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get lost in motherhood

Moms of Big Kids, Get Lost in Motherhood if You Want…

(Inside: “Don’t get lost in motherhood” was a piece of advice I got when I first became a mom. Unpacking the mixed messages moms receive.)

“Don’t lose yourself in motherhood.”

I rocked my third child to sleep, enjoying a few tender moments of holding a baby and reading on my phone. Mom blogs were new to me, and I ate them up like honey. Hearing the hearts of fellow mothers felt beautiful, beautiful, beautiful – and the piece of advice that was dancing in front of my eyes was…

“Don’t lose yourself in motherhood.”

I’m not sure I knew exactly what the recommendation meant, but I took it as this: To fully enjoy life and be a strong woman, I SHOULD meet some of my goals (personal and professional) during this season of motherhood.

“Don’t lose yourself in motherhood.”

This suggestion grew deep roots in my mind. Maybe because I needed to work at least part-time for financial reasons, and it felt like validation. Also, I love chasing dreams, so despite the busyness, it felt great to give wings to a few of mine.

But then somewhere in this mom journey, the advice that once empowered switched to burdensome.

Because you know the “blip” from Avengers: Endgame?
 
Blink – it happened here.
 
My kids are in 10th grade and 9th grade and 5th grade and oh-my-heart, their focus has shifted to activities and friends and driving and talking about college. No one has listened to my suggestion of stopping all this growing up so fast.

I’m big emotions over here. Now, when I hear messages about going for one’s dreams or meeting that goal, I think – that’s such a great idea FOR ANYONE OTHER THAN ME.

I just need a hot moment. Or ten. Or a hundred.
 
I’m not feeling a full-steam-ahead season.
 
I don’t want to sign up for all the things.
 
I don’t want to work longer-than-necessary hours.
 
I don’t want extra obligations, no thank you.
 
And please, I need zero suggestions of some long quest for self-improvement.
 
I don’t want to feel like a failure because I’m not doing enough self-care or meeting the “right” kind of goals.
 
Off, off, off noise.
don't get lost in motherhood
Do you want a simple, fun way to connect with your family? Read more in the description.

The only “more” I want right now is to focus on simply being present.

I want to not sweat the small stuff but still invest the time into guiding and parenting my kids through the important stuff. I want to say yes to the family movie. I want to cheer from the sidelines at their games and concerts. I want to go out for ice cream. I want to open our home to friends and not worry about the mess, noise, and late hours. I want to pile into the booth, order dinner, and hear about my family’s day. I want to walk around the mall with them to shop for hoodies. I want to smile at the pile of shoes and backpacks by the door because that means everyone’s safely home.

I know I’m not going to enjoy every moment of raising big kids. Of course, there will be hard parts. But I just want to be around so I can lean into the moments that I do enjoy.

I’m sure someday I’ll be back to wanting to chase that goal – but not now. Not even a little bit.
 
“Don’t lose yourself in motherhood.”
 
Not every message we hear about mom life is for us.
 
And if it is for us, that certainly doesn’t mean the message is for every season.
 
Previously, maybe I didn’t want to get lost in motherhood – but right now, I don’t care if I do.

Read the full series on how important you are, momma!

Do you really understand how important, how vital, how life-giving your role as a mom is?

Maybe you feel like you just poured the bowl of cereal this morning, but that’s not all you did. You nourished your kid. And through simple daily interactions, you teach responsibility, leadership, love, grace, faith, courage, and kindness. Your child will go out into life and share his or her gifts. Then pass everything you taught down to their kids. And next, their grandkids – your impact keeps rolling.

I’m getting chill bumps. Your ordinary work is extraordinary. 

Let me continue to convince you through the full series on the importance of motherhood: 

Why Moms are Important: This is the Impact You Make
Momma, How You Inspire Other Moms in Every Day in Amazing Ways
3 Realizations that Will Help You Enjoy Motherhood More

don't get lost in motherhood

“Don’t get lost in motherhood” and other mixed messages. Join this community of moms of older kids as we unpack this mom life together.

