As mothers of young children, our days are full of repetitious routines from feeding, bathing and changing nappies to entertaining our children. The constant demands of caring for our little ones can leave us with little time to properly look after ourselves, including our need for social relationship with other adults. This only gets worse when our children are not well. Sleepless nights and constant worry that the siblings might catch the sickness can take away our peace of mind. Additionally, the abundant information about different styles of parenting on mass media can reduce our confidence in raising our children.
Until one day, we see our children starting to put on their clothes by themselves, say good bye and go to school, drive their own cars, and leave our house as responsible adults. The little souls who used to need our care 24/7 have grown.
It’s not only our children who are growing up; we, their mothers, are growing up with them. Our advancing age does not only mean that our physical body gets weaker, it also means that we are growing inwardly. We become more patient, wiser, knowing what we want, confident in our actions, and able to share advice to our younger family and friends.
Growing up with a purpose
As mothers and women, we hope to become better and more mature people as time goes by. Having a purpose in life directs our day-to-day activities toward that goal. A clear purpose gives us a sense of achievement and can help us deal well with challenging circumstances in life. It is also important for us to develop a sense of purpose in our growing children – and this is often done by example.
Growing up healthy
All mothers want their children to grow up healthy. As parents, we too should ‘grow’ healthy. Healthy growth requires nutritious food and adequate exercise. For our healthy inward growth (our mental health), we need to feed our souls. We can nourish our souls with wisdom, knowledge, relaxing holidays, time out with our husbands, and faith. To me, my faith in God through Jesus has guided me in the years of my life as a mother to my children and a wife to my husband. Jesus has shown me how to love others unconditionally, including my children, and provides me with wisdom and strength in doing my role.
Mental health can be improved by exercising our ability to handle problems, building resilience in difficult times, adjusting to change when things do not go as planned, and fostering an attitude that welcomes interruptions from our children.
My fellow mothers, it’s never too late for us to take some time out, to be alone and to define or recall the purpose of our life.