Our Mom’s Connect Group at Springhill Baptist Church invited Adrienne McClendon, wife of our lead pastor Adam McClendon, to come and speak to us about how to thrive as a mom. She is the mom of four, with her kids now spanning between late elementary and high school years. At one time, she was the mom of four kids under five years old. Yet, you don’t have to have more than one child to appreciate and be encouraged by what she had to say.
Here is what Adrienne McClendon shared:
#1 Take Time to Be Yourself
I found that I had to take time to be myself, not Mom. This includes spending time with God. When I neglected that time, my children suffered for it. Even if it’s just five minutes. My relationship with the Lord shapes my kids!
I would pray Psalm 121 over my kids and over myself:
121 I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
8 The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.
Taking time not to be a mom also means taking time just to be me. I thought of women who are totally lost when their kids are gone. I don’t want that. As a mom, we all carry around a constant Mommy List. Sometimes we need to just put it down. We need to give it to God and take time not to be a mom.
If I neglect that time for me and the lord it will affect my children whether I realize it or not.
For me, this meant dates with Adam and lunch with friends.
I need time to stop my brain from running the constant to do list through my mind. It gives me the chance to hand over my worries to the Lord and not just try to pick them up again as I walk out the door. I need to keep the reality before me that one day Mommy will not be needed like today. If that is all I have focused on for 20 years then I will be lost and devastated when that times is comes.
#2 Take Time for Others Like You
We need to talk to other Moms. We tend to forget that others are doing the very same things we are, they struggle with things very much the same as we do! They get bored with routine, frustrated that that child you love is not behaving as we feel we have instructed. That you feel constrained to the nap schedules and feeding times and school parents nights and game schedules. Others have been there!!! It gives me great comfort to hear others stories!! It made me so appreciative of my children and my husband. It gave me ideas to try and see if those worked for me. Ya know where I found those moms? Sunday school classes, nursery pick up lines at church, sidelines of soccer games, and grocery store lines. Take these moments to connect. You can encourage them and they you. It could be so simple as playing peekaboo with that toddler in the grocery cart to help another mom get her groceries on the belt. These moments for me did not have to be huge interactions but they were enough to send me to my last point.
#3 Take Time To Change Your Perspective
Perspective is such a big deal! I have to constantly work on my perspective! Life changes like a kaleidoscope. It looks different at every turn, and I need to shift my perspective with it! From seeing my babies unable to do anything for themselves to young children that have things that they need to learn to do for themselves. For example, you might suddenly realize- oh, they can put these toys in the toy box themselves! With a big spread of kids, this can be hard. I had to have the right expectation for the right kid. And their abilities were constantly changing, so my perspective had to constantly change, too.
My perceptive of “I am super mom able to do all” needs to shift to “I am a flawed Mom doing the best I can and I won’t get it all right.” Its all in the perspective! With a right perspective change comes Peace and Reliance on God to care for my Kids and to love them better then I can.
Those are the three things that make me better thrive as a mom:
- Time for Me
- Time for Others like me
- Time to change my perspective.