Habits that transformed my motherhood journey

My kids have used cubicles ever since they were babies; they know that it’s because I became a mom at such a young age. My identity became so quickly tied to motherhood that I had sought and searched for so long and thought going to the nail salon for two hours was going to help me find rest, and I’ll tell you right now that I did not find Russ shifting the way that you view things, and the way that you view motherhood will change into the nail salon for two hours.

I got pregnant with my first daughter at 21 years old. So a lot of my adult life has been motherhood, and I have three children now. I had them all within three and a half years. I’ve learned so much. I’ll give a very short summary. My first pregnancy was my first. I was 22 years old. I was super young and super excited, and it was just like an ambitious little young mom and I feel like I tackled and did anything and everything possible, like I just absolutely adored being a mother and then once I had my second, they were really close in age, so it was a struggle and a balance with figuring out having two under two under basically a year and a half because my daughter was 16 months old and then with that pregnancy afterwards, I did have postpartum depression and really struggled and wrestled with a lot of my identity and just finding myself in motherhood while still trying to be an adult at the same time and I was 23 when that happened and then with my third, I really just set my foot down and I was like, I will no longer give the enemy any more Authority in my motherhood journey, like this ends now and so the way that I have gone about my third child and how I have handled motherhood with my third and, obviously, the other ones has been so different and I truly attribute it to these 10 things so I’ve kind of just been reflecting the last couple of weeks because my daughter just turned one and my postpartum experience with her versus my son has looked so different, and I was really trying to pinpoint how and why, and this list of 10 things I’m about to share with you, I really think, is how, which gets me really excited. I don’t want to just say too much and spoil everything, but I have my list here.

First, I started hanging out with my girlfriends one to two times a week and now you’re probably looking at me like I’m crazy as a mother of three How do I possibly have time to hang out with my girlfriends one to two times a week? And let me just say that my friendships are a huge priority When you hang out with friends who are encouraging you convicting you and pulling you to be more like Christ you do not leave the conversation feeling empty You feel the conversation feeling so overflowing and so overjoyed, and your cup is just so saturated that you just cannot wait to pour it out into your family. So that’s how I feel when I hang out with my girlfriends and this also gives me an opportunity to be with other women It gives me an opportunity to socialize I thirst for these moments in these days and sometimes I bring all of my kids with me, sometimes I’m only one of them, and sometimes I bring none of them It really just varies I’m in several different Bible studies and different book clubs and just the weekends, I always hang out with my girlfriends and it just always looks different Sometimes I will make a whole meal for my family; I will eat dinner with them, and then my husband will put them to bed, and I will go hang out with my girlfriends. My girlfriends come here, and we all have dinner together, and my kids are included, or we’ll go to someone’s house, or we’ll go on a picnic, and we’ll meet at the park, and all the kids get to play. This looks so different and truly has changed my postpartum experience, like having true girls who are biblically sound, just like Christ, and just pour into you and just speak life over you.

It’s truly changed my motherhood experience, and not even all of them are mothers; only one of them is a mother, but I feel like we are in such different stages of life that we can still pour into each other. It’s just so beautiful and it’s truly changed so much for me Number two is to limit screen time for myself and for my kids. This is a habit that I needed to start with. I couldn’t be telling my kids that I didn’t want them to be watching shows if I was going to be watching shows as soon as they went up to bed, and I truly had to replace the habit that I had with shows with something else, and what I’ve replaced it with is reading my Bible, reading books, or stitching I have found that just creating other habits to replace a habit is the easiest way to quench an unhealthy habit, and screen time, I think, is just really unproductive I find that watching shows is just to chill and like trash shows, they just want to watch junk TV, while I think junk TV can completely ruin your sober-mindedness You’re just filling your mind and filling this void with nonsense, and I feel like it is one of the most unproductive and foolish things you can do, and so it took me a while to get to that place because at the end of the day, you just want to rest, and I found that I was seeking rest in areas that truly were not giving me rest and truly were completely depleting me instead of filling me up, like getting my nails done or doing stuff for myself, like those things do not fill your cup, and I found that I thought TV would fill up my cup, like sitting on the couch, and it did it, but it was depleting me, and so I have limited screen time for myself and for my kids.