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community here or below. 

gifts for moms
kids grow too fast

To the Mom Who Mourns that Kids Grow Too Fast…

(Inside: Kids grow too fast and that can make moms who love raising their babies incredibly sad, but here’s something you need to remember…)

To the momma of big kids who feels like it’s all going too fast.

To the momma who experiences tinges of sadness to full-on-tidal-waves of emotions on birthdays, holidays, and first school days because another year is over.
 
To the momma who has so desperately wrapped her hands around time and tried to reign it in, and yet, the moments have slipped through her fingers leaving her wondering if she’s been present enough for this motherhood journey.

Let me remind you of something: you were there.

You were there when the nurse placed a sweet newborn in your arms or when those lovely adoption papers were signed. How you stared at your little one’s face convinced you’d never seen anything so beautiful. And you’ve had a million moments since looking at your child in wonder.
 
You were there the first time your baby pushed his lips together to form the word “ma-ma.” And for the first shaky steps. The first bite of jalapeño chips your 3-year-old demanded to take – his reaction made you laugh and hug him. And the first toothless grin. The first bike ride. Or drive. Or dance. A million times you’ve witnessed your kid’s firsts.

You were there to lift your toddler into her car seat and high chair and crib. You pressed your hand against her forehead and decided to call the doctor.

You flipped the grilled cheese sandwich and halved the grapes. You researched best toddler beds and read about napping routines. Over the years, from a million different angles you’ve watched, prayed, planned, and met your child’s needs.
 
You were there to see your kindergartener play soccer; tiny cleats clustered around a ball. Your child’s hand nestled safely in yours to find his classroom, meet the teacher, and choose the “I get home on the bus” card. You’ve packed lunches, made Valentine’s Day boxes, taxied to practices, photographed games and concerts, attended conferences, bought poster board at 9:00 pm – each passing year, in a million ways you’ve supported your kid in school and activities.
 
You were there to take your 2nd grader to the beach. You watched her leap the rolling waves, the scene catching your breath. And a million more times you’ve packed the suitcases and driven to the mountains, the lake, the theme park, the grandparents’ house for togetherness and memories.

You were there when your 4th grader turned ten. Double digits, a big deal.

Repeatedly, you’ve lit the candles, sung the song, and seen your child make closed-eyed wishes. In a million instances – birthdays to holidays to baptisms to family gatherings – you’ve attended milestone events; you’ve given the gift of traditions.
 
You were there for 6th grade, the start of middle school. You bought the new shoes, clothes, and school supplies. You helped your tween try to find the activities and friendships that made him feel connected. You set up routines, checked grades, reflected on what’s working and isn’t, and then tried new parenting approaches to best help your child. From a million directions you’ve cheered your kid on during life’s transitions.
 
You were there when your 8th grader’s emotions tore through the house like a tornado, the debris impacting the whole family. You inhaled patience and exhaled guidance for everyone to take a break. You then helped unpack big feelings, spoke God’s love and truths, gave perspective, and invited apologies. A million times you’ve been the rock, the safe place to land, the home that nourishes and teaches and encourages faith.

You were there when the garage door creaked open and your 10th grader filled the door frame.

Confetti of life-with-teens peppered the house: laundry next to the hamper, piles of dishes in bedrooms, friends crashing around, pantry raids, bowls of cereal. Then, repeatedly, exquisite emerged: good conversations, an unexpected head against your shoulder during a family movie, inside jokes, “I love you” said in words and actions. You’ve been there for the million everyday moments.
 
You were there for your 12th grader’s final year of high school. You had no idea watching your child gain independence dished out equal measures of sadness and pride. The trek hasn’t always been easy and there’s still much to learn, but you’ve relished seeing your child grow. Your lovely, wonderful kid – you’ve had a front row seat to the million instances that’ve shaped who she is today.

I don’t know exactly where you’re standing in this journey, but when the mom-ache starts, the kind that sends bolts through your body making you acutely aware that the parenting years are just a blink, remind yourself…

You’ve experienced the full journey of motherhood: everyday moments to big events, the challenges to the joys, and all the love – so, so much love.
 
