A Note to My Young-Mom Self | Jill Hart

by | Aug 3, 2016

Jill Hart Blog

“Enjoy it. The time passes so quickly…”

If you’re a mom of young kids, it may seem like you hear this advice every day. Especially when you’re in the grocery store. Especially when you’re especially frazzled and your kids are out-of-sorts.

Well-meaning women (the ones without spit-up on their shirts) tell you that you must slow down and enjoy your babies (the ones who are currently pulling each other’s hair and begging for Cocoa Puffs.)

You smile tiredly and nod. You want to enjoy your little ones. You know the years will pass quickly (even though five minutes feel like five hours right now!) But how to do it? That’s the question.

My friend and CWAHM work-at-home expert, Jill Hart, is here to share some young mommy advice we can all benefit from – no matter the age of our kids. Enjoy!

A Note to Self

I’ve been helping my (amazing!) sister-in-law by watching my baby niece regularly and find myself reminiscing about what it was like when my two kids were small (now in double-digits!) I keep telling her little things I wish I’d known.

She’s most likely tired of hearing them…but I’ll keep telling her, because it’s important that we moms remind each other that it’s going to be OK someday. That there really IS a light at the end of this tunnel.

If I could write my young-mom self a note, here’s what it would say:

* This WILL end.  Whatever it is. Terrible twos, terrible threes, frustrating fours (So. Many. Questions.) Temper tantrums. Potty training. Diapers.

This season will end. And you’ll move on to the next one. And it may be better. It may be worse. But it will end, too, and there will be a new season. And another and another.

* Breathe.  It’s okay, even normal for your kid to get on your nerves sometimes. It doesn’t make you a bad mom. It doesn’t mean anything other than that you’re normal. Welcome to motherhood. Thank God, every morning is a fresh start.

* It’s okay for your child to do their own thing some of the time.  You are her mom, not her playmate. You can read or clean or stare out the window for a little while and your child will survive. They may even learn to become independent.

* Choose your battles.  Oh, if I had figured this out sooner what a quieter home we would have had in those early years. This one applies to marriage to. Not every battle needs to be fought. Not every frustration needs to be aired.

Take a walk, have coffee with a friend, find a healthy way to manage the stresses of motherhood and marriage.

* YES, IT IS OKAY FOR SOME THINGS TO BE ABOUT YOU.  How we get stuck in this mindset that we must never do anything for ourselves, I will never understand. And I still struggle with it sometimes. But I am a better mom, a better person all around, when I do things that are for me once in a while.

Follow that dream. Attend that writers conference. Join a MOPS group. Go get a pedicure. Find what fills your tank and do it. Regularly.

* It’s okay to be in survival mode some days.  All days. I remember vividly telling myself that if I could just survive the day, I’d consider it a success. You will survive. And eventually you will enter the “enjoy most days” phase as you watch your child blossom into a teen.

Eventually your child WILL sleep in so you can too. And yes, they will someday eat their green beans without (as much of) a fuss. Alas, they will most likely never learn to pick up their socks.

* All that listening will someday payoff.  Right now they are telling you all they love about Elmo. Or Super Why. Or Mario. And you listen, because you love them.

They are asking 14 gazillion questions about everything and anything. (Oh, the incessant questions nearly were the death of me.)

Then they tell you some more about Mario and expect that you will be every bit as EXCITED as they are!!! Even while, on the inside, you are banging your head against the wall, because…again. How much can one kid really have to say about Elmo?  But still you listen.

However, in a few years you’ll realize that they are now coming to you with the important things. Questions about God. Questions about how they can ever be good enough for heaven when they don’t remember to read their Bible every day. Questions about their friend whose mom has cancer and they aren’t sure how to help. Questions about friends with sexual identity issues. Heavy things that you will be shocked that they know anything about.

SO, keep listening about Elmo and Mario. Smile, nod and make the appropriate conversational sounds. Someday you’ll be so glad you did. Because they will know exactly who to go to, and who will listen to the deep things in their hearts.