My phone is at a limit of four hours a day, which I still think is a lot, but I do work from my my phone, and so this is the one that I would love to get down to an hour, but I just don’t really know that that’s realistic with emails, postings and stuff So that’s another thing but the TV really gets turned on during the day I really try to limit it for my kids to like 10 minutes a day and, like, that sounds crazy saying out loud every time When you turn the TV on, you’re saying yes to that and no to everything else, and so having the temptation of it being there just allows you to want to always turn it on, and so I try to encourage my kids to do puzzles, read an independent play, go to the park, and do something like build something. I encourage them to do certain things, and I’ll give them different activities like QE code boxes with their Bible. There’s just so many things that we can do instead of watching TV and once you break that, it’s not hard to continue I follow this account only occurred down below but she’s one of the only people that I found that are really outspoken on screen time and it’s so encouraging because screen time is so normalized and and if you mention anything about it, you normally get really intensely criticized for it. I get it and I guys, I get it I know you’re tired and you just want to put your feet up but try sensory play Try Play-Doh There’s so many great options for our household screen Time was not helping us; it was hurting us, and so maybe for you, screen time does help you, and that’s great, then you don’t need to change a thing, but for us, it was hurting us; it wasn’t helping us; it made the kids more stimulated; it made them more crappy; it was harder to turn off; it became like a thing of resentment; and so I found that the pros and cons just did not await themselves, and so we just limit it to number three.

If you get anything out of this video, let it be that my identity is as a daughter of Christ, not as a mother, and this has truly changed it for me because I think because I became a mom at such a young age, my identity became so quickly tied to motherhood, and so I found that I got into this pattern of, well, if my child isn’t sleeping this much or if I’m having to wake up this much, then that means I’m not a good mom, and then this happens, like it becomes this spiral thing of dependency upon your children to find a dependency and approval upon yourself, and it is a very toxic thing and you can easily find yourself idolizing your kids, and it just becomes really unhealthy, so the moment I slash that and find my identity in Christ as a daughter of Christ and that alone, then I was able to detach myself from the identity of mother. Now, when I say that I’ve detached myself from that, it means that I, of course, am a mother, and I love and cherish that role, but it is not what I see first; I see myself as a daughter, then a wife, and then a mother. There is a role, there is an umbrella, and there is one before the other, and the moment we start shuffling and mixing things up, that’s when we start seeing the shuffling and mixing up in our lives, like you really have to be careful not to let your children become idols for you. That is a very fine line, and I think you really have to pray that the Lord will reveal if you’ve crossed that line and then kind of work from there because this truly changed so much for me It’s given me so much freedom in my day-to-day life but then also with my kids, there’s like, not this pressure, it’s so beautiful Number four is that I enjoy modern-day conveniences This is something that I really do enjoy It’s funny because there are certain things that I feel like I really enjoy that I don’t like that modern day has. I love the old-school way of doing things like making bread and making things from scratch. I don’t know if anyone else is like this, but like, I want to make my own sourdough bread, but I’m going to instacart it, and I’m going to have someone go to the grocery store and get it for me.

Take advantages of them, like I think there’s some that I think really convenience my life and then others that I think aren’t replaceable so this is a fine line that I have found that I have had to really figure out which conveniences I will take advantage of and which ones I won’t so for example for me, insta cart is one of those modern-day advantages that I just really love; it’s a huge convenience for me Another thing that I really enjoy for my kids is using subscriptions for their toys, specifically because we homeschool our kids. This gives me a really great opportunity to be able to teach them stem and do specific activities that are really encouraging and nourishing to their brains without me having to really spend a lot of money, a lot of effort, and a lot of time putting the materials together, and they have given me a code for you to share with you guys down below, which I will link, okay? So with the code that they’re offering you guys, you can get $50 off your first month so I’ll have That link down below is a huge saving, and it gives you an opportunity to really try out their stuff, but personally, my kids have used cubico ever since they were babies, and the boxes are curated for each child, so each of my three kids gets their own, and they know that link down below is a huge saving, and it gives you an opportunity to really try out their stuff, but personally, my kids have used cubico ever since they were babies, and the boxes are curated for each child, so each of my three kids gets their own, and they know that it’s kiwico time, like any time it arrives, they know they get really excited, and I’ll save them either for homeschool or for our sabbaths and days of rest because then I just get to put an activity out, they get to play, and I get to read, and it any time it arrives, they know they get really excited, and I’ll save them either for homeschool or for our sabbaths and days of rest because then I just get to put an activity out, they get to play, and I get to read, and it is a moment.

