Guest Post: How to Make Time for God as a Mother

The journey of motherhood is definitely a crazy one! A friend once asked me, “What makes parenting difficult?”.

My response was, “Raising another human whilst trying to figure out your own life.” Perfectly summarised right?

If, as mothers, we struggle with mommy guilt and making time for ourselves, how do we then ensure we create that time to consistently work on our spiritual and personal relationship with the Father Almighty?

Today, OMT’s Digest and The Christian Blog Ghana will share some tips to help you stay on top of your God game as a mother.

  1. Be open-minded about how you spend time with God.

Sitting in a chair and imagining God seated opposite you can also be prayer. You can talk to Him in the bathroom or whilst cooking in the kitchen. Covid has taught us that even church can be virtual. We revere Him but He also says we should come to Him anytime with no strict rules laid down. Don’t allow society to create false rules for you. It’s a personal relationship and the mode of the relationship lies with the parties involved. Even in thoughts, you can still maintain that personal relationship with God.

Don’t limit yourself!

  • Check your schedule and find what works for you.

It could be the first 4 minutes before everyone is up, the time you settle in at work before the official work start time of 8am and it could be on the road to work which is even much preferred if you have your own mode of transportation. This is because you can have a morning devotion session in the car with the kids on the way to school drop-offs and you know who can be your best accountability partner? YOUR KIDS!

Once you find that time, proceed to create a routine out of it.

  • The strength of your prayer is not dependent on the length.

Not everyone is a prayer warrior. Some are gifted to pray in tongues and be deeply engulfed in the spirit for a longer period. Praying for a shorter period doesn’t make you any less of a child of God. Picture it as this, God has many children, and some are introverts and other extroverts. Some would meditate deep in their hearts and others will prefer to speak aloud. Even with our kids they all have their unique personality traits but we accept them as they are and still make time to listen to them.

Use the style that works best for you.

  • Supplement and develop yourself with spiritual audio teachings and music.

Worship and praise music and teachings can all help to develop your relationship with God. Mensa Otabil, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen and Stevn Furtick and others all have podcasts you can subscribe to on a daily or weekly basis for FREE. These teachings can help build you up in your spiritual journey. And on days you are short of words, the music helps fill in the words for you.

One app that I find useful and would recommend to every mother is the YouVersion. This app has different devotionals on whatever topic you can think of – be it on anxiety, worry, fear, taking care of children, pregnancy journey etc. You can select a time to receive reminders to have your quiet time and what even makes it better is the audio option, thus you don’t need to read all the time. One of my favourite parts is the option it gives to users to record their prayers. Tracking your prayers and matching them to their answers, over time, teaches you to trust in God always.  

Being a mother and taking care of the home plus managing a career or business could be extremely overwhelming and if care is not taken, God, prayer and quiet times could easily be relegated to the background. It is therefore important to make a conscious effort to spend some quality time with God in a day. As stated above, the duration is not as important and the quality. You could be cooking your meals and praying or doing your laundry and be singing your hymns and spiritual songs. They are all ways of communicating to God.

Hope these tips are useful and don’t pass judgement on yourself before you try out any of these tips. Tell us how this post served you. Is there any tip we missed in the post? We would love to hear from you. Let us know in the comment section.

Motherhood – My Story

When I was ‘diagnosed’ of pregnancy in 2016:

  1. I was surprised.😯  I didn’t realise getting pregnant could come that easy for me. I could count the number of times I had had sex since I got married in December 2015 and I was certain it was not up to 50 times, so how did I get pregnant so quickly?
  2. I was disappointed. 😞I had planned out my year and that included going back to school and combining that with my job. Secondly, I had assured my friends I wasn’t going to get pregnant in my first year of marriage so how come?
  3. I was scared.😩 Who am I to be a mother? What are the theories of motherhood? What were the characteristics of good mothers? I had a lot of questions but no answers, initially. I was unprepared.

