Becoming the Mom I Always Wanted to Be

O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Psalm 139: 1-3 (NIV)

Becoming the mom I always wanted to be has been a long, almost 14 year process, and there are still many days when I’m not there. Like most moms, I feel like I should do more, fuss less, listen better and be able to meet all of my kids’ needs, flitting from one task (or child) to another with a smile on my face, energy in my soul, clarity in my thoughts and Bible verses on my lips.

I can’t live up to that image of perfection but what I can do is take steps towards becoming the mom I really want to be!

One of my biggest challenges is being too busy and getting overwhelmed. When our schedule gets too full and things feel out of control, I slip into micro-management task-mode. Sometimes I lose sight of my most important calling – being a mom! I get over committed to people or projects outside of our home, and my kids start to feel like interruptions. Or I let them get over committed and our days become a blur. When the day finally ends, I lay in bed wishing I could rewind time and do things differently. Days and weeks and years pass so quickly. To be the mom I want to be, I have to capture the moments when they come.

I learned this important lesson a few years ago. One night my family was all snuggled on the couch watching a movie. We were spending quality time together but then I got distracted. I was still there physically but I started returning phone calls and emails mentally. I glanced at the clock to see how many hours before the kids went to bed and noticed the silhouette of my son’s face. He looked so grown up. How quickly ten years had passed! I thought. I knew it wouldn’t be long before he’d be counting down the hours until I go to bed, so he could hang out with his friends. Suddenly, I recognized the gift of being with the ones I love while they’re still with me.

Jesus knew His time on earth was limited and that tasks weren’t that important, in the big scheme of things. My time with my kids at home and this season of life with my husband is passing. Every time I read about Jesus’ life, I am challenged to slow down and spend more time with my family and friends. He valued people so much!!!

Reading my Bible reminds me of how important they are to me, too. Psalm 139 guards my heart from guilt because it reminds me that God made me, He understands me, and knows how easily I get tangled up in my to-do list or slip into task-mode. He's the One who can make me more like Him. That is why take my desire and my struggle to daily, spend time in His Word and ask for His help. It’s through sweet reminders like my son’s silhouette that He helps me see my family as my greatest treasure and my time with them as my most important investment.

Here are a few things I do to help me stay focused when I am with them.
  • I look into their faces and remember what they used to look like. That helps me grasp how quickly time flies.

  • I think back to what life was like without them. That jolts my memory; making me thankful God gave them to me.

  • I imagine the day they won’t be with me - the day they’ll live in another place with their own family.

  • I remind myself that “to do lists” will always be here, but the ones I love won’t.

  • I look for opportunities to listen, love on and lead our conversation towards a spiritual truth if the door opens – not preaching to them, but lovingly teaching God’s word in everyday moments.

What about you? Is it ever hard for you to live in the moment with your kids? What are some ways you do or could start being with the ones you love…no agendas, no errands, no planning…just being? Let’s make a pact today to slow down just a little and look for chances to be the mom we've always want to be!

Mom Give-Aways
Today's give-away includes a copy of Finding Home by Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family and A Woman's Secret to a Balanced Life. To be part of the give-away, click on the words "comments" below this post. PLEASE include your email in your comment so we can get in touch if you win!

If you'd like a reminder each time I post, click on bloglines in my sidebar. We'll be giving away gifts every day, so be sure to come back for more mom encouragement and resources from D6 and Proverbs 31 Ministries!

For more encouragement in slowing down to be with our kids, read a great devotion today on the P31 site by Sandy Cooper, "Her Children Arise and Call Her Busy."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Monday Renee,
I look back over the years and would do anything to change the time I spent worrying about my house being clean or being at so many activities to time I spent reading a book, playing a game, or just listening to the imagination of a young child. You cannot get those years back but although my children are all older teens now I take advantage of every second I have to spend with them that they have to spend with me! When we sit and talk about things we did that meant the most it wasn't the big trips or the extra activities, it was the simple things that we did right at home. Every moment we have to spend with our children is a teachable moment and a gift from God. If your children are still small don't pass on that gift.
Sweet Blessings,

Blogger Shannon said...

It is so hard to remember that each moment lost is really lost! When I am hurrying the kids out the door for school, when I am beyond tired from not sleeping well, and don't want to spend the quality time when I do have the time! I have been really trying to be intentional on playing games more often with my kids. They so enjoy it, and it is time well spent!

Thanks for the thoughts....


Blogger Stacey said...

I know this sounds silly, but I remember looking down at my oldest daughter's hands one day to notice those cute little dimples where her nuckles used to be weren't there any more. It broke my heart that I hadn't noticed the changes... I find myself checking my youngest two hands all the time...

Blogger Debbie said...

Hi Renee,
I can so relate to the mentally checking out in the middle of family times.It's like the enemy is whispering in my ear that what I am doing at that minute isn't important enough to hold my attention. I guess that should be my first clue, because God would never tell me that spending time with His gifts to me wasn't time-worthy. Thank you for the reminder. Ironically, since my oldest is 22 and my youngest is not quite 3, I shouldn't even need the reminder. I know how fast time flies. God bless you for delivering the wake-up call. I'm turning off the computer now to go build lego things...

