14 Lessons Learned in 14 Years of Motherhood

This summer, my eldest turned 14. It's hard to believe I am the mother of a 14-year-old teenager. There has been so much I've learned, and continue to learn, in this season of motherhood. I don't doubt I will double what I've learned in the next 4+ years as I continue to raise and lead my teenage daughter into adulthood.

As you grow as a mom and into motherhood, you will learn many things along the way -- about raising children and about yourself!

I thought it would be fun {and maybe helpful} to share 14 lessons I've learned so far.

14 Lessons I Learned in 14 Years of Motherhood

  1. Children will not act like adults. I know, big surprise, right? But I often expect my children to act as mature and knowledgeable as adults and it's frustrating for everyone.
     
  2. Learning patience is an ongoing process. Motherhood has no limit to the types of issues that require my patience. So, I may learn to be patient with clothes being constantly left on the floor, but I'm still learning patience for fighting and tattling.
     
  3. My children are, in many ways, a reflection of me -- the good, the bad, and the ugly. This can be a hard lesson to come face to face with because that very issue I deal with seems ten times bigger in my child. This is character refining for myself in it's greatest form. If I don't want my child to exhibit said behavior, I need to stop it, too. On the other hand, what a gift to watch my children pick up some of the good fruit God has worked through me.
     
  4. I cannot control a child's personality. I believed personality was built and developed with discipline, but it's not. Character is built with discipline, but personality is ingrained within the genetics of people. While characteristics can be refined, personality cannot necessarily be re-defined. I guess you can say I believe in the nature AND nurture of children.
     
  5. Boys make lots and lots of noise. I don't know when I became so noise conscience. Maybe it was having small, napping children for so long that developed a noise sensitivity in me. I have 3 boys and sometimes it sounds like the house is going to come down. This is one area I am still learning to develop patience in.
     
  6. Toddlers and Teenagers are very similar. I don't mean for that to sound degrading, but it really is true. Toddlers want independence, and so do teenagers. Toddlers often dramatize a simple issue, and well, so do teenagers. The difference is, with toddlers the issues are black and white. With teenagers, they are much more complicated and sometimes there is more than one right answer.
     
  7. Having a spotless home is an illusion. I must have watched too many family sitcoms growing up. All their homes we're always clean! Growing up, our house stayed pretty clean, too (though my family growing up had a lot less kids). The only way I could keep my house constantly clean, is by constantly cleaning. I'd be doing nothing else! So I've had to come to terms with having a house that looks really lived in. And that's okay.
     
  8. Being tired goes with the territory. Even after all my children began sleeping through the night, I find myself tired simply because my job keeps me going from the time my feet hit the floor until the children are in bed. However, I can counteract this fatigue by working out. I've found that has been a huge help.
     
  9. Taking care of myself is not an option. I used to feel guilty for needing time and space to refresh. But as a mom, I work 7 days a week and need to have a break, not just for me, but for my family, too. It's not selfish, it's necessary (and biblical).
     
  10. I don't need to constantly entertain my children. In fact, I don't have to entertain them at all. Entertainment is not our goal in life. Sure, we have fun and we have movie nights. But in the everyday, it's not in my job description to entertain. What a weight lifted that was!
     
  11. I didn't need to give up my love for writing. It may have taken a backseat for a short season, but I've been able to not only continue my love for writing (through journaling, blogging, and writing ebooks), but I've also passed down the love of writing to several of my children who have written and published their own books. We have supported each others love for writing!
     
  12. Children are super forgiving. In fact, they've taught me more tangibly about grace then anyone else. When I make a mistake, and I confess and own up to it with sincerity, they don't even need to think twice about letting the matter go and moving on.
     
  13. Motherhood is an excellent refining process and character builder. Aside from marriage, being a parent is an extremely refining process if one is willing to grow and heed it's fire. It really is true, I didn't realize how selfish or impatient I was until I had children. On the other hand, they have taught me much about sacrifice then anyone else on the planet. They are worth every bit of it.
     
  14. It goes fast. When people would tell me how fast it would go, I didn't believe them. Because when my children were toddlers, that season couldn't go fast enough. Now my first born is 14-years old and we're talking about college. {My heart dropped just typing that}. Don't take it for granted mamas. The days are hard, but they're the only ones you get.  

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Resources

These are some of my favorite resources and they have taught me so much about being a mom.