This week God has laid it upon my heart to start a young mothers' prayer group within our church. In talking with some of the other moms, we all feel the challenge of balancing our relationships with God, our husband, and our children. Add the stress of the things we have to do and the things we would like to do and being a mother can be downright challenging,
As mothers, we forget is that there is a whole group of mothers out there just like us. Mothers who struggle with feelings of inadequacy. Mothers who feel overwhelmed. Mothers who are discouraged. Mothers who are drowning in their day to day "to do" list.
So what can we do to keep from feeling this way? Well for one, our priorities have to be in line. God has to be our number one. In John 15:5 Jesus says, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." (NIV) That is right...we can do nothing. If you are not abiding in him, you will never feel complete. You will never feel good enough. You will never feel adequate. But, when your relationship is right with God, you find peace in the knowledge you are the mother that God created you to be. Next, you have to meet the needs of your spouse and your children. If you are engaging in activites that you enjoy or that "need" to be done, but your spouse and children have needs that are not being met, you shouldn't be doing them.
Once these priorities are in order, we should be focused on how we can serve others. Galatians 5:13 says "For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another". (ESV) By creating a support system with other mothers that are facing the same trials and tribulations, we are creating opportunities to serve one another and to love one another as Christ has loved us.
I would like give you just a few ideas about how you can serve other mothers. Please share any additional ideas that you have in the comment section.
- Pray for each other. Communicate your struggles and praises each week with other moms. Pray for each other throughout the week.
- Be real and honest with other moms. I know we all like to look like Super Mom, but it is nice to know that every mom has something that she struggles with. It makes us all feel a bit more normal. Plus, no one can provide you with support unless you tell them about what you actually need.
- Watch another mom's kids. When a mom that you know needs a break, offer to watch her children. If a mom needs to go to an appointment and doesn't want to take all 5 children, offer to watch them. If one of your friends needs a date night with her spouse, head to her house.
- Take a mom a meal. Ok, let's face it, sometimes we don't even have time to get food on our own table, but if there is a mom in need, make time to do it! Try making a double batch of what you are having for dinner or have several freezer meals available for when someone is in need.
- Make a phone call. If you know another mom is having a bad day and needs some encouragement pick up the phone and call. Even if you only have a few seconds, the mom will appreciate the encouragement. If you don't have time for a phone call, send a text, email or Facebook message.
- Remember other moms' birthdays and take them something special. For most moms birthdays are just another day. We still have kids to take care of, chores to do and errands to run. Taking a few minutes to deliver a batch of cookies or a Starbucks will make them feel special.
- Save your baby clothes, maternity clothes, cribs, etc. At some point, there will be another mom that you will be able to bless with your hand-me-downs. I have been blessed by these acts of kindness. I have two daughters, so when my son came along I didn't have any clothing. Thanks to several other moms, I have not had to purchase one article of clothing for my son. He is 7 months and I have clothes all the way up to 2T!
- Have several pre-made mom baskets on hand to deliver. Ideas for these include a Box of Sunshine (to brighten someone's day), a Hospital Survival Kit (when someone is in labor or has to stay in the hospital), a Get Well Kit (when a mom and/or child is sick), or a New Mom Comfot Kit. Deliver a basket whenever God presents an opportunity for you to support a mom who is in need.
- Plan a baby shower. If you have a friend who is expecting, even if it is her fourth child, plan a baby shower. Gather resources to make sure she gets what she really needs (crib, diapers, etc).
- Be available. Have you ever had one of those days when you just needed to talk to someone? Be available for other moms every chance that you get! Take their phone calls, respond to their texts/emails/Facebook messages, and open your home. Who cares if your home isn't spotless. If another mom needs a listening ear, she won't care about the state of your house!