They are able to recycle and reuse and then do other things, like they thought 10:56 years ago, they got a doctor’s kit, and we use that doctor’s kit day in and day out. It’s like one of their favorite play kits that they have, so you can reuse that, so the boxes are just so different and unique, and you get your money’s worth. It is so worth the price, and again, it’s a convenience that I like to enjoy and have my kids use, and I get some moments of silence to myself, and we get to keep reusing it and reusing it, and so I found that it has been a wonderful activity that I will link down below. You can get 50 off your first month if you guys try it number five, which I’ve kind of just talked about when mentioning our boxes for kiwico, that is to take a day of rest This is something that my husband really wanted to start implementing in our family at the beginning of the year. I’ve actually done a video sharing our Sabbath and our dinners that we do prior to entering rest together that I will link down below for you, but this has really, really impacted our household. And it’s so funny because the Lord so intentionally gave us a day of rest because he knew how badly we needed it, and it really is an act of surrendering and submitting your life to the Lord because you’re literally telling him, Here, I’m giving this to you. I’m not going to be working for a whole day, and I know that you are in control of it. You are in charge of it.” It’s also an opportunity for you to let go of your pride because Pride says that if I don’t do this, things aren’t going to keep flowing, things aren’t going to keep moving and I need to be working all the time but letting your pride go says you know the Lord has this; he’s going to work through it I can rest and know that he is okay, that he is greater and that he is good so it’s definitely been a very convicting act to know that he is in full control of things it’s also obviously giving me an opportunity to rest because, in motherhood, you find that you are longing for rest and I probably will do a whole video on this because I definitely need to update you guys on my whole vanity journey and how that’s been because that has changed and elaborated in ways that I never thought it would When you rest in Christ, he literally tells us that unless you come through him, you will not find rest.

We need to depend on him for rest, so having our Saturdays be dedicated to the Lord and just dedicated to rest again I can link the video down below that we did talking about what I do and don’t do on our sabbaths, but this has really changed it for me because it’s given me an opportunity to actually rest, and it’s actually given me and my kids an opportunity to see what rest looks like for Mom and what rest can look like for them because it is a habit. Resting is not easy, like intentionally resting is really hard, and I had to really ask myself, “Where do I need rest from and what’s actually going to be restful? because I had searched and searched for so long and thought going to the nail salon for two hours was going to be a fine rest, and I’ll tell you right now that I did not find rest in those moments and came back more exhausted It wasn’t until I found my girlfriends that I truly found women who were pouring into me and weren’t just gossiping, slandering, and sucking the life out of me. I found that you can actually find rest from hanging out with people I was always identified as an introvert I’m not an introvert; I was just hanging out with people who would emotionally drain me, but when you hang out with people who are emotionally pouring into you, you leave feeling so saturated and overflowed, and so you really need to ask yourself the question of what truly will give me rest. Sitting on the couch for four hours will not find you rest; just sitting and watching a screen will not find rest in that, so I had to really rework in my mind what rest was for me, but sleeping in is something that we will do.

The same is true with our kids. Grounding, being outside, getting fresh air, getting movement—those are things that truly do find rest in US worshiping, sitting in the word, creating with my hands—those are things that I’ve really found rest in again I dive more into detail on that in the video but this has been chef’s kiss number six our schedule revolves around my husband and my life, not our kids and you might be looking at me like I’m crazy, but it’s true if I need to do X Y and Z that day I do X Y and Z that day with my kid alongside me My kids get to enjoy life with me; it’s not like I have life over here and my kids are over here No, we come together, we unify as a family, we are better together and we do it together My kids have something that they want to do, so we go and do it together. it’s a bunch of individuals who live under the same roof and have their own lives but that is so contrary to what God’s word says about being a family a family is a unit; it is a team that lives under the same roof and works together as a team In the morning, I have my morning chores, and guess what my kids do on my morning tours with me? They take pride and enjoyment in putting together our house. Our house is clean and put together because we all worked together to get it that way. It’s not just me taking on the load and doing it all by myself. Okay, my kids are three, four, and one, so they are a little bit older, but you can do life with your kids without revolving around your kids.