“Whether your pregnancy was meticulously planned, medically coaxed, or happened by surprise, one thing is certain—your life will never be the same.” – Catherine Jones

My husband was at his supportive best, answered most of the questions I had medically, and referred me to one of the best (in opinion) gynaecologists. During our first meeting, the gynaecologist encouraged me to be happy because I had no idea of what other women had to endure just to have babies. That statement got me reflecting, I felt I had been ungrateful for something as beautiful as the opportunity to bring life into the world. I started seeing my pregnancy in a new light and considered the best ways to make the most out of the situation.

I began reading and researching and of course, Pinterest (my favourite social media platform) and Baby Centre (app) were very resourceful and they cleared most of the misconceptions I had about childbearing. I spoke to other young mothers and there was a similar theme running through their conversations – Yes, delivering the baby was painful but an experience every woman needs to go through. Probably, the nine-month gestation period was designed by God for us to accept our new state and make preparations for the new addition. I made some adjustments to my career in order to combine schooling with motherhood (blog post for another day) and God has been faithful.

By God’s grace, my pregnancy experience was problem-free. No weight gain, no sicknesses, small tummy size and I could walk very well. Fast-forward to the delivery day, I had read so much about the process and I was certain I was going to sail through. I knew labour was painful but breathing through it gave you relief and that was going to be my strategy. When the labour started, my strategy was working perfectly until the process was augmented. That was when the pains switched from first to fifth gear. It was P-A-I-N-F-U-L and U-N-B-E-A-R-A-B-L-E. 😂 That level of pain is simply out of this world and for 12 hours, my body had to go through that to bring a 3KG baby girl into the world. There is a popular notion that when you see your baby, you forget about the pain. Well, my body didn’t forget about the pain. I felt traumatised and abused after going through that experience and I could barely sit up to touch my little girl. Before my delivery day, I had planned to dress my baby in a white dress, swaddle her nicely and take selfies when she was handed to me but, after what my body went through, I could hardly remember any of those plans. I’m not even certain who went into the suitcase to give the stuff for the baby to the midwives. When I saw my baby, she was already dressed in orange ‘welcome’ clothes (probably selected by her father)😁. Thank God for her father who was present throughout the delivery process and offered all the help.

When women get pregnant, we probably believe we’ll be free after the delivery process but, that is one of the biggest misconceptions ever. The delivery process is actually the baptism into the ‘new’ life. There is absolutely no rest even if you have help, you still have to breastfeed and adjust your sleep pattern to accommodate the little ones who want nothing but comfort (blog post for another day).

Before I became a mum myself, I thought Mothers Day was overhyped but after I experienced what I experienced and I’m still experiencing, I feel mothers are not even celebrated enough. In fact, every day should be mothers’ day because the job is tough and the sleepless nights, numerous. The job description includes being a cleaner, a nutritionist, an entertainer, a clown, a cook, teacher and any other role prescribed by the baby.

 “Birth is a mystery. Words are not enough.” – Marie O’Connor

Let me take this opportunity to celebrate all mothers because the role is a challenging one. To women who do not have biological children but sacrifice to make others comfortable, we say Ayekoo. And to mothers who have children with special needs, you are also doing brilliant jobs and we celebrate you today.

As a society, is it possible to ask us to stop questioning married couples on when they intend to have children? Childbearing is a choice, therefore, please stop putting people in uncomfortable situations when they have to keep explaining themselves to you. You have no idea of what their plans entail nor are you aware of what they are going through. The pressure you give may push them to do stuff in their power just to have babies and that could be deadly.

Motherhood is an amazing journey which never ends and to all the women giving lives and hope to people, we say a big thank you.

 

”Congratulations! You are going to be Parents!”

This announcement is greeted with a myriad of emotions depending on the circumstances surrounding the conception. It could be one of extreme excitement, for example, when the couple has had issues conceiving and suddenly, they receive this announcement. It could also be one of relief when the couple just got married and God blesses them with the fruit of the womb. It could be one of confusion and even disappointment in instances where the couple has vowed not to have children or are unprepared, and POOF 💥💥💥💥 one of them pops up.

