Contest for a Free Copy of “Mind Scrubs for Moms”

Jenn at The Purposeful Mom is hosting a contest for a chance to win a copy of my ebook: Mind Scrubs for Moms. Click here to read her review of my book and to enter the contest for a chance to win.

Wanna preview a chapter of the book? Click here.

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Quotes on motherhood

Today I thought I’d share some interesting quotes on motherhood. Gave me some food for thought:

“Motherhood has completely changed me. It’s just about like the most completely humbling experience that I’ve ever had. I think that it puts you in your place because it really forces you to address the issues that you claim to believe in and if you can’t stand up to those principles when you’re raising a child, forget it.” (Diane Keaton)

“Motherhood has relaxed me in many ways. You learn to deal with crisis. I’ve become a juggler, I suppose. It’s all a big circus, and nobody who knows me believes I can manage, but sometimes I do.” (Jane Seymour)

“Take motherhood: nobody ever thought of putting it on a moral pedastal until some brash feminists pointed out, about a century ago, that the pay is lousy and the career ladder nonexistent.” (Barbara Ehrenreich)

“Motherhood was my career. I’m totally satisfied with that.” (Ann Romney)

 

A Thought for Your Heart This Week: G.K. Chesterton on Motherhood

“To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labours, and holidays; to be Whitely within a certain area, providing toys, boots, cakes and books; to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can imagine how this can exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone and narrow to be everything to someone? No, a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute.”

 

-GK Chesterton

New Mother: A Letter for You

Hello new mother. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Just a few years ago you were…well, we won’t go there. But we want to welcome you to this new place, this cadre of moms. We are everywhere. Driving down the street. Walking to a bus stop. Hanging out at the checkout line at Target. Stopping at Starbucks to get a tall mocha latte {Well, the mothers with older/adult children are lounging at Starbucks. The younger moms are at the park trying to convince their preschooler that eating sand isn’t a good source of fiber.}

You’ve been blessed.

But just because you have been blessed doesn’t mean it will be easy. No sirree. It’s the toughest job I’ve ever had. Some days I’d rather scrub a toilet than take the time to put on the mother hat and calm a tantrum. But I’m going to take a bet and say you’ve had your hard days too.

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New mother, your little one is so very fresh. Fresh from the hands of God. I’m sure you’ve read all the books and heard all the advice you can, especially the advice about enjoying it now, because they grow up so very fast. I personally haven’t gotten to that stage of motherhood yet, but sometimes I look at my three year old and can picture him swaddled in a blanket in my mind’s eye.

I could say all of this nice, profound philosophical stuff, but really, truly: having a newborn stinks like a poopy diaper. So it can be hard for a mother to relish every moment.

I’d be lying if I told you that I was full of that “new mom joy” when I had a newborn screaming in my ear for hours.

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I could definitely wait to become pregnant again. I looked at other mothers who had two, three, four, five, six, seven…children and thought they were smoking something. Pushing the one baby out took a feat of monumental, non-human strength. And the reward for my effort? Sleepless nights.

I despised the early days. Truly despised them. I wanted to give the Mother Badge back.  I didn’t like it when my husband started calling me “Mommy” instead of “Preslaysa.” I told him to stop doing so, but he didn’t want the baby growing up calling me “Preslaysa.” I lost that one. I felt like my life was over: that my identity would forever be lost in being a “mother.”

And I felt guilty about that. Was it a sin to feel this way? Shouldn’t a mother feel joyful and so in love with their new baby right now?

My heart wasn’t so sure.  

I can’t sleep because I worry all the time about everything.

-A new mom

Still the guilt plagued me. Did God look down from heaven at me and say: “Preslaysa, I mean, Mommy,  is breaking all the Christian Mother Rules. Too bad we can’t take the baby back, give him to another mother. We’ll just have to play this one out and hope for the best.”

But I do remember when I felt the first ember of love toward my son. It was in the middle of the night. Husband was sound asleep after giving him the 2 a.m. feeding, but the baby was screaming.

