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Sunday

Motherhood Peaks and Valleys: What are yours?

There are the perceptions that others have of the kind of mother you are, who you should be, or the mother you once were.  Others' ideas influence the way we view ourselves.  Whether we receive positive or negative reviews from so-called well-meaning family and friends, we try to do the things that not only help our reputation as mothers, but also appease others.  When we find ourselves more concerned about what other people think; rather than what our Creator thinks, we get ourselves into trouble!  Physical issues surface, mental anguish is experienced and those around us are negatively impacted ie.) anger outbursts and forgetfulness.  These moments are considered our valleys--down moments.  The places in our motherhood journey where we feel at an all-time low. 

Our culture tends to esteem mothers, make them feel as if the weight of the world is upon their shoulders, because we are supposed to be so strong, wise, and loving.  Mother is to talk, walk and act in a certain way when it comes to parenting.  In some circles, she isn't provided with real support despite an individual or group claiming to support her.  Sometimes she is in a valley moment all by herself!  Her own mother doesn't have a good listening ear, because she is most likely in a valley moment by herself--sometimes comparing her own experiences to her daughters.  Too overwhelmed, nervous, or fearful to offer any sound advice, these older mothers don't have much to share when it comes to stories of victory. In addition, there is the partner or best friend who is often busy doing other things to even notice that mom is struggling these days with being a parent.

Valley moments happen, but in order to overcome them you must constantly remind yourself, "This too shall pass," as mentioned in the Holy Bible.  Redirect your focus and come up higher.  Find the path that will lead you out of your valley moment.  Stay in the valley too long and the storms of life might overtake you!  A mother is no good to her family in a hospital bed!  Once we arrive at those mountain peaks (up moments) in our motherhood journey, it is time to break for rest.  Some of us, don't allow ourselves to do that and so back down the valley we go.  Angry, hurt, confused, bitter, jealous, or some other emotion we experience, because other mothers "appear" like they are doing much better than us.  We deceive ourselves into thinking that we have had enough quiet time or peace after a valley moment.  Some of us prematurely arrive to a peak, then end up falling back down into the valley.

Appreciate those "up" moments when no one is calling to go out, no one is in need of you, and no one is interrupting you while going here and there with unnecessary chatter.  The world has tricked us into believing that a busy mother is a blessed one; rather a busy mother is a stressed one!  She is usually juggling too many things!  She may have a bank account filled with money and friends on speed dial, but is this really what reaching the top of one's motherhood journey really supposed to look like?  That is the world's definition of success which doesn't help us after this life is over. 

God blesses us with peaks in our motherhood journey that release us of our burdens not add to them.  Sometimes we confuse what we initiate when it comes to career, family, events and more with God's plan.  He doesn't tell us to be all we can be to everyone--to busy ourselves every part of the day.  God doesn't put anymore on us than we can bear!  To truly experience those peaks in one's motherhood journey, she must sit back, relax and tune into God.  Ask what might you need to do to experience more mountain peaks and less valley moments.

Reflect on those valleys God brought you out of, you know those times when you thought you were going to run away from the children, but didn't.  Those moments when you thought you were a bad parent, but you knew you really weren't.  You came up higher, didn't you?  Some of you have dropped some of those people and activities in your lives that were leaving you frazzled, frequently upset, and burdened financially, now you are enjoying many more positive moments in motherhood. 

Appreciate your peaks and valleys, moms!  Learn from them, then help a mother who may be struggling to walk with her head held high.

Nicholl McGuire

Saturday

Check Yourself, Before You Wreck Yourself!

Back when I was a teen, there was a rapper I heard say, "Check yourself, before you wreck yourself."  The comment was a warning to those who were into drug use.  But these days, I thought about this comment when it comes to that chatter in our heads.  You know those negative thoughts that come and go throughout the day?

From a minor irritation to a major dispute with someone, inside our minds there is something going on that isn't always so positive.  We may replay an issue, talk about what we should have, could have said, or we make a mental note to share our concern with others (being certain to include why we were right and the other person was wrong.)

Sometimes it doesn't have to be a negative situation that stimulates negative thinking in our minds.  We could actually just be in some other world, so to speak, due to hormonal issues or influences around us that trigger certain emotions ie.) watching TV, listening to music or surfing the Internet.

Whatever our thought processes for the day might conjure up, we may want to check them, before we end up doing or saying something that might hurt someone we care about.

I came across an interesting blog by a stay-at-home mother of two who posted a thought-provoking entry about that chatter in our heads and offers her own personal experience.

Read more here.
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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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