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Enjoy the Journey: Stop Complaining

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Photo: My son in awe of decorations standing next to Dad as they decorate the tree 20-some years ago.

Enjoy the journey that motherhood takes you on. That's easy for me to say now that I no longer have little ones. I now have one teen and two in their twenties. Maybe I have been blessed with an easier time than some of you, but I can still remember being in the trenches.

I have heard a lot of voicing (whining/complaining) lately of how hard it is to be a mom, especially a stay-at-home mom. Some of these moms just wish their husbands could be in their shoes for just one day so they can get some sympathy. Is sympathy really what you want? Or do you want a great marriage and children that become great adults?

This time of being a mom to demanding little ones is so short in the span of your lifetime. It is merely a season. Complaining only drains you and makes everyone around you miserable.

Proverbs 21:19 (New Living Translation) says,
"It's better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife."

Can you believe that?! Your husband is better off alone in the desert than with you if you are a complainer? How can you make the complaining stop?

1: What do you have control of? Maybe you get upset when you are on the phone and your children are trying to get your attention. Return calls during their nap time. If your day begins with the cry of a baby, maybe you need to get up earlier. Read Don't Let the Day Begin Without You.

2: Can things be done less often? Maybe too much time is spent on keeping the house clean. Do you sweep/vacuum every day? Maybe you can cut down to every other day. Are you going to the store way too often? Plan your meals ahead of time and shop once during the week. Read The Importance of the Family Dinner.

3: Do outings with your children turn into nightmares? Plan your outings for the week. Don't try to do too many errands at once unless you combine them with park/play outings. Be sure to bring snacks and tell your children ahead of time what is expected of them. If discipline is the issue, begin enforcing some parameters. Read You Are The Parent.

4: Are the days not long enough? Guess what? They haven't gotten any shorter than they were for your mother or grandmother. You have complete authority over your day. If it doesn't feel like it, try adding more structure.
Women used to have a routine:
Wash on Monday
Iron on Tuesday
Mend on Wednesday
Churn on Thursday
Clean on Friday
Bake on Saturday
Rest on Sunday
We don't even do half these things anymore, and still can't seem to get it done. You can come up with your own schedule. To keep the Rest on Sunday read Keeping the Lord's Day Holy.

5. Are you feeling completely alone and yet never have any privacy? Take advantage of the time before your children wake up, when they nap, and after they go to bed. (They sleep more than you do.) Don't spend this time doing things that could be done while they are up. I always found that from 8:00 to 10:00 was time to spend with my husband. Read Don't Forget About Your Hubby. You will not feel so alone if you take the time to connect with your husband. You also need to be proactive to find other moms. Look for local groups or find other moms at the library or parks. Read SAHMs: Is Anyone Out There?

6. Take a step back from your day to day life and try to look at the bigger picture. With a little planning and restructuring you may find you have more time in your day. Ask God to help you with this. Ask God to help you find the joy in the everyday. Look at the faces of your children. You are everything to them. Before you know it these days will be over and they will be gone. Read Don't Wish Away the Baby Years.

I pray that you enjoy your journey that motherhood takes you on.

Linking to:
Internet Cafe Devotions: Wordfilled Wednesday

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