You didn’t miss out.
 
Through it all, momma, you were there.

Kids grow too fast, this community is with you on that. There are more great resources for parenting raising tweens and teens on this page. Read the full parenting older kids series…

My two oldest sons are in high school now, and I’m still in a coma because of it. Even though I’ve taught high school for over two decades, I’m confused as to how I’m actually old enough to be a parent of a high schooler. 

Teaching high schoolers has always been a passion of mine, but not parenting them is as well. I could research, write, and talk about this topic until eternity. I hope you are encouraged by some of my articles.

TEACHING GRIT
The Pandemic is Shaping Kids in These 6 Powerful Ways

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR TEENS
A Simple and Effective Way to Encourage Your Teen

COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR TWEEN/TEEN
How to Get Your Teen/Teen to Their “Aha Moment”
How to Get Your Tween/Teenage Son to Open Up to You
400+ Conversation Starters for Families of Teens

PARENTING
Parenting is Hard: This One Thought Can Help You Better Thrive
Dear Kids – Know the Difference Between “Chores” and “Maintenance”
To the Mom of a High School Freshman
Your Teen’s Maddening Behavior is Age-Appropriate and Here’s Hope
Raising Tweens and Teens – THIS is what it looks like…

HEARTWARMING STORIES IN RAISING OLDER KIDS
I Will Miss These Years of Raising Tweens and Teens
7 Reasons Why Raising Tweens & Teens is the Best

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens here.

Join this Community of Moms Raising Tweens and Teens

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community here or below. 

gifts for moms
heal from miscarriage 3

Miscarriage Grief: 5 Reasons Why a Miscarriage is so Emotionally Painful

(Inside: Are you dealing with miscarriage grief? Do you want to heal from your miscarriage? Whether you experienced a miscarriage yesterday or thirty years ago, one way to help you heal is to understand why it emotionally hurt so much. Read on…)

This time he found me sitting on the couch, legs balled up against my chest, tears flowing.

It was 2 am.

The night before, he’d found me in our youngest son’s room. Our 4-year-old had made his way to our bed waking me. For a while, I laid arms tucked around my little guy. But then, heaviness began to descend and the onslaught of sorrow became overwhelming.  I slipped down the hall into my little boy’s empty room. In the dark, I felt for the rocker and sat down. Back-and-forth I tried to rock away the sadness while quiet sobs shook my body.

For six months (at least), I couldn’t get through the night without crying. Sometimes my husband would wake and coax me back to bed; other times, I’d slid in and out of under the covers unnoticed.

What caused this pain? This heartbreak? This feeling that a storm cloud had swallowed me?

A miscarriage.

 

Heal from miscarriage related article: How to Silence the Mean Voice in Your Head

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Experiencing the pain of a miscarriage

Between my second and third son,  I’d already experienced one miscarriage that unleashed excruciating sadness and big emotions. However, within a few months, I had my rainbow baby in my belly and “this too did pass.”

After this second miscarriage, the situation was different. This time, we were trying to decide: Do we want to try again? Should we call it done with three healthy boys? What’s the next best step for our family?

Those types of life-changing decisions can be hard when you’re in your best frame of mine. But, when your mind is fogged up by pain, it’s hard to even decide what to fix your family for dinner, let alone if you’re going to try and get pregnant again.

I knew I needed to focus on moving past the pain.

However, pain is a tricky thing. It sends a spiderweb of cracks a million different directions in your life, but you can’t stitch back together the slices with one simple act. It takes multiple kinds of healing from all different angles to slowly bind up the mess.

heal from miscarriage
Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens HERE.

Why a miscarriage is so emotionally painful

One way that I healed a small crack was by figuring out why a miscarriage hurt so much. Somehow, this justified my pain and let me give myself permission to grieve. (Not that I needed it.) Here are five reasons why a miscarriage is so emotionally painful:

Heal from miscarriage related article: What to do when You’re Tired of Your Struggle

1. Your identity is wrapped up in being a mom.

Motherhood is such a life-changing experience, it automatically becomes part of our who we are. (Or who we want to be.) It affects how we see ourselves, how we view the world, and how we feel people relate to us. So, when things don’t work out in mom life, it shakes our core.