Now, I’m not going to sit and point here and tell you exactly what that looks like because, in each season, that’s going to look very different for us. For example, when we had our newborn, we traveled a lot I have found that traveling with newborns is so much easier than traveling with them when they’re a little bit older and so when my baby was a newborn, y’all, we traveled the first month of for life We went to New York, we went to Grand Rapids and we went to Alaska, all with a newborn. People thought we were crazy but we had the best time of our life because why we wanted to go to Alaska and so we went to Alaska didn’t matter how old our kids were. Don’t stop living life because you have kids Live life with your kids Number seven, I had to really do several mindset shifts in my head, one of them being our schedules and our life being with our kids Another one was children as blessings. The Bible makes it so clear that kids are a gift, and they are a blessing from the Lord. So how does that look from day to day? Well, if you’re about to go do a task, if you are about to go start unloading the dishwasher and your kids want to come do it with you, you do it with a smile on your face, you teach them and you enjoy the time that you get with them You don’t just rush through it and say, No, it’s going to be too messy, No, it’s going to take too long for you to do it, No, I’m going to have to undo all the work that you just did That is how you view a child: as a blessing and not a burden It is truly that simple It is seeing them wanting to come on a walk with you to feed the dogs and walk the dogs real quick It’s you seeing that as an opportunity to connect and grow with your kids rather than you just having to drag them along and then slowing you down and then pointing at the beautiful flowers and pointing at the beautiful sky, like kids are so pure and gosh.

I’m gonna cry if we just took a second to be like our children if we just took a second to enjoy life like our kids enjoy life we would be so much happier our kids are so content at looking at grass our kids are so content watching ants run across our kids are so content and Marvel in worship at the Lord day in and day out and we’re over here rushing them hurrying them saying it’s taking too long they’re walking too slow you gotta hurry up we’re running late we are the ones eroding their childhood we are the problem so when I realized that when I realized that I was in the way it opened my eyes to see that I was the problem not my kids they weren’t walking too slow I was walking too fast they weren’t taking too long I was rushing it truly Shifting the way that you view things and the way that you view motherhood will change everything for you. quite a lot about this in my shepherding video too, because I did a video about sharpening your child’s heart and when you view your role and Duty as a mother as an opportunity to share the gospel, like Deuteronomy 6 tells us to do, that also changed everything for you because every moment is an opportunity to spend time with your children and pour into your children and so it literally does not matter what you do that day because you have an opportunity to do that, like last week when I gave them a new toy because they really were excited about it Our friend had this toy, and they really wanted it. They had been such good kids, and I just wanted to be able to bless them, so I got this toy regardless of it being plastic and battery-operated, and they were playing with it so cutely that they set up ramps for it They literally played with this toy for three hours, and they had a little incident where it got stuck on someone’s head and rolled and tangled up onto their head.

You can easily sit there and just really get irritated at the situation and just get angry or you can use it as an opportunity to share how our outward appearance doesn’t matter and that if we have to cut off hair because it got stuck in a tire, it’s just hair We don’t get our identity from how long our hair is or what our hair looks like. Every moment is a teachable moment, and so just going into that every day really changes your perspective and your shift in how you view things. Number eight, the order in which our household runs, is that first in line of my importance is Christ my husband and then my kids I’m not going to labor on this, but there is an order, and the Bible makes it very clear what that order is. If I’m constantly putting my children above my husband, there’s going to be problems I cannot fall in love with my kids if I cannot fall in love into my husband The unity that I have with my husband is more important than the unity with my kids, and that gets taken out of context and gets twisted a lot. My husband and I don’t love each other. We can’t love our kids. It’s really that simple. Think of it like a cup; if your cup is overflowing with love, it’s going to love your kids. If Jordan and I are not together, our kids cannot be together, and so that really needs to be prioritized because if not, then our kids cannot. It’s really that simple, and we have to have that order in that order. For a very simple reason, number nine is that I get dressed and read my Bible every single day Those are two non-negotiables for me, I make an effort to rise before my kids every single day.

Now, my kids do not wake up at 5 a.m., so I don’t have to deal with that My kids normally wake up before seven so it’s not like I have to wake up at 4am because I know some others have their kids wake up that early and so blessed are you because that definitely changes things but you can go to bed a lot earlier because your kids probably go to bed a lot earlier so I think there’s room for Wiggles in each situation but for me, I tried to make an effort to get up before my kids at least an hour to two hours because that’s actually when I work; that’s when I get the majority of my work done because my household is quiet and I can just get these things done that I need to get done and then I also love getting myself dressed, whether that is just throwing on a dress real quick or just quickly doing my hair and my makeup I make an effort to do that because I like to feel like myself in some way I like to feel presentable and wearing dresses and skirts has really solved that just on its own and again I want to do a whole video on vanity and explain that because that’s truly changed a lot for me as well but there’s just something about just throwing on a dress It is so much easier to throw on a dress than t-shirt and leggings, like it really is because the dress is one piece of clothing that you just throw on and you look put together no matter what You could have gotten three hours of sleep last night and don’t have a lick of makeup on but if you throw on a feminine pretty little dress and it looks like you are put together like it’s crazy the power a dress can hold but getting dressed and reading my Bible or just non-negotiables for me for the longest time would read my Bible when my kids are napping or I would wait until the perfect moment but there will never be a perfect moment there truly will never will you have to make it an effort you have to make it a priority you have to carve it into your day and so if you guys have followed me on Instagram I have like my three non negotiables that I do every morning which is unload the dishwasher get myself dressed and start a load of laundry.

