My motherhood journey started about 5 years ago when I was pregnant with my eldest daughter Jae. During this same time my journey as a wife began. Also during this time my journey in ministry began. Even though I married the person I fell in love with as a child, and I wanted children, and I was in church and unofficially doing the work of ministry for much of my life, this was all still so new to me. In a short time I managed to take on three new roles. I wanted to be the best at each one.
When I found out I was pregnant with my first daughter everything about my life became about her before she was even here. What I ate, where I went, how and when I slept, among other things, all revolved around her. I wanted to do what was best for her. Simultaneously while all was revolving around my unborn child, ALL was also revolving around my marriage, which was new at the time. All, was also revolving around my purpose in life, which was and is big!
Motherhood is interesting in that way, we give all of ourselves yet must remain whole!
I know what you are thinking, how could you be giving your “all” to 3 separate things? Great question, I’ve asked the same! This thing called motherhood is certainly not for the weak or faint of heart. It’s a real juggling act, and all the balls must be kept in the air. Just when I managed to get all those balls up in the air and in a smooth rhythm, enter baby number 2!
Now to be fair, when I say I finally had all the balls in the air, I don’t want anyone to think that by any means I became a perfect juggler. Please don’t think that I even made it look smooth. It was quite rough but I think I was making it work. I may not have been the homemaker that I wanted to be or the world changer that I imagined but I was on my way.
I was excited about my second child but I knew there would be a learning curve. I was now not only a wife, and a mother to a toddler but also a student. That’s right, did I not mention that before, I enrolled in school to get my masters! So here I was with all these hats and I would be adding another little one to the mix. On February 12,2020 I had my daughter Joelle!
My daughter Joelle was born in the time of corona and about 30 days after I had her, boom- a lockdown due to the pandemic! So here I am with a newborn and suddenly our world has changed. My 4 year old’s school closed. Just like that I went from having a few hours in the day to get used to having a newborn and to catch up on some sleep (because of course she slept in the day and not in the night) to being a full time homeschooling, 3 meals or more a day cooking, wife and mother of two.
Our first ministry is our family. This is something that is important for myself and my husband as we move forward in ministry and grow our family. I can’t want to impact the world and serve others but when it comes to my family I don’t provide that same level of service and love. Many times in our pursuit of what we are called to be we can neglect what we already are.
We are all born with a purpose. In addition to our families, there is something that has been put inside of us to give to the world. Our desire to leave something behind when we have moved on can tend to occupy our time. We want to leave something for our children as well as leave our mark on this world. For my household it is important for us to make sure that we aren’t so busy trying to give our girls everything that they don’t get the most important parts of us.
Ministry is about service. The job of a minister is to serve. Whether you are a minister in a church or a minister in government you are a servant! As a minister you attend to the needs of the others. In that way, the work of motherhood and the work of ministry are one in the same.
Every mother ministers to their family! As wives we minister to our husbands. Even as we work on our careers and work in our purpose, we begin to minister to those that our business serves.
Balance is what I strive for. But in my experience, all of it being balanced isn’t really a thing. Something is going to get a lot of your attention and something is going to get less of your attention. As a mother, a wife, a student, a minister, I want to be great at all of it. I want to be the project and activity doing mom, the sexy spontaneous wife and the effective and impactful minister. I want everyone involved in every category to get not only what it is they need from me, but also get the best version of me.
After having many moments of questioning myself and wondering if I was doing it right, I got clear on one thing. I have to be smart about the type of mother, wife, minister, entrepreneur [insert other titles here] that I am. I had to be smart about the goals I set for my family and my life. This is a formula that I use in my professional life and found that its helpful to apply in working towards all the goals in my life.
Specific : I try to be as detailed as possible when making my schedules and plans for my family. Not only do children seem to function better on a schedule but so does mommy. Things can get hectic around the house, and the schedule definitely gets switched up quite a bit but having that framework to go off of makes my day that much easier.
Measurable: I come up with a measure of success or satisfaction. As moms we tend to be hard on ourselves. I know I often wonder if I did enough. Did I spend enough time going over schoolwork, reading to the girls, watching movies, being romantic, pumping breast milk and the list goes on.
Achievable: Not setting myself up for failure is rule I like to stick to. With all the things that already dont go according to plan, no need to make it difficult for myself. Sometimes this comes with a bit of trial and error. I may think something is achievable but discover it is not. I will admit sometimes my plans for dinner or for daily activities can get a little lofty but a good old reality check in the form of a burnt dish or a half built garden quickly humble me.
Relevant: For me, I find it’s best to do what makes sense for my family when it makes sense to do it. Prioritizing what is most important for my desired outcomes helps me win.
Timely: Timing is everything. As our children grow up we can’t get that time back so we have to cherish it and use it wisely. Setting targets for my desired goals whether in business, family, my education etc, helps me not procrastinate
Mommistry describes me because not only am I a minister of the gospel but motherhood is also my ministry. Mommistry also says “mommi’s try” because we really do! I know Yoda says “there is no try there is only do” but the fact is sometimes what starts out as something we are doing becomes something we tried. As moms our goal is to do so much for our family. We want to be the person everyone in our home needs us to be when they need us to be it, while also trying to be all we’ve thought we would be for ourselves. When we have all those expectations for ourselves sometimes things don’t work out how we plan. I had to learn not to be so hard on myself.
Being a mom is one of my biggest achievements. As mothers we often overlook all that we do but it is no small thing we accomplish. While gardening with my husband last week he started listing to me all that I do and said that someone would have to see it to believe it, like a black swan. First I thought he was just trying to butter me up. But as he went on, I continued to listen. He was right, I am a black swan! Honestly if you look at all the things mommy’s do in a day, it’s pretty unbelievable. I salute every mother out there, all you black swans keeping your families together, loving on your husbands, raising children, becoming teachers overnight, keeping your careers going, following your dreams, keeping bellies full and making it look easy while still looking cute. You did that!