My February book recommendation is “Hoodwinked” by Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk. The tagline on the front of the book reads “Ten Myths Mom Believe & Why We All Need to Knock It Off.”
This is so true!! I think we believe certain lies that as a mom, we need to do it all right, enjoy every minute, be everything for everyone, so our kids will not make bad choices. At the end of each day, this false thinking leaves us feeling discouraged and exhausted. This book helps us see some of the unrealistic expectations we place on ourselves and how we need to stop believing these myths but instead focus on the truth. In the book, there are 10 myths that they discuss and I found them all very helpful!
Myth #1 Mothering is Natural, Easy, and Instinctive
Myth #2 The Way I Mother Is the Right (and Only Way)
Myth #3 I Am “Just” A Mom
Myth #4 Motherhood is All-Consuming and All-Fulfilling
Myth #5 A Good Mother Can Do It Alll, All At Once
Myth #6 Motherhood is a Rat Race
Myth #7 Motherhood is the Luck Of The Draw
Myth #8 Everything Depends On Me
Myth #9 I Have to Do It All Right, or My Child Will Turn Out Wrong.
Myth #10 My Child’s Bad Choices Means I’m a Bad Mom
Today, I just want to focus on Myth #6, “Motherhood is a Rat Race.” Now let me be the first to say that I struggle with this one. Life gets busy, kids schedules get full and we feel like life is just running around organizing, planning, scheduling…always rushing to the next thing. Can anyone relate to this one? Since this one is a struggle for me, I loved this chapter in the book! The authors say this, “I have come to realize that the only way for the best of who I am to pour out to my family and in my ministry is to slooooow down. Make time for the moments in life.” I believe many of us are missing out because we are just too busy.
To help gain some perspective, they recommended these quick two exercises. They first said to take your age and subtract it from 81 (the current average age life expectancy of a woman) and then multiply it by 365 days to get an idea of how many more days you have left on planet Earth. Then, they ask you to take the age of your child and subtract it from eighteen (the age when most kids leave for college) and then multiply it by 365 days. This is how much time you have left with your child before they become an adult. If you have more than one child, you can do it for each one of them too.
WOW- this was eye opening!!! Ladies, we need to be intentional with this limited time we have with our kids. My oldest turns 13 at the end of this month, I have about 5 years left with him living at home and if I multiply that by 365 that is only 1,825 days. The authors say, “We count our days so we can make them count. Counting our days will help us clarify our mission as moms and live with greater purpose.” I LOVE this- I want to make every day count; I want to be intentional.
To do this, I have to carve out time in my schedule. The authors suggest making a list of your top priorities and then putting them on the calendar. Here are some examples that they shared in the book that I really liked and want for my family:
- I want to have a daily quiet time alone with God
- I want to pass along my faith to my kids
- I want to be a fun and loving mom who is intentional and fully present
- I want us to eat together as a family
- I want to be a family that serves together
Lastly, they say to protect your time! This is the hardest part because this is where we have to say no to good things so we can say yes to the best things!! About a year a half ago, I read the book, “The Best Yes” by Lysa Terkeurst (another great book) and it talked about having more margin in your life so you can choose the Best Yes. This chapter in the book talked about the same thing. Listen to what the authors say, “Learn to discern the best things from all the good things out there takes wisdom. There is freedom in not saying yes to every single thing that comes your way. You come to realize that in saying no, you are actually saying yes. Saying yes to the ones how need you the most right now.” This is so true but so hard to do!
Below is a prayer for me and for you as we try to prioritize our time!
Dear God, I pray right now for our time as moms! I pray we will use it wisely! I pray we put you first God and make time each day for you! I pray next that we protect our time with our families and that we will be intentional with every choice we make! God, I pray we will make every day count! In Jesus Name, Amen!
Love you all,