Thursday, May 17, 2007

Not Alone...

I just started this book by Susan Alexander Yates, And Then I Had Kids: Encouragement for Mothers of Young Children. I won't have the opportunity to complete it at this time because I just realized that I only have a few more weeks before our Little One is born, so I need to review Gary Ezzo's book, On Becoming Babywise. However, after reading the first chapter of Mrs. Yates book I felt as if I wasn't alone and I wanted to share a few quotes from the first chapter that expresses a lot of the thoughts and feelings I've gone through. I am excited to read how Mrs. Yates overcame these thoughts and feelings through a Biblical perspective...

It is often difficult for moms with young children to accomplish anything that seems to last longer than a few hours. In a house with five small children, I found that clean kids were dirty quickly, a neat house lasted only through naptime, and dinner was a far cry from a gourmet meal. Mowing the lawn gave me a real sense of satisfaction-it lasted a few days!

...We tell ourselves that what we are doing is important. These are our children, and we are investing valuable time in raising them. We know we love them and we want to spend time with them, yet often we don't enjoy it at all. Then we feel guilty because we should be enjoying it, we think. We feel that what we are doing is right, and yet sometimes we don't like it. These feelings of guilt lower our self-image...

...What should our self-worth really be based on?...

It is easy for mothers of young children to find themselves suffering from monotony. There appears to be no end in sight to our daily tasks. We get through one day, go to bed, and awaken the next morning to find the very same chores facing us again.

...A sense of isolation surrounds us, and we feel alone in our tasks. Much of our day is spent by ourselves entertaining and caring for small children. The absence of other adult conversation can cause us to feel like our brains have turned to mush...And...loneliness then compounds the feeling of being stuck in a rut...

...How do we acquire a proper perspective on this special time in our lives? Is it possible for this season to become one of enjoyment rather than of pure endurance?

It is easy for us as busy mothers to find ourselves pulled in too many directions. Our husbands neeed us, our children need us, and our community needs us. The needs are valid and we would like to help, but there does not seem to be a way to fit it all in...

...Often we lack a clear purpose for our lives. Perhaps we find ourselves responding to each request without a sense of direction. The needs and the demands are great, yet how do we discern what is right for us?...How do we discern what our priorities should be? Does the Bible offer us any guidance in determining priorities?

Children bring great joy to a couple. They also bring an end to the honeymoon.

...No longer is there as much freedom in schedules to spend time together. Demands upon both partners increase as the family grows...

...Is it possible to work on a marriage when we are both busy? How can we grow as best friends in the midst of so many demands? During these crucial years in our marriage, what can we do to ensure that we develop habits that will encourage a joyful marriage that will last for many years to come?

With a variety of philosophies on discipline, our self-confidence in our own ability cn become shaken. Perhaps we were raised with an approach vastly different from our husbands', and thus we have found that we disagree on matters of discipline. As a result, we constantly contradict each other and confusion follows.

...Are there Biblical guidelines for training in discipline? How can I formulate a practical plan that my husband and I can agree on?

We desire to have a home marked by love, forgiveness, and joy. We want to experience these traits in our own lives. How can we allow God's supernatural love for us to shape the atmosphere in our homes?

...The most obvious components in homes full of small children often are confusion and chaos. Little can change that. But that confusion can be happy or it can resemble a battlefield...Is it possible to develop a practical plan that will enable us to create an atmosphere of joy?

Young children are very receptive to spiritual truths; they are inquisitive and they believe easily. During these early years we have a unique opportunity to begin to tach them about God. This is a privilege. It is also a responsibility that we often do not know how to fulfill.

...In considering the most effective way to have a Christian family, we often find that we have more questions than we do answers. We know we should teach our children about God, yet we are unsure how to do it. We may fear that we will not be able to answer their questions adequately. After all, there is much that we ourselves do not understand. In addition, when we look at our own lives, we know that we do not live as we should. We wonder if it is hypocrisy to try to teach our children how to live when we ourselves often fail.

...Young children are at their most receptive age; our challenge is clear. How can we build a creative Christian home? Is it possible to have prayer become a natural occurrence in our homes? Can the Bible become relevant not only for our children but for us as well? How can we take advantage of fellowship for our families? We want our homes to be places where each family member is growing in Christ. How do we help this happen in a way that is not awkward or forced but natural and exciting?

These quotes eloquently express what I have felt and thought about feeling inadequate as a Mommy. I look forward to learning these practical solutions based on God's Word and look forward to sharing these lessons here.

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