This reminds me of a trending video on Facebook, where the husband was livid when his wife announced her pregnancy test result was positive. In the video, the couple already had three children, hence, the man’s reaction to the news.😄🤣 He ranted about his age, the number of children they had already, insurance, diapers, childcare and almost everything that comes with childbearing.

And his concerns are legitimate. Children come at a cost and if you aren’t ready for them, you may hit your head against the wall when one suddenly shows up and you are unprepared. Aside from the money involved, children take up your time, space and may even take a toll on your relationship as a couple. Babies understand nothing and all they want is to be comfortable. They don’t know how to manage any emotions or care if their parents are broke and can’t afford certain things. When a baby wants something, they need it immediately or they will shout and make you uncomfortable. 😂😂😂 Not to talk about how they can alter every aspect of your life, including your intimacy as a couple. It’s almost as if children can sense it when you slip out of your bed to be with daddy. 😂😂😂No wonder counselors warn new couples to give themselves some grace period before bringing these young ones into the world.

Being blessed with a child comes with a responsibility and what is most glaring is our level of preparedness to nurture these little ones to become responsible adults. How equipped are you for this new role? How wide-read are you on the subject of parenting? Do you intend to use your instincts or the parenting style your mum and dad used on you (even though times have changed)?🤨🙄

Like every other subject or course, the art of Godly parenting needs to be studied. There is the need to read around this subject even before we bring these little ones into the world. At every stage, we must know what is important to them and by reading, we’ll be properly equipped with the right tools to ensure they turn out fine. When we hear of seminars being organised on parenting, we should be quick to attend to seek some knowledge from the resource persons. There are several programmes which are run on radio and TV on the subject of marriage and Godly parenting. Examples include Famlife on Citi 97.3 FM on Saturdays at 7 am, Home Affairs on Joy 99.7FM on Saturdays at 6:15 am and Helpers of our Joy on Sweet Melodies 94.3 FM on weekdays from 9 pm – 10 pm. Apart from educating ourselves on the subject of parenting, there is also the need to pray constantly for these little ones. We need to be directed by the Holy Spirit when it comes to the subject of bringing up these children. At all times, we must lay hands on them and speak some good words into their lives. We must also walk our talk, in other words, portray what we want these little ones to emulate in our daily interactions as parents.

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Parenting is not just being labeled mummy and daddy, it’s a calling, a responsibility which has been bestowed on us by God and we need to get it right!

A Letter to my one-year-old Daughter 

Dear Charis,

I know you too young to read this, but, here is a chronicle of our mother-daughter relationship in the past year. Here it goes:

You were so good to me during my pregnancy days that a lot of people did not even notice I was expecting a child. No sicknesses, no weight-gain, no tiredness, in fact, I was more active and alive during those nine months. I felt blessed and was anxious to meet this special child who had been so good to me.

Our first meeting wasn’t ‘love at first sight,’ though. My body had undergone too much shock the previous evening, up till the dawn of Sunday, to bring you into this world. All I felt was pain from the stitches down there and relief from those terrible contractions. I experienced a new kind of admiration for all mothers and my love for you developed when I finally recovered from that shock.

Throughout the 368 days, we’ve spent together, I can imagine the sort of woman you’ll grow into. Very vibrant, full-of-life, energetic, sharp and from the way you raise your legs to dance to tunes from adverts on TV, you’ll probably love music or dancing, just like your father. I can imagine you’d be one strong-willed woman from the way you reject food or refuse to sleep when we force you.

I do pick up lessons from you each day, you know. You don’t give up till you are perfect at a particular skill, even if it means falling several times. You forgive easily, by smiling or laughing when we make mistakes and accidents occur. You are obedient and even at this age, you know the things that can make mummy or daddy spark.

I would like you to know you are dear to us.You are our early Christmas and wedding anniversary gift from God.  Grow gracefully into the beautiful woman that God has destined you to be. We love you very much and I look forward to writing more letters to you every year while you grow.😊

Happy birthday to you once again!

With love from your mum and on your dad’s behalf,

The Sogahs