Once I do those three, I like to reward myself with a little coffee and then I’ll sit and read my Bible set yourself up and do these little goals life can feel mundane and pointless if you let it but you can find the most joyful and find the most contentment in the mundane You really have to search and seek it; it’s there; it’s literally right there and so doing little things like that, setting up my three little things before my little coffee in the morning and my time with the Lord has changed that and if you can be on your phone around your kids you can read your Bible around your kids I don’t know why we think we can’t do specific things around our kids am I crazy for that like you can so read your Bible with your kids next to you sure you might have have a little hand in there and that’s why I let my kids write in my Bible I know people think that’s a little weird but let me see I think it’s a beautiful testimony that I’m in the word and my Kids get to witness what my quiet time with the Lord looks like, and my time is not always quiet, like yes, I may have to get up 500 times to go help them with something or to train them in a specific way or help discipline them, but my Bible is covered with little doodles and stuff because my kids will sit next to me and will want to help write on my Bible like I write in my Bible, and so yeah, I do allow them to do that I think it’s beautiful to see this, and one day I’d love to give this to my kids and be like look, you are a part of my time with the Lord and I’m so appreciative of the time that we got together doing it together. Yeah, those are just non-negotiables for me. The last one number 10 is practicing and continuing to grow in hobbies that I love and that I enjoy and again, I think this goes with me having kids so young I didn’t really get a chance to like experiment and really see what I like as an adult and I feel like just now at 26.

Like to do in my spare time music I like like I feel like just now at 26 I have found the Finer Things that I enjoy in life and so for me one of them was to practice embroidery and embroidering little Hoops like that is something I’d wanted to do but I was like no I don’t have time I do have time I just wasn’t making the time and so my Saturdays my days of rest I do that I really find that working with my hands is one of the most therapeutic things for me I think when you’re working with your hands your mind gets a chance to think your mind gets a chance to rest and you can spend such intimate time with the Lord and sure your house can be loud there can be a lot going on the kids can be playing and finding and doing all this stuff but you were just there spending your time with the Lord and so for me practicing and finding the things that I really enjoy and continue to doing that during my time as a mother has been so beautiful because my kids like to come alongside and do it with me or my I want my kids to witness me living life and enjoying life with them I don’t want them to look back and be like Mom was always grumpy. Your mom was just always trying to rush. Ask yourself what you want your kids to remember. There was a season where Jordan and I really and we still continue to, but we really wanted our kids to remember meal time. Meals are super important to us, so we went the extra mile to make dinner time and breakfast really special and feel really unique right now. I feel like we’re in a season where we really want your kids to remember us serving others and having others over for dinner and US pouring into our friends and so that’s something we’re currently focusing on, like I find that each season that we’re in, we’re trying to pour out something else and teach our kids something else so ask yourself: What do you want your kids to remember you doing? What do you want your kids to remember that was a hobby or a habit that you had? What is it that you you want your kids to look back at this season and remember? Because then you can really pinpoint what’s important to you?

Can really pinpoint where your efforts and time should be going, and I talk about this more in her shepherding video because I think our culture is so rushed and so hurried that sometimes we don’t leave room for the things we actually want to do and actually enjoy because we’re so busy doing all these other things and you really have to refine, pull back and say no in order to say yes to what’s important So these are the 10 things that I have truly just enjoyed and loved and have really a habit that I’ve had to make as a mom to really make motherhood such a joy and my kids a blessing It’s definitely an everyday shift every day relying on the Lord’s strength and not my own dream because I cannot do it on my own I tried doing it on my own and I simply and you simply cannot You have to rely on the Lord’s strength and so I’m so thankful for his grace, his mercy and forgiving little hearts because your children’s art is so forgiving they forget and forgive before were you even finishing your sentence that you’re sorry they’re just so relying on it because I cannot do it on my own I tried doing it it’s like the Bible says so I hope this is helpful.

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