But on the flip side, the fact that it hurts so much also means that we put a lot of value in this piece of our identity – being a mom. (Or wanting to be a mom.) Motherhood is a beautiful thing. It’s something that should be valued. So even though our strong motherly longings leave us more vulnerable to pain, I wouldn’t want to let go of valuing motherhood. Caring about motherhood is a good thing.

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2. You feel like it’s your fault.

When our bodies don’t cooperate, it’s hard not to feel like it’s our fault. What did I do wrong? Exercise too hard? Drink or eat something? Let myself get too stressed out? My OBGYN has repeatedly told me, “The miscarriage wasn’t your fault.”  The Mayo Clinic backs my doctor saying,

“Most miscarriages happen because the fetus isn’t developing normally. Problems with the baby’s genes or chromosomes are usually the result of errors that occur by chance as the embryo divides and grows. They typically aren’t due to an inherited disorder, and usually aren’t caused by a mother’s behavior or health.”

It’s okay to analyze a situation and ask if we should’ve done something differently. Reflection is smart living. However, in the case of a miscarriage, the answer is “No – it wasn’t your fault.”

3. It’s the loss of a dream.

We have expectations of what we want our family to look like from the number of kids, to gender, to timing. When we miscarry, our dreams feel shattered. But, again, there’s a flip side to that coin. Ultimately, dreaming is a good thing. It’s a great starting point to finding our next right step. So, we should keep listening to our hearts and letting our souls dream.  

4. You feel alone.

Some of our favorite people to confide in haven’t experienced a miscarriage and won’t fully understand our pain. This can make us feel alone. Yet, I’ve found the more I’ve opened up, the more I’ve discovered women who’ve shared my experience. Moms, it’s healthy to crave friends who get us. Know that there is a community of women who’ve shared your pain – we are not alone.

5. You feel out of control

We love our calendars and checklists and goals – we love control. A miscarriage makes us feel out-of-control. (Cue anxiety.) However, when we look back on our lives, often the most beautiful things came from the times our lives went off-course. Moms, we can let ourselves embrace hope – our futures hold good things.

Our pain points also are important, good elements of our lives

The reason that a miscarriage messes with our minds with such intensity is that the elements that make up our pain points also serve as important, good aspects of our lives: caring about being a mom, reflecting and analyzing, dreaming, desiring an understanding community, having some control over our lives. These are life-giving elements in our worlds, so it’s going to hurt when cracks slice through them.

You will heal from your miscarriage

Momma, if you are thick in the pain, lean in and don’t just hear me, believe my next words: You will heal.

If you’re thinking – well you got pregnant again and had that fourth kid, so of course, you healed…you’re wrong.

We decided not to try again.

Was choosing “to be done” the right decision? I don’t know…
If I were to go back, would I do it differently? Maybe…
Do I regret our choice? No.

And am I healed? One hundred percent. But it took two to three full years. I worked hard at healing. I tried multiple ways to heal my shattered cracks. Individually, each step that stitched up one small crack didn’t seem like much, but collectively – those actions held power.

If you are hurting, do something to heal every single day: seek professional help, surround yourself with encouraging people, take long walks, pray, do something you love, take a vacation, meet friends for coffee, exercise, eat healthy, stroke your hobby, snuggle your kids, date your spouse, buy yourself a new outfit, listen to quality podcasts, read inspirational books, grow your faith in God.

Then, trust the process. Little-by-little your cracks are being stitched up. You are healing.

Eventually, you – like me – will be able to get through not just one night, but lots of nights without crying. You will feel joy again. You will heal.

