Being a mom is much more than caring for a child; it’s a life-transforming experience. It challenges us to rethink who we are, what we’re about and how we think about the world around us. In many ways, motherhood pushes us to become better people.
Recently four mothers involved with Buckner ministries shared what they’ve learned since becoming moms. Here’s what they had to say:
“I was much more of an expert on parenting before I became one,” jokes Carissa Wingate, an adoptive mom in Amarillo. We all learn how to be parents a day at a time. Every mother and every child is different – sometimes from one moment to the next. That means moms parent differently from each other and never have everything figured out. Every mom is learning how to work through different situations. That takes work, commitment and patience.
“Learn how to parent,” encourages Elizabeth Schiller, who is in the Buckner Family Pathways program in Amarillo with her two daughters. “Learn how you want to parent. Look at parents you admire. Read a bunch of books. Talk to others.”
“It’s no longer about you. It’s about them, 100 percent,” says Leslie Casiday, a foster mom in Livingston. Becoming a mother often shifts the focus of life from yourself to your child. The moment a child enters a mom’s house, life changes.
“It was a complete 180,” says Denise Macon, who is in the Amarillo Family Pathways program with her son and daughter. “It stopped being about me. It was about him. Then when my daughter came, it was all about her.”
A child shifts the focus from your own desires and needs to those of another person. Moms become more generous with their time, energy and resources. They’ll do anything necessary for the sake of their child.
I’m not alone. Becoming a mother often brings out the best in others. Many times, family members, neighbors and friends rally around new moms, bringing them meals, giving them gifts and offering encouragement. People want the best for your child and want to help you. Let them bless you and your family. Their presence helps more than any new mom could realize.
“Having someone you know praying for you, not knowing what’s going on or what’s going to happen, I can’t say how much that means to us,” Casiday says.
Motherhood draws you closer to God. The relationship between parents and children reflects the relationship between God and his children. Like God directs and teaches us, mothers guide their children. Moms also get a glimpse into the joys and frustrations God experiences with us.
Beyond the insight, God sustains and guides mothers each day. As a result, moms pray more often and look to God for wisdom, particularly in difficult situations.
Live in the moment. Childhood flies by. Soak in every moment. First steps. First words. Learning to ride a bike. Watching movies on the couch. Sporting events. Graduations. God provides special moments at just the right time. It’d be a shame to miss them.
“There are moments where she is so sweet and the bond is so evident,” Wingate says of her daughter. “She’ll say something sweet or tell me I’m the best mom in the world. That usually comes in the toughest moments. It’s the Holy Spirit reminding me I am enough.”