer in Christ there is a battle going on over you. Over this day ahead of you. Maybe you think I’m over dramatic for saying that, but if we don’t believe it then we’ve already lost because we’ve already lost truth.

We have to know there is a fight going on, and who it’s against before we can start swingin’.

Paul puts it this way, “Finally be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the…powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:10-12 NIV).

We have to know there is a fight going on, and who it’s against before we can start swingin’. Otherwise we miss the target.

I admit, I have swung and missed on dark days. I have jabbed fellow warriors with my words or unkind spirit when I should’ve been saving that energy to fight the real enemy. But sometimes it feels like the fight never ends. I need reinforcements.

That’s why Paul reminded us to be strong in Jesus not ourselves. Because our power runs out, but Jesus has more than enough of all that we need for our day.

“…and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist…” (Ephesians 6:13-14) NIV.

God has been pressing on me the importance of holding tight to truth lately. That when the days are long and all of our energy is worn out, God’s truth in the Bible gets us back on track. God’s Word fights back for us in our minds and spirits.

Paul continues saying, “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” (6:16-17 NIV).

I used to think when I opened my Bible it would be too confusing or all I would find was condemnation. But instead I find the Truth.

Truth that I am a loved child of God, that He has and will continue to fight for His daughter, and that Jesus is enough even when I am not. But I had to open up my Bible to find that truth. To believe it down in my gut I had to read it for myself.

I had to open up my Bible to find that truth. To believe it down in my gut I had to read it for myself.

I don’t know who or what you are fighting today, but I know God wanted me to remind you to hold to HIS truth. The truth that says you are not alone in the fight. Jesus has an ample supply of courage and strength for your day. So when you’ve done all you can to stand up straight today, dear friend. Stand firm then in Jesus.

 

Journal reflections:book-bindings-3176776_1920

How have you swung and missed?

What truth is God asking you to trust in today?

Open your Bible to the book of Ephesians. Write down verses that hit you as important and use them for battle!

 

 

 

 

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

Mamaship: Surviving Motherhood

It’s 3 degrees out and my best friend’s car pulls up to my snowy sidewalk. There he waits for the bus everyday without freezing his face off. And I survive motherhood a little better because I don’t have to wake up my two slumbering littles. It may seem like a small insignificant act of kindness, but it’s one of my favorite acts of Mamaship.

We need to create a new word to reflect the friends we find during young motherhood. It’s not simply friendship. It goes deeper. It’s that friend who loves your kids like her own. It’s a friendship that helps you survive motherhood. It’s mamaship.

Mothering littles tested my sanity, my faith, and my ability to put one foot in front of the other.

Mamaship has been one of the biggest blessings in my life the last three years. During that time I went from having one toddler to having three. Mothering littles tested my sanity, my faith, and my ability to put one foot in front of the other. It sanctifies the heart in countless ways, but for me motherhood erased pride and showed me how to humbly accept help.

I didn’t always have mamaship. But we moved to this new neighborhood when I needed it most. I had quit my job, didn’t have work friends anymore, my family was all over the map, and my sportswriter husband worked all week and then covered games on the weekend. And I was a little afraid to let people into my chaos because I feared they would see I wasn’t a great mother or homemaker.

So my choice was to be alone in motherhood, or to let a few people in to see that I didn’t have it all together hoping they wouldn’t judge me. I decided to take a chance.

I would take walks around the neighborhood and talk to any mom outside on a sunny day. And slowly over cups of tea, afternoon snacks, halloween dinners, and morning winter playdates, God blessed me with more mamaship than I had ever thought possible.

God blessed me with more mamaship than I had ever thought possible.

Together we have shared in each other’s losses, been ears to motherhood insecurities, cheerleaders for new dreams, and second pairs of hands when life is crazy.

It reminds me of Pauls words to the Philippians. “I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles” (Philippians 4:13-14 emphasis mine).

Young moms, the best thing you can do for yourself is find other moms in your season who can share in your troubles and share in your delights. It takes vulnerability and a sprinkle of divine help, but I pray that you find mamaship.

Motherhood is a team sport and we need others to love our kids when our tank is empty. And on cold winter days when influenza is getting the best of you… you will thank God for mamaship as your bestie picks up your kid and takes him to the bus stop.

**Who are your mamaship friends? You know, the ones who just make motherhood better? Share this with them today thanking them for the strength– and coffee — they have loaned you.