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As I write this, my firstborn is 18 months old. While sometimes I feel like I pick up the same items 750 times a day, it’s also a fun stage. He’s able to talk and interact more, and he can feed himself table food.
When I reflect on his babyhood, most of my challenges can be summarized in one phrase: tunnel vision.
We dealt with 3.5 months of colic, and I honestly wasn’t sure how we were going to manage. Nothing helped. He had a dairy sensitivity which was thankfully identified early. Something was wrong with his neck.
Did I mention that we moved when he was 3 months old?
All of these things were all-consuming at the time, yet they all passed eventually.
Things that seemed to really matter don’t seem so important in hindsight.
My husband glanced over my shoulder as I was looking over Rebekah Hargraves’ recent guest post for my blog. “When Mommy Guilt Comes Calling?” he inquired. “Is that a thing? I thought it was just you.”
Oh no, my dear. It isn’t just me.
Guilt is a joy-killer, and many of us struggle with it every day.
By its very nature, parenting a newborn is physically and emotionally intense. I wrote down every diaper, every feeding, and every little thing that seemed slightly wrong. To a certain extent, it’s necessary.
However, sometimes we can find ourselves so consumed that we lose sight of the greater picture of life and the Gospel. Shackled by the guilt of expectations that aren’t even biblical, our joy slips away from us.
That’s why we need books like Lies Moms Believe.
When we untangle the roots of our guilt, evaluate our expectations in light of the Bible, and let that which is not a moral issue go, we find ourselves walking in the freedom of the Gospel.
Why I Love This Book
- Rebekah, the author, does not shy away from addressing BOTH extremes on any given issue. For example, she tackles both the idea that motherhood is not important, as well as the idea that motherhood is a woman’s ultimate calling. Both of those ideas are unbiblical. Her chapters on the value of motherhood really made me ponder my own subconscious assumptions about how things should be.
When we say that motherhood is a woman’s highest calling, what we are essentially saying is that all the childless women out there are ‘less-than.’ The implication is that they have not ‘arrived,’ yet, are not living up to the purpose God has for their lives, and must be of little use to His Kingdom, for they are not living out the ‘highest calling’ for a woman’s life. This is a tragic mistake, not to mention a very hurtful sentiment for women everywhere who may be barren, single, or struggling with miscarriage. – Rebekah Hargraves
Unfortunately, this attitude is all too common. I’ve personally heard people say that they feel as if they can’t really contribute to the church unless they have children. This should not be! There is room for all of us at the house of the Lord.
Rebekah also discusses how the discipleship that a mother provides is of great eternal significance. She handles these issues with grace and truth.
- There are no perfect moms – and that’s a GOOD thing.
Particularly among mothers of unborn and newborn babies, there is this idea that motherhood is supposed to be “empowering.”
I disagree with that. Parenting my boys has brought me to the end of myself repeatedly, and that’s a good thing.
If I could do this on my own, I would forget how much I need Jesus.
I am frustrated by messes. One day I was feeling particularly annoyed with picking up the same items and returning them to their proper places a million times.
Lord, I prayed under my breath, I think we both need to reset our attitudes this morning. Using the podcasts app on my phone, I turned on a sermon to help me to refocus.
We’re all going to fail our kids in one way or another. We’re sinful human beings. As the author puts it:
…it’s a good thing that we aren’t perfect moms because we are able to tangibly embody for our children the vast need we all have for Christ ans His work on the cross. – Rebekah Hargraves
- Having children doesn’t ruin marriages.
We spent a lovely weekend in the mountains for a marriage retreat. It was the first time I had been away from my 18 month old overnight. He did very well at Papa and Nana’s. (Let’s be honest here, I cried more than he did. 🙈) We found out that I was pregnant with him when we had been married for six weeks. I’m so passionate about maintaining your marriage even with littles. It takes effort, but it’s possible, and it’s worth it. ❤️
I could write a whole post on this topic. Perhaps someday I will. Like the author of Lies Moms Believe, my first child was born when I’d been married for 10 months. I have very little experience with being married but not having children yet. Despite all the negativity I heard about that when I was pregnant, we actually still really enjoy being married.
It is a lie to say that in general children ruin marriages. They don’t. Having children can make a marriage more beautiful, richer, more purposeful, and more intimate as husband and wife now have a tangible, visual, walking-and-talking, living reminder every day of the love they share. But I must warn you again – this lie can prove true in your marriage if you allow it to. It’s all up to you. – Rebekah Hargraves
It takes more effort to spend intentional time with your husband, once you have children, but it’s not impossible. Making that effort is absolutely worth it. Remember that it’s actually a positive thing for your children if your marriage is stable.
While these are just some of my key takeaways from Lies Moms Believe, there are many more lessons to be gleaned. At over a hundred pages, Lies Moms Believe is not a fluffy ebook. As I finished my reading, I thought of the old hymn, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.
When we focus on what really matters, those other worries? They just don’t matter. And that’s a beautiful thing.
Lies Moms Believe can be purchased directly from the author or on Amazon.