 

Heal from miscarriage related article: Imperfect Faith is Still Faith

Continue to heal from grief through reading the full “Grow Your Grit” Series

When we become moms a light switch is flipped on. In juggling work, family, and household – we grow bolder; we learn to speak up. And somewhere in it all, we find our inner Mama Bear. We grow our determination, knowledge, love, patience, endurance, perspective, wisdom, problem-solving ability – we strengthen our grit. It’s not always easy, though. Growing our grit through motherhood is most definitely a process… Read on…

GROW YOUR COURAGE
Parenting Persuades You to be a More Courageous Mom Every Day
A Mom’s Quick Prayer for Perseverance that Will Lift You Up

FIND PEACE IN THE CHAOS
One Line to Get You Through the Stressed Mom Days

HEAL YOUR HURT
I’m So Hurt: What Healing Sometimes Looks Like
When Life Knocks You Down & You’re Tired of Your Struggle
Miscarriage Grief: 5 Reasons Why a Miscarriage is so Emotionally Painful

EMBRACE CHANGE
Find Hope Now in the Story of a Mom Who Didn’t Want Change

heal from miscarriage
Ultrasound photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash Pregnant woman photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

Join the Empowered Moms and Kids Community

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community below. 

gifts for moms
joy in mom life

In 5 Minutes I Was Reminded of the Joy of Being a Mother

(Inside: In just 5 minutes, I was reminded of the absolute joy of being a mother. Being a mother is the best feeling. Being a mother is a blessing.)

the joy of being a mother

I am done with all things motherhood

When it’s time to go to bed at night, I shut down as quickly as a power outage. Instantly, I’m OVER grading papers, taxing my kids to activities, and asking my kids to give back my phone charger.

The other night, I walked into my son’s room and curtly declared, “It’s time for bed.”

What made me stop

However, the scene made me stop. My three boys were sitting together with Pokémon cards spread out in front of them. My 14, 12, and 9-year-old were laughing, sharing about their day, and discussing my youngest son’s card trades he made with the neighbor kid.

Then, I surprised myself – instead of the urge to hurry everyone to bed, I felt my heart and mind still.

This. Moment.

This love in the room.

This shared feeling of connecting and belonging.

This is why I grade papers and work so darn hard in my career – to help financially provide for these little (not-so-little) humans. This is why I taxi them around to activities – to give them opportunities to grow their talents and create a community of friends that surround them. This is why I continually clean the house, make dinner, and almost always say yes to friends coming over – to provide them with a safe, enjoyable place to come home to every night.

All the busyness – it’s for them. So, if I don’t pause to collect the small sacred moments in my day, why do I do it?

So, I sat myself on the floor right next to the bed. My Goldendoodle came over and nestled against me. I stroked her fur, listened to my boys’ chatter, and let my heart feel joy. I soaked in the love in the room.

Need a guide to help still your busy life and feel peace? Read more in the description here.

The joy of being a mother…

If I can spend 7 hours at work, 3 hours shuffling boys around, and 100 hours cleaning/cooking/finding-my-cell-phone-charger, I can take 5 minutes to remember the reason I mom so hard. I can stop for 5 minutes to enjoy this life that I’m living with the people I love so much.

That 5 minutes of pause gave me joy that will last much longer.  

Mom life really is very, very good.

the joy of being a mother

Read the Full Build-Your-Faith-Through-Everyday-Momlife Series

Elijah’s my favorite. Elijah’s the Old Testament Prophet. He went head-to-head with the Baal prophets to show who the One True God was. (Read more about that here.)

This man who experience God’s supernatural power, later found himself in complete despair, with shaken faith, depressed and anxious, trying to hear God’s voice. (Have you been there too?) 1 Kings 19:11-13 says:

“The Lord said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.
 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’”

When Elijah looked for God, he found Him. And God’s voice wasn’t in the wind, earthquake, or fire – it was in a gentle whisper.

Momma’s, God still speaks to us today. It’s deep inside of you, an inner knowing. I’d love for you to join me as I learn to discern that voice smack in the middle of my ordinary days. 

Read more in the faith-building stories:

Growing Your Faith: Imperfect Faith is STILL Faith
Momma, is God is More Control of Your Life Than You Think?
Tired Parents, You are Beautifully Exhausted
This is How I Hear God Speak Through Motherhood


Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens

You just dropped your kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s a fantastic life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community below. 

gifts for moms