Blogger Debbie said...

That's me above, but the blog link didn't come through. Here it is. Thanks!
p.s. Now I'm going to play with the kids.

Thanks for the was something I really needed today.

Blogger Jenn said...

Renee, I suffer from the "TO DO" list syndrome. It consumes me to have this list complete and then just have time to do whatever I want with the kids. Of course, that never really happens. Most recently my Kindergartener has been having a hard time going to school, crying, not eating breakfast, begging to stay home. She says she misses me. I realize she is growing, no longer a preschooler and our afternoon scheduled has crowded out our time together. I've begun letting her plan something fun we can do when she gets home. This, in hopes, to give her something to look forward to while in school all day. We may ride bikes, go to the park, play a game or take a walk. She is still struggling but I pray she will learn to love school and everything she can learn there.

Anonymous Michele said...

Thanks for the mom story and advice on how to be a better mom. I definately need help knowing how to relate the Bible to everyday and teaching my kids!

Blogger JottinMama said...

What a great post for me today Renee!

I have a 2 year old with one on the way. Recently, I have been trying so hard to cherish my time with my son before we add another one to the family :) God has been showing me what a precious season this is in our lives - and that we should soak it in :)

Thanks for the reminder :)

Have a lovely week :)

Kate :)

Blogger JottinMama said...

And oops! I forgot! My email for the give-away is:

- Kate :)

Anonymous Stephenie said...

How very needed for me today. Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous teresa said...

I am so happy to have found this site. I noticed the other day how my daughters have gron sooo very much. Time has flown by and I just want to do the best with every miniute I have with me children!Being in a college again at almost 29 and having a 9, 6 and almost 2 year old make life busy. I have almost been married for ten years and I am soooo happy to have encouragement form another Christian woman. Being a mommy is my number one priority!!!! Have a wonderful week!!!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh in the moment. That is something I continue to struggle with. My mind always seems to be racing to the next thing I need to do. Thanks for the reminders that in my head and heart I know I should do..slow down, play and listen to my kids...I pray each day that I will listen to those reminders and spend some quality time with my kids


Anonymous Christine Stublaski said...

Dearest Renee,

Its always so amazing to me how God tends to meet me right where I am again and again. I have been struggling with the same thoughts this week. Realizing my daughter won't always be home safely on a Friday night, snuggled in between us. She won't always want to be Mommy's best friend and Daddy's buddy. I get so preoccupied with my daily grind, chores, and responsibilities that I miss so much. Thank you so much for the reminder. I pray I go and do better today.


Blogger Casey S. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Casey S. said...

Good morning.
I have an almost 19 year old that I can't believe is grown and gone. It makes me so sad that the years have flown by. I was a single mom for several years and feel that we missed out on so much. It's hard to get through the guilt that I hold on to. I try and make up for lost time but it's hard. I am married now and we also have a 9 year old. My priorities are much different now. I had to work so much back in the day and now I try and hold on to moments that I know will be gone in a flash. When I get in the "busy" mode, I have to take a step back and remind myself that the cleaning is not that important. Spending time with your family is.
Thanks and have a great day!

Blogger mackenzie said...

Wow what a great post! Thanks for reminding me how precious being a mom is.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your wisdom and insight! I don't want to look back years from now wishing I had spent more time with my kids and less time on the things I need to do.


Blogger Rachel said...

Thank you so much for the gentle reminder.

Blogger Angela in MN said...

Thanks for your insight. It's a great reminder to me that when I'm focused on Christ, being present comes more easily. When I focus on the world, myself, etc. I become preoccupied with my image, what others think, what I "should" be doing according to whomever else has an opinion. Thanks again for your loving reminder!


Saturday night was one of those moments I cherish for a lifetime. It probably means little to everyone else, but as a mother, it meant everything. I had the arm of my son (rather he had mine) on the night of his homecoming;

A treasured memory I'm glad I paused long enough to capture in film, with words, and forever in my heart.

I think, perhaps, I'll always be in the mode of becoming the mom I want to be. The mom God needs me to be.

peace to you this Monday~elaine

Anonymous Anonymous said...

God just keeps bringing me back to "my children are only here for a time and season and I need to focus on that or I will miss them". We have 6 beautiful children and I don't want to miss opportunities with them.

Thank you for your ministry with writing.


Blogger Wendi said...

I am getting so much better at treasuring the moment. I say that then I remember the times just this week that I will be returning an unimportant email while my 4 year old asks me to get her some milk for bed. As I continue typing to finish the email she asks me, "Mommy, why aren't you getting my milk please?" Because I am a bad mommy. Off the computer and into my baby's arms I go. No more emails to read but a story about a girl who loves pink. Emails to friends can wait but pink stories with my sweet one can't.
- Wendi

Anonymous Venita said...

