Guest Post: Ground Hog Day and That's OKAY!

Happy Monday! Laura is back with more momma insight!

Please check out here other posts: "Normal" is Abnormal and It Takes A Village.

I tried to come up with some incredibly creative and profound topic to write about for this post. I'm quite a creative person, naturally, although no where near as creative as some (uhum... Lindsay), but I feel a lot of my 'juices' so to speak are running low these days.

I'm quite tired, which I hate to admit, considering I only have ONE baby. My sister has four and one on the way, and they're all six and under! SHE can be tired! But in this case, I will admit,  I'm really tired. I know, I go to bed later than I should, I don't feed myself all the good food, and I don't do the one thing that is most recommended - sleep when he sleeps.

My son, Teddy, is a loud, passionate and active kid. He's up every morning at 5am (and no if I change his bed time he doesn't sleep later, thanks for the advice) and it is like pulling teeth to keep him indoors until the sun comes up. He is not entertained by toys. He has the same amount of interest in a toy as a vegan does in beef. Seriously! So from the moment he finishes breakfast we're outside. We come inside for his one nap in the middle of the day, and when he wakes it’s back outside till dinner and bed time. So in my head, his nap time is my time. To check emails, to reply to said emails, to eat something, to read a chapter of a book, organise or dream about ministry plans.... anything really. I'm not going to sleep when he does.

So with all of that unnecessary blah spilt above, I have no creative and profound topic to share with you.

What I do want to share is something I have come to terms with and embracing. Being a full-time Mum is a sacrifice. Its an awesome one! The best one I think, but it is a sacrifice. It’s a sacrifice of nice clothes, clean hair, spontaneous outings with friends, work, ministry, hobbies. I am a singer and dancer, but where I live the only thing people know about me is that I'm Teddy's mum. That killed me the first year. Now, I'm ok. I'm at peace that this is a season and the 'sacrifice' of my identity is worth it. My identity is evolving and I need to get over myself.

Along with the sacrifice comes monotony. Now, if you have a baby who has been sleeping 12 hours since 8 weeks, breast fed from the moment it crowned, plays with toys, sleeps wherever and obeys your every request - you may find this post irrelevant. If your baby struggles to sleep, struggles to feed, battles you on rules and loves to test boundaries you'll feel me on this!

The best piece of advice my Mama gave me before I gave birth was "consistency is everything". Routine. Children find safety in routine. They feel secure when they know what to expect. They learn quickly when the outcome is the same, and they trust you because they feel safe in that. I have moved around with Teddy a lot and not by choice. When routine is broken, he falls apart. Some say "kids need to learn to fit into our lives, and we shouldn't change everything for them". In our home, our life is certainly not dictated by the needs of our son, but they do play a great role in our decision making.

Each day is almost the same for me. Teddy wakes at 5am, breakfast at 6:30am, outside play, lunch and nap time at midday in his bed with his milk with his fan and his music, wake 1.5-2 hours later, snack, play time, 5:30pm-6pm is dinner, bath, book and prayer and 7pm-7:30pm is bed time in his bed, with his milk, with his fan and his music. I use the same words about 1,000 times a day "uh uh!", "don't touch, that’s not yours", "please", "thank you", "stop", "listen to Mama", "say sorry", "don't hit", "hands to yourself - people don't like their neck hugged", etc. Amongst all this, of course, are a billion I love you’s, hugs and kisses.

But here's my point. Right now, in this season, I am dedicated to loving and training up a little boy that is kind, a good friend, a good steward of his belongings, able to express his emotions in an appropriate way, that is able to be happy and obedient. They say the first seven years is the foundation for the rest of their lives... so we've got work to do Mum's! My sister's advice to me, which I repeat in my heart each day, is "don't over-discipline when you're angry, and don't under-discipline when you're tired." Amazing advice! For Teddy, the repercussions for disobedience is the same thing every time. Even if its the 50th time for the day. And I tell you what, he is listening better and he is happier too. This season is about recognising that I am responsible to shape this little boy (and whatever other children we get) to be citizens of this world and representatives of the Kingdom. So if it means I can't sing, dance, Nurse and minister as much as I used to or would 'like' to, so be it. I don't want to half-ass this raising a person thing!

Mums... motherhood can feel like Ground Hog Day. And that's really hard. And bless you for doing it. But what you may experience as monotonous, your kids see as consistency. Where you are bored, they feel safe. When you feel tired, lonely, and like 'the woman you used to be' has gone away, lift your chin, smile and be proud! She hasn't gone anywhere, she's just taking a time out while you take on the biggest job this earth can offer.

Be encouraged and empowered. You are the woman in army boots. Your gorgeous! But now is the time to hitch up your dress and cover this terrain of motherhood. Consistency is the best thing we can present our children with each day. It is safe and it builds trust and respect. Embrace the Ground hog day in years to come you'll know it was, in so many ways, for the greater good! Bless you Mums.

Laura Hall graduated with a Bachelors in Nursing from an Australian university in 2009. Since then she has served and volunteered in the nursing capacity in Sydney, Germany, Ethiopia, Thailand, Bangladesh and Hawaii.

She met her husband, Derek, when she was 14 and the two married 5 years later. Three years ago, they packed up all they had into two suitcases and have been on the move in missions ever since. Their heart is founded in the root significance of family. They are passionate about marriages that thrive! Laura has a heart for the grassroots movement, for women and children's ministry's and is working toward preaching internationally, facilitating the battle against slavery and networking the global church to be Jesus' hands and feet on this Earth!

They have a 1-year-old son, Theodore, and hope to expand their family in the years to come. The Hall's are all about having honest conversations about real challenges and struggles, but striving for a life where they are thriving in all areas: health, marriage, parenting and serving the Lord.

You can follow her writings at the Live to Thrive blog