Ordering the Heart (A Mother’s Day Manual): Relationships
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Hi mom. We are on our third day of our mother’s day manual. So far we’ve tackled two R’s our of four: recreation and relaxation. Today, let’s talk about relationships. But before that, a question: when was the last time you want out without your babies or children? And when I say went out, I am talking about good old fun, chatting with friends or spouse, where no errands and grocery lists were involved in making it happen.
If your answer is “Just recently,” or that “I do it regularly,” then good! We can all learn from you. I say this because motherhood has the tendency to keep us away from our other relationships. Understandably so, because our children, especially when they are small, have limits and it isn’t fair to drag them to places we would usually frequent before they came. More often than not, this causes us to choose doing everything at home for a season in our life.
However for some moms, this season stretches for much longer. Even when the kids have grown, these moms are stuck in the rut of their homes, while keeping only their children’s relationships and nobody else. Some may have even forgotten they have husbands! And again, I can see why. Because time really becomes an issue when we have to do much for ur growing children and in keeping an orderly home. Also, reordering our entire life around them for years can actually become a habit and lifestyle that is too hard to break in the future.
Personally, I have to fight this tendency. Not only because of the amount of work I have to do in order to get my son turning out alright every day of his life, but because I also enjoy being with him a lot! Is it not that in their eyes, we are the best of the crop??? When my boy looks at me and for me, I feel wanted and needed and so loved. It really does feed my ego to hear and see and feel how my son is just so attached to me. Except when he turns to his toys and other more interesting people and suddenly forgets about mama. All of a sudden, I am reminded about my true place in my son’s life. That is, to prepare him for independence and release him like an arrow shooting for the call of God in his life.
And honestly, as our kids grow older they begin to express more of their needs and less of their love for you. They become a little too self-absorbed at times not only because of their sinful, selfish nature, but also because they are discovering themselves. Of course, they are looking to you for help and support. And sometimes they have more of the “Mama, can you help me?” moments than “Mama, you are doing a great job!” in a day. Which is why you need adults around, for you also need affirmation, encouragement, validation, as well as, guidance and correction.
There is this famous proverb that it takes a village to raise a child, but I want to add that it also takes a village to help a mom. Not only children need a village but us mommies, too. We need to nurture those relationships with our spouse, girlfriends, wise counselors, if we want to stay sane and get better as parents.
Do you know that it is said in a Stanford University class on relationship of stress and disease that one of the best things a man can do for his health is to marry a woman? But for a woman, it is advised that she nurture her relationship with her girlfiends. Apparently, girlfriend time helps create more serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can give a general feeling of wellbeing. It is also said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our health as jogging or going to the gym.
Hah! Don’t we all feel pressured to exercise for the sake of our sacred bodies??? And yet, research says girlfriend time is just as important. We need friends and this is not the first time I am hearing this. Too many books have already told me good relationships matter and are key to a well-lived life. Moms, don’t forget to nurture much outside of your relationships with your children. Don’t forget your husband if you have one. Don’t forget your girlfriends. Fight for a little bit of time with them, because this is also going to be good for your children. Just imagine that if God himself prefers to be a relationship within himself — Father, Son, and Spirit, who are you to say that you don’t need anybody else in the world?
- If I say it takes a village to help a mom, can you readily name at least three members of that village?
- Talk to your friend who is going through this manual with you about scheduling girlfriend time soon. Could be a nail spa day, discovering a new coffee shop, or shopping together.
- Or you could also schedule a good date with your husband! When was the last time you did this, right???
- If you really don’t have much time, then, marry your choice of recreation with your chosen company. Calligraphy with girlfriends? Biking with husband?