And let’s clear this up…

* None of us know what in the world we’re doing.  I know those “expert” mom people on the radio sound like they know everything. They sound like professional moms. But they are JUST LIKE YOU. And when they leave the radio station, they go home to messy houses, messy kids, messy lives. JUST LIKE YOU. Seriously, I’ve been that expert on the radio. Trust me on this.

* You know your child. Trust yourself.  With God’s help, and a little guidance from trusted people, you’ll do right by them. I know it constantly feels like you’re screwing up. And sometimes, you are. But it’s in those broken times that God works His miracles. It’s in the valley where we grow to be like Him. Through the pain. Through our mistakes. Through grace…given to us…given by us.

* Open your life to people.  It’s so easy, especially when your kids are small, to cut yourself off from the world. You’re in survival mode, and as I’ve said, that’s okay. But at some point, begin opening back up. The sooner you’re able, the better life is.

Let’s face it, God created us to be in community. Life is richer with diverse people in it. Join the women’s Bible study at church. Get involved at your kids’ school. Open your home for a small group. Find a way to connect with people. And, NO, Facebook does not count. Nice try.

* On the flip-side of that, know your limits.  Learn how (and when) to say no – nicely and politely but firmly. Seriously, the sooner you learn this the better. It may be hard. But you will thank yourself a million times over for learning this lesson. It’s much easier to go back and say yes, than going back to say no.

* Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  I don’t even mean for the big things, the times when it’s obvious you need help. I mean on those days where you are either going to rip your hair out or break down in tears. Yes, we know you can power through. (Yay you. There are no extra points for that. And it’s silly.)

Call a friend. Call your mom. Call a neighbor. Or take a play from my friend’s playbook: stick your kids in the car, grab some Starbucks, and call your friend and tell them you’re on your way.

We’re in this together.

And, to be clear…

* It’s okay if all the other moms are skinnier than you, prettier than you, shorter than you.  You may feel like the amazon woman of the group, but each of those other moms have their issues and insecurities, too.

You are you. So be the best you, inside and out – but especially inside – that you can be.

(SIDE NOTE: And when your three-year-old points out the advertised diet pills on TV and says, “Mom! Maybe that’s what you need!” he truly is trying to be helpful, not mean. Let him live.)

And finally…

* It really is all about attitude.  If you start your days all woe-is-me then, yeah, life is gonna seem hard and depressing. But if you start each day with a grateful heart, thankful to be right where you are, life takes on a whole new perspective.

Will there be hard days? Yeah, lots of them. But I promise you this…

There will be a whole lot more good ones.

More About Jill Hart

Jill HartAn entrepreneur at heart, Jill’s passion began as a teen when she spent a summer working with her father who ran his own business. When he put her in charge of a Coke machine and allowed her to keep the profits, she saw the benefits of being her own boss. She is the founder of the popular Christian work-at-home website: CWAHM.com.

Jill is the author of Do Life Different and contributing author in several books including Faith Deployed … Again and So You Want To Be a Work-at-Home Mom. Jill also has articles published in In Touch Magazine and P31 Woman magazine, as well as across the web on sites like DrLaura.com.

Free Mommy Printable

Jill’s advice really resonates with me. It reminds me of a conversation I had with my dear friend, Lydia Donohue, when we were both young moms. I told her how overwhelmed I felt as a momma and ministry woman. She shared some tips, but then pointed me to a portion of scripture I’ve never forgot.

“You can see, my lord, that some of the children are very young, and the flocks and herds have their young, too. If they are driven too hard, even for one day, all the animals could die. Please, my lord, go ahead of your servant. We will follow slowly, at a pace that is comfortable for…the children.” Genesis 33:13-14 (NLT)

Young Mom Tips PINI want you to know, sweet mommas, know matter how young or old your children are, God wants to help you find a pace that fits your unique situation and family. Don’t compare yourself with others. Just look to Jesus. He’ll give you the strength and wisdom you need.

After all, He chose you to be the mommy you are, and He’s equipping you for the task (as monumental as it seems at times!)

You, my friend, are more than enough in Him!

{ Free PRINTABLE featuring Jill’s tips and Lydia’s verse }

[This post contains affiliate links]

I’d love to hear from you…What other tips would you include in a note to your young-mom-self?

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This