So, of course, dutiful new mom was up.

I went to his room and picked him up out of the crib. Then he stopped crying {of course}. Then we walked to our tiny kitchen and the moonlight filtered through the half-closed, white blinds and shone on his cherubic face. His liquid brown eyes looked up in awe at the moon.

I looked up in awe at him.

But before that moment, all I can remember was that my house was a wreck. And all I did was change diapers, feed a baby, rock a baby, dress a baby, hope {and pray} a baby would nap. And maybe try to find some inkling of time for me.

I wasn’t in love.

Second time around, things were a little easier {a little}, but they were still hard. Second time around, I worried if both children were treated the same way. I wanted to be the Democratic Mother. Read this post about my struggles to be an equal opportunity mother.

But I can’t live life making sure the scales are always balanced. Love is love. Plain and simple.

I know a lot of moms feel this way. After taking all those childbirth classes and reading all those books, you think you’d be excited about parenthood. When all you’re really trying to do is make it.

We know what that’s like.

The point of this letter is to let you know that I’ve been there. Many women have been there. And that it’ll get better. Much better.

And since you’ve heard a lot of advice already, a little more won’t hurt. A few tips:

*Go to bed. Don’t try to be superwoman. You brought forth a new life. That’s super enough.

*Messy house is fine too.

*If you don’t want to entertain visitors, don’t.

*You may get down. You may get depressed. I suffered from a deep, prolonged depression prior to becoming a mother. After becoming a mom, the stress of a newborn caused me to worry that I’d sink into another depression. That’s a normal feeling. If you feel that way, seek out help. Don’t hide behind a Happy Mother mask.

That’s all. {Giving you a hug now.}

What were the early days like for you? If you are going through those days now, how’s it going?

The Heart of Parenting, a guest blog by Cheri Swalwell

I’m excited to welcome Cheri Swalwell to the blog today. Cheri is the author of two devotionals  “A Forty Day Habit Between Friends, Because They Need You” and  “A Forty Day Habit Between Friends, Taking it to the Next Level” which are available now.

Does parenting come naturally to you, or did you feel like a fish out of water the first time your little one was placed in your arms? Maybe you’re gifted with handling the baby/toddler stage, but the preteen years and beyond send you into a full-blown anxiety attack. Do you have one child whose compliant, another out of control, and a third or fourth somewhere in the middle?

I believe children are a gift from God, but I also think parenting is one of the hardest jobs a person is blessed to have. Every day presents different challenges and if you have more than one child, sometimes multiple times a day you are called on to have insight you just don’t feel equipped to dish out. I’m so glad I’m a follower of Christ, because without His wisdom, this parenting journey would be much more difficult than it already is.

This devotional was created from a blog I started over a year ago. Each topic is short and to the point and speaks from a godly perspective about specific challenges you may or may not face during your parenting years. They’re perfect for when you want to connect with God at any time of day and small enough to fit in your purse or briefcase. They’re a great gift to give to an unsaved or seeking relative or friend as it’s just me talking, friend to friend, sharing from my heart. They are the same conversations I would have with you over a cup of a coffee, during a play date, or sitting alongside you on the bleachers.

It has been said that it takes approximately forty days to create a habit. That is why this devotional has forty messages, just the right amount to get you started on a healthy habit of connecting with God. It’s small and compact, but full of morsels to get you thinking about your own relationship with God.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. Can’t wait to connect with you.

About Cheri

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Cheri Swalwell is a wife, mother, and avid reader, but first and foremost she is a Christ follower. She has a degree in Psychology and has been blessed to be a guest on a variety of blogs including Christiandevotions.us, Circle of Friends, and Crosswalk.com/family. She is a regular contributor to book fun magazine. If you want to hear more about the heart she has for marriage, parenting, and relationships from a Christian perspective, feel free to visit her blog: http://journeysfromtheheartofawifeandmother.wordpress.com or “like” her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/cheri-Swalwell. She loves to interact with her readers, so feel free to connect with her at clSwalwell99(at)gmail(dot)com