I was so blessed to be able to talk to a group of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) this week. What a welcoming group of ladies! They had so many questions and I had a few too many answers (time ran out). What I saw though, was so encouraging! Moms from every background just seeking to be better moms. They wanted to learn and grow and like most of you, just needed someone to say, "this is hard, but you are doing it well. Keep going!" It is so good to have support. There is such temptation to doubt yourself in this challenging thing called Motherhood. So many choices in parenting, all saying they have it right, lead to not being able to choose anything. There is no script. There is no manual. There is hope. You are the exact Mom for your baby and God made that baby for you. You will absolutely have stellar days and then again you won't but your love for that baby will override the worst days.
The moms of MOPS gave me some real questions to think about and I want to share some of my answers here.
Here is the first topic of conversation: Journey of Motherhood:
The question was, what things did God use in your of motherhood to bring you closer to Him?
I think God made me a nurturing person from a young age. I had 7 younger cousins and a brother, 4 years junior, who all came in quick succession. Basically I was the nursery worker at family functions and I loved it.
I entered the field of daycare. I was in the infant room of the best quality day cares for all of my twenties. There I got to watch all the mistakes parents were making and all the good things they were doing to nurture their kids. I learned so much from this with an amazing Christian woman to guide me. She was the senior teacher in the room was a strong but kind older woman. A mentor used by God to teach me a lot about life and relationships. Changes in my late 20's :Salvation, marriage, a move far from my family and a new baby all happened in within 2 years.
I studied and sought out older women and learned all I could about my upside down life. I felt a little proud that I had so much knowledge about infant care. But I was a baby Christian raising a baby. God showed me many of my own sin and hurts through this time. But he tempered that all with my joy of having my own baby, not someone else's to hold. Because of my strong need to protect my child, a memory surfaced of abuse at 5 years old that was long buried. God put me in a place with a Pastor's wife that had experience with this. It was only by grace because I had to fill out a form to help with the nursery there and I had to hand this paper to the Pastor's wife that asked if there was any history of abuse in my past. So I admitted that I had just had this memory and she offered to talk about it. God used her to heal me of that hurt.
Though I had felt I knew so much about childcare and parenting, nothing at all could have prepared me for that memory. I have learned so much about relationship. From birth each of my children was a mystery to be discovered. There was no script. Each one is so different. Inborn temperaments were so very distinct. The way that God can take your own sins and struggles and show you them tangibly through your children is astounding. And not often pleasant. Whether it is nature or parroting you are guaranteed to see something in your child that you really don't like about yourself. I'm sure each of you has already seen it.
The last 4 years God transitioned me so gently from being a stay at home mom to a nanny. He blessed me with positions where I could bring my children along and they have learned a love for children and nurturing that I believe will be part of the legacy God brings them through me. I am embarking on a new phase of my journey. I recently became certified for a career as a postpartum doula, which as you can see I have been doing my whole working life, but now I have a paper. I am helping new moms to learn to do what my mom did not know how to do. If that isn't the work of God in a life, I don't know what is. He is amazing.
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Paula is a single mother of 3. Follow along on her journeys of motherhood and her fulfilling work as a postpartum doula