I Had to Tell Myself that I am a Great Mom. Here’s Why…

BY: - 11 Jan '17 | Parenting

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Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” For years, I questioned this scripture. I just didn’t see how it was going to manifest in my life. I questioned my parenting skills and I wondered if I would ever be a great mom. After all, I was pregnant with my 1st child, Gabi, at 19-years-old. As a single mom, I went into the military to be able to take care of the both of us. I dated great guys, but none wanted to be a part of my daughter’s life.

Seven years later, I married my husband who thought he was up for the challenge of raising another man’s child. We had so many ups and downs and I wondered, “Am I sacrificing being a great mom for being a wife?” Shortly after the wedding, I was pregnant, unemployed and on bed-rest.

From there, I was a stay-at-home mom for several years. My kids went from public school, to homeschooling, back to public school, then to private school and now back to public school. I did all of this because I felt that as a great mom, my kids needed to have the best education possible. I was my daughters’ Girl Scout troop leader, cheer coach, track/soccer/football team mom and the list goes on. I truly believed that if I did all of this, my kids would be awesome and not get into stuff like I did.

Well, when our oldest daughter was a teenager, I found out she was cutting (Google it this is still very painful for me to talk about.) A year later, she was arrested and sent to jail for theft at her mall job; she was a few months out of high school and a few months from shipping out in the Navy. I almost had a nervous breakdown when she was put in jail for 3 days. I felt like I could never show my face in town again.

After this, she decided to live with several boyfriends and their mamas (I promise she was raised in church, y’all!) as well as with the neighbor across the street. She paid them rent, cooked and cleaned the house. Where do they do that at? Then I found out via Facebook that she was married. Talk about a blow to your mothering self-esteem.

Eight years later, I found myself going through even worse with my youngest daughter. I had to deal with bad grades, a bad attitude, more cutting and yes, even a fight video (I cried for days and just knew my mom career was over. – BUT GOD!!!) I found myself actually staying away from social media any time report cards were issued. I felt like an utter and complete failure. I blamed myself for both of my daughters’ poor choices.

One day God reminded me that I had done all I could and that He was still in control. I thanked Him and decided I was going to trust Him with my children.

Saturday, my 16-year-old daughter had an opportunity to hang with friends. I knew she was looking forward to hanging out with her friends for a while since she had been on punishment for what seemed like forever. Since this was the first time she has all As and 2 Bs since 5th grade, my husband and I let her go. Instead of going to the movies with them, she decided to search the mall for a gift for me….

Proverbs 31:28, “Her children arise and call her blessed.”

 

It took everything within me not to cut a praise step when she gave it to me.  She even hugged me! She thanked me for being a great mom to her. So, I encourage you to trust that God is faithful! I am finally seeing the results of what I put into my kids.

In 2017, I will walk with my head held high and remind myself that I am a Great Mom!

BMWK – Have your children gone off track? Did you blame yourself? How did you handle it?

About the author

Tanya Barnett wrote 15 articles on this blog.

Tanya Barnett is a relationship strategist, speaker and the “Real” Wife Coach. She is the author of Being a Wife Just Got Real: Things I Wish I Knew, Before I Said, I Do”. She founded the Real Wife Movement™, where she equips single and married women with tools to create strong marriages and families. She is also the founder of Forever Free Books, a mobile literacy nonprofit, which delivers free books and story time to low income children in their neighborhoods and communities. She is a marathoner, triathlete and a serious book lover. She and her husband, Don, have 3 awesome kids.

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7 Phrases Every Pregnant Woman Really Really Needs to Hear

BY: - 13 Jan '17 | Parenting

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My husband and I are expecting our first child next month. I’m waddling. I can no longer see my feet, and wearing shoes with laces is no longer an option. (Chile, bending down to tie shoe strings just requires too much effort!) Aside from all the changes happening with my body, there is so SO much to think about and consider:

  • Will our baby be healthy?
  • Will I be a good mother?
  • Can I even do this?

But what has been super encouraging along this pregnancy path…are the kind words of family, friends and strangers. We know that words have power. The Good Book has been saying this for thousands of years.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. Proverbs 18:21.

But the power of words has taken on a new meaning as I navigate this road to motherhood. So, I wanted to share a few phrases that have helped me feel loved and supported… because we pregnant women need all of that we can get…

1. You’ll be a great mother.

This is a big one. I have an amazing mother and thinking about her example almost sends me into a tizzy. Because there is just no way I will ever measure up. As I’ve talked to other soon-to-be-moms, comparing ourselves to our mothers (good or bad) seems to be a common practice.  We just don’t know if we’re enough… So, hearing from people that know and love us that we’ve already got what it take is comforting.

2. May I help you?

There seems to be a bazillion things to do and prepare for the baby. One thing that’s surprised me is how willing people are to help. I was traveling alone a couple months ago and a really nice man helped me stuff my suitcase in the overhead compartment. And one day after school, my little brother and sister came over to help me clear out the soon-to-be nursery.  These are small things, but such a weight is lifted when you know you are not alone.

3. You look great. Pregnancy agrees with you. Or you are glowing!

My husband tells me I look pretty every day (maybe he read this story!). But there’s something special about hearing it from women that have experienced the struggle, know the discomfort and just how much effort it takes to look decent.  It’s like okay ‘maybe I don’t look as bad as I feel.’  

4. How are you feeling?

Women ask this question and then stop to listen. Maybe it’s silly, but I’m grateful every time someone shows this concern for me and my baby. We live in a hustle bustle world and people don’t seem to have much time for anything but themselves. But the sisterhood of birthing babies is strong, and it makes us feel good that people wish us well and/or empathize with our aches and pains.

5. I’ll babysit.

I’m constantly thinking about all the tasks I juggle now and trying to figure out…how am I going to manage all this when Baby comes? Friends and family that have offered to help lighten the load are a gift. Offering to babysit, reminds us that we (again) are not alone.

6. Really?! You’re how far along?

When I look into the mirror or lay on the couch, I see a beached whale. It’s nice to know others don’t see the same thing…

7. I’m so excited for you!

Knowing that others share in our joy and expectancy makes us feel connected and happy.

A Caring Community…

In a world where it seems like everything is going crazy. It’s comforting to know that we are surrounded by a caring community of family, friends and strangers that are willing and excited to support this new life coming into the world.

For me, it’s a sign that joy, happiness and love still exist.  

BMWK Women: What phrases did you hear that brought comfort during your pregnancy?

About the author

M. Simone Boyd wrote 32 articles on this blog.

Last year, M. Simone Boyd quit her job as an energy analyst to research what makes relationships thrive or die. She interviewed 10 Christian Black Men to get their advice on relationships and wrote a free guide. Simone is one of eight kids, and her awesome husband is an only child. She leads workshops, writes, and goes to the gym at least once a month.

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