Streaks of sunlight dance through the airy, gently billowing curtains in the nursery. The room is graced with cheerful neutrals of cream, white and tan; the crib sheets match the throw pillows on the wingback rocking chair. Tiny silver trinkets, rows of books, rattles, and keepsakes line the shelves anxiously waiting for the tiny human that will eventually consider them “belongings.” You take a deep breath, inhaling the intoxicating smell of baby powder and fresh linens. Life is simple, sweet, and swelling with anticipation of your first born’s arrival.
We as moms dreamed about that perfect nursery that would one day house our precious baby. The swing or cradle would provide just enough movement to lull that baby into a deep, restful, quiet sleep, so we could keep the house and ourselves in perfect “nothing has changed” condition. Days would be filled with park outings, storytimes and lunch dates with other moms.
When dreams are very quickly overtaken by the reality of a baby with colic, two children under the age of two, or having to work outside the home, among others, it can be hard to find the joy in the everyday.
Whether you fill your daytime hours shuttling your kids, keeping a “tidy” house, and prepping dinner so you can all eat together, or whether you’re working outside the home to help provide for your family, rushing from meeting to meeting, and trying to get home in order to spend enough time with your kids, living on a mom-island of one is no bueno.
Having lived both the stay-at-home (while also trying to work from home part time) and working mom lifestyle, I know that “mom isolation” can happen regardless of your environment. A mom can be surrounded by her children or coworkers constantly and still feel alone. In hindsight, my time at home could have been more fulfilling. I lacked patience, thankfulness, and above all, a personal relationship with Jesus. Instead of starting my days with “Good morning, Father,” I started them with “ugh, the baby’s up already.” Don’t get me wrong – when sleep is elusive, I know it’s so hard to want to cut any of it short. I do know that as little as five minutes in the morning with Christ centers us, sets the tone for the day, and puts your heart and mind in a joyful, happy place.
To say that living in “mom isolation” is lonely is a drastic understatement. God created us to live in community, to be the church, and to lift each other up. Only once I recognized my intense need for a daily relationship with Jesus, and for a relationship with other moms, could I see perspective in my days. It’s not about a perfectly clean house, organic lunch boxes, or “Pinterest-perfect” birthday parties; It’s about living each day as a light for Jesus and a member of community.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. It lets us learn not to let your children’s moods dictate your day nor the amount of meetings on your calendar. As moms, we can learn from each others’ hindsights before we walk down those paths alone. In my journey, I’ve discovered some excellent resources and tools to help in my sense of community.
God Centered Mom podcast
Heather from the God Centered Mom Podcast has been a big source of inspiration for me. From nudging me to start a blog to helping me find some “me time,” I always walk away feeling like I haven’t wasted my time by listening.
Local lifegroups/ connect groups
Some of my husband and my best friends are from long-running lifegroups through church. There’s something comforting and constant about meeting up with the same people every week. Find a local moms meetup, get connected through your church, or explore other ways to get that face-to-face time with moms who can walk alongside you.
She Reads Truth Bible
I’ve recently fallen in love with my She Reads Truth Bible. It helps me connect with and understand Jesus on my terms. Each book of the Bible has a beautifully hand-scripted verse and there’s additional commentary to aid in our understanding and application of His word. Even five minutes in the morning reading God’s word and connecting with Him on a personal level sets my day in the right direction.
Bible app – mom plans
The Bible app by YouVersion is a great way to take the Word with you. If you only have a few minutes at your desk or can sit on a bench for 20, this app can help you connect with Jesus on a daily basis. There are so many great reading plans for moms that range from a few minutes of commitment to a full study. You can even find a few friends to read a plan with and discuss through the app.
Motherhood is not what I pictured at all. If you choose not to include God in your parenting, it can be hard to make it through the tough and still appreciate those perfect blessings. James 1:17 says:
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
I’m in daily awe that of all the people in the world, God would choose me to raise these precious little people. That he choose me is so incredibly humbling. My prayer for you is that you would find the beauty, joy, and appreciation in the everyday with your perfect gifts as well.