Sunday, December 26, 2010

What Every Mom Needs

I woke up this morning thinking about the needs of moms.

Every mom.

Regardless of where she works (inside or outside the home, full or part-time). Despite her marital status. No matter where she lives. Whether the children are adopted, naturally hers, stepchildren, foster children or any child, at any age, she's taken into her home.

A mom is a mom and all moms share the same needs. I bet if you thought about it you would realize that every need you have as a mom is shared by any other mom. I'm only going to highlight a few of them as I near the end of this year of motherhood and prepare for the next.

First, every mom needs rest. For all my mom friends with young children you're probably trying hard to make it through this post! The rest of us are tired too but for different reasons. Some of it is lack of sleep, much of it is too many items on our to-do lists. Without adequate rest we run the risk of low energy from staying up too late accomplishing tasks or stressing over what still needs to be done. We need a break. A real one. Every day. It's amazing what a small break can do for us. How do you take breaks? This is one area I could really learn from others on. I'm horrible at taking time to sit and rest. So please, fill me in on what works best for you.

Every mom needs a sense of purpose. Purpose doesn't come from what you do, it builds from a sense of why you exist. Recognizing your own gifts and talents and putting them to use goes a long way in bringing about a very real need to be valued. One thing I'm really good at is quickly recognizing solutions to problems. This plays out well in my corporate job and volunteer activities but also in my role as a mom. Knowing this is a strength and combining it with other talents has served me well in satisfying my deep desire to make a difference in the lives of others. What about you? How have you embraced your own purpose? Have you discovered it yet? Has it changed and evolved over the years?

Every mom needs a friend (or two). We were never meant to do life alone. We need to include others in our life. Even those of us with husbands or co-workers need friends in our lives. I love spending time with my family but even I know I'm a better wife and mom when I've shared some time with my friends. Time free from responsibilities of being a wife and mom. Someone who I can help along in their own journey and someone who can help me in mine. It's friends I have called on along with family during some of my neediest times and it's investing in friends that has made me realize the beauty of friendships. Mom's groups, churches, schools, and your neighborhood are all great places to find friends if you're lacking them. Do you make time for friends? What's your favorite thing to do with friends? Mine is to sit and talk, for hours. My husband appreciates it when they let me.

Every married mom needs to invest in her marriage. This may seem like a given but this was an eye-opener for me a few years ago. I hadn't realized I was putting my daughter's needs above my husband's. What a mistake that was! Making time for date nights and quiet time for just the two of us hasn't been easy but I grow more dedicated to it with each passing year. How do you make time for your own relationship with your husband? I need to hear your ideas so perhaps I can steal a few of them.

Every mom needs to parent intentionally. I've spent years attending continued education classes for various professions. I never viewed my job as a mom as needing the same thing until I attended my first Hearts at Home conference in 2006 when my daughter was three. It was then I realized how much greater a mom I can be when I have not only a plan for my role as a mom but also tools and information to support my goals. Have you ever attended a conference for moms or parenting classes? I highly recommend it if you haven't. In fact, I'd love for you to join me at one of Hearts at Home's conferences this year.

Every mom needs spiritual guidance. I'm a mom because of God's blessing in granting me the privilege of raising my daughter. The more I grow in my faith the better I'm able to manage the ups and downs that come with parenting. The more I trust the less need I have to worry about my daughter's future. The greater I strive to be more like Christ, the more I realize I'm not perfect but covered by grace--something I need to continually offer to others as well. How's your faith these days? If you need spiritual support I'd be happy to pray for you, just let me know.

There are many other areas where moms have common needs but in keeping with my own desire to maintain balance in my life I'll share one final thought. Every mom needs encouragement. Keep up the great work moms! Your efforts make a tangible difference in this world!

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