Please Stop Telling Me to Enjoy My Children!

Today’s generation of young moms have given each other a wonderful gift that my generation did not seem to be able to offer each other quite as generously. They have given each other the freedom to be brutally honest about motherhood. This gift is creating a bond and a support system among young women. There is a sense of grace that is extended that I didn’t always feel when I was a young mom.

As wonderful as this support system can be, I do see the potential danger of a group of moms becoming so focused on how hard their calling is that they may not remember that there is a bigger perspective. In the midst of the demands of motherhood, it can be easy to lose sight of the beauty and opportunity that comes with the calling of being a mom.

I read recently about an older mom who had attempted to encourage a young mom. At some point in their conversation, the older woman reminded the young mom to enjoy her children, because the years pass very quickly. The younger woman reacted by feeling misunderstood, assuming that the woman had forgotten what it is like to be the mother of little children.

When an older mom says, “…enjoy your children, the years pass so quickly!” do you think she means to be insensitive? Has she really forgotten what it was like? I suppose it’s possible, but I think that it may be that they have a different perspective after walking through the many seasons of motherhood, and they have learned that we really do need to live in the moment and find the joy in it.

Mental and physical fatigue, feelings of isolation, daily mundane tasks, limited adult conversation, feelings of being overwhelmed by the responsibility of teaching and training…these circumstances are present, in some way, in each season of motherhood, and are the things that God uses to remind us of how much we need Him and that our joy is found in Him alone.

There really is so much joy to be found in each season. Our perspective must be regularly corrected and we must be reminded that this calling of motherhood is a privilege. We must learn to find the joy in the daily living and train our heart and eyes to see God’s grace in every moment.

I think there are some things that both the younger and the older generations can do for each other:

  • The older generation may need to learn how to communicate their perspective without leaving younger moms feeling misunderstood.
  • The younger generation may need to be aware that the older generation hasn’t necessarily forgotten how hard it was to be a young mom. They just have a big picture perspective.
  • The older and the younger generations need to learn how to ask more questions to better tune into each other.

As one who is considered to be in an “older” generation, I purpose to tune in to how the younger generations thinks, but I am in a process of learning how to relate to and empathize with a young mom, and yet still offer her a true perspective of a bigger picture, without seeming to be insensitive.

If you are a young mom, I know you want to tune in to how the older generation thinks and glean from their perspective. And although times have changed,  motherhood hasn’t really changed over the years. We really are in this together. We must be patient and show grace as we are learning how to relate to each other.

As the years pass, you will became more aware of the fact that with each season there are incredibly hard challenges, and incredibly wonderful blessings. There is no easy season of motherhood that doesn’t require me to sacrifice much of who I am to answer the call we have been given.

Older generation. Younger generation. Ultimately we are sisters in Christ, and we need each other.

APPLICATION:

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” 1 Timothy 6:17

Let’s face it! When you are a mom, there are just going to be some days that are not enjoyable. That is life in a sinful world. We are sinners. Our children are sinners. We are just a bunch of sinners living in the same house! But if you know Christ as your Savior, and desire to point your children to Him, you will bend to His will, and His will is that you see your children as gifts given to you for your enjoyment as well as to train in the way they should go.

Since it really is God’s will that we find enjoyment in each season, and in each gift, we CAN experience this on a regular basis. But, we must stop believing the lie that it is not possible, that we are somehow different than other moms, or that somehow we struggle more than others because our personality is a certain way. God can change our heart and mind, and we can be given a joy we never imagined, if we ask Him for it. It is His will.

If you are not experiencing joy in the season you find yourself in, or you battle viewing your children as a burden rather than a blessing, take some time to pray for God to show you what has brought you to this place. Have you been influenced more by the philosophies of this world than by the Word of God? Is there some resentment in your heart because motherhood is not what you imagined it to be? Be honest with yourself and with God, and ask Him to create in you a new heart and new desires, that you might experience what He desires for you to experience in this season.

Press into Him and let Him expose what is really in your heart. Then, ask Him to mold your heart into what He intends it to be.

1 thought on “Please Stop Telling Me to Enjoy My Children!”

  1. Just popped in from The Better Mom. One thing I never realised when I had little kids was how quickly those years go between being a "younger mum" and an "older mum". When I say something to a new mum now about when my girls were babies, they look at me with that same look I used to have, the one that says 'you had children so long ago, you can't possibly remember what it was like'! But now I have teenagers I understand that those years go by in a flash and I really do remember some of those moments from the first years just like it was yesterday!

    You make some good points. I think all of us, no matter what our age, expect life to be easier more than we did 20-30 years ago, and have different expectations since the advent of the internet and more Christian books, and none of us like to be told to enjoy what seems like a hard thing.

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