What a wonderful way to handle this coming week. I hear it all the time that time flies, children grow up fast, and I know this to be true but sometimes I stil find that my actions do not reflect this truth! I have five children, and I constantly worry about my house being clean. It is not just a 'spic and span' thing, I am just overwhelmed with clutter in and of itself! I am embarrased to have anyone come over, I feel totally overwhelmed, and I end up pouring it out onto my children. Sadly to say, I just "take the fun right out of it". I pray not only that God will schedule my day appropriately while the kids are at school to at least know where to start decluttering enough to not be so grumpy about it and may I enjoy the kids when they get out today. Lord how I pray that they will see a different mom, one day at a time! Thank you so much for bringing me back to what is important. Yes, God is good (all the time), I am so glad I came upon this site, nothing is ever just coincidental! What a blessing you will be from here on out, I can just tell : )

Anonymous Hellen said...

Reading your blog was like a dejavu (sp?). It too, frighted me! I noticed last night as I kissed the kids goodnight one last time before I went to bed: My, how tall they have gotten, and their sweet innocent expressions as they are in their dreamland, so little, yet so big already!
Time to enjoy the little things God has blessed me with!

Blogger dmwacw said...

I am so thankful to have read your blog this morning! I needed the reminder that those sweet hugs, sticky fingers and string of "whys" won't last forever. Some days I become so "list-oriented" that I find myself frustrated, rushed, stressed, and emotionally unavailable for my kids. I do not want to be that kind of mom! Thanks for sharing and encouraging!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Renee, miss you girl. Great post. Aimy

Blogger Joyful said...

It's like when you're feeling lonely in a crowd, proximity doesn't mean connection. Thanks for sharing all these ways to help us stay in relationship with our children.

Intentions will never deepen intimacy. We will have to make sacrifices, but they will be far outweighed by the blessings.

A lifetime mom,

Anonymous Michelle said...

What a wonderful reminder we all need to hear each and every day! We can be there for our children, if we constantly remind ourselves they are our first priority! Thank you Renee!

Blogger MrsTravis said...

I was truly blessed by this. As of late my life has become ridiculously hectic. So I can relate oh so well and I have seen the effects of it in my family and my marriage. I sat down this weekend and fill in my calendar for this month of my activities and my daughters and just about everyday there was a ministry meeting or she has rehearsal or practice for something. I felt tired just looking at it. So I said all that to let you know how I appreciated reading the devotional "You're a Can Do Kid!" which lead me to your blog.


Anonymous Cindy said...

I've just discovered your blog through your Proverbs 31 devotional last week. I've found it very encouraging. It is very hard sometimes to find the balance of chores and spending time with my little ones. There really isn't time for much else after taking care of my family and home properly. I've had to learn to let go of some good things so that I can focus on what I feel God calling me to do right now and remember that this is for a season--ministry can be a larger part of my life when the time is right. Thanks!


Blogger Mary Barnett said...

Thank you! I totally needed that today, I do get caught up too much and I need to remember to be caught UP with Christ, and focus on the little miracles HE gave me, in my life, my 7, 10 and 14 year olds! We got some games for Chirstmas, and I plan on playing one with them tonight!! I look forward to reading more on your site! God Bless, Mary

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for reminding to keep my priorities straight! I want to challenge myself to unplug from the world and plug in to my family and my relationship with GOD! I know it will be tough but very worth it! I pray that all the moms who read your post will take the same challenge and that they will pray for me as well.
Thank you,

Anonymous JoAnna said...

I am a mom of 6 beautiful children. And by the grace of God I have come thus far. God is getting me ready for something in my life that I can't quite figure out right now...An Awakening. Lately, I have been doing a lot of reflecting about my purpose and duties as a woman of God, a daughter, a friend, a wife, a sister, an aunt, and most important of all...a mom. I have a big plate and I don't think I realized that until lately. I have learned to "deal with it" for so long that it just rolls off my back --so to speak--and not taking the time to really take care of the things that matter most of all. But it is all very real and this year I am taking the stand to do what is asked of me from the Lord. My desire is to be all of those things listed above successfully. But I have got to realize that I cannot do them without the leadership and guidance of the Lord. I am first and prime example that it is impossible. God can and will do it . Thanks to my devotionals from P31 via email, it is just the start I need after I sit and just take time for me and God. But that's not enough sometimes and most of the time that is all of the time I have. I am spiritually hungry and I commit this year to give God the time that he needs so that I can give my family and home the time that they need. I don't want to pass the wrong things on to my children. I want them to see that living a Godly life is something speacial should be lived too.

Blogger arimel75 said...

Thank you so much for your words for of encouragement today. I so long to be a better mother. I want to be the mother God wants me to be. I feel like I have strayed so far from that. I love the line you used that said "to do lists will always be here, but the ones we love wont." I need to put the focusback on spending more time with my kids and less busy work.

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I teach three mornings per week at my kids' preschool, and while I'm happy to have that part-time job that lets me be home the rest of the time, I have to guard our time at home very carefully. I try to alternate an activity around the house while they have some independent play time with some time spent doing something with them, like playing a game, reading a book, or painting, but when the house is a mess and I'm overwhelmed it gets way too easy to ignore the planned painting activity and charge ahead with the cleaning. We've recently designated Sunday after naptime as complete family time, and while that will never be 'enough,' it's been a helpful way to jumpstart our week. Sometimes we make finger foods for dinner and watch a favorite Veggie, play games in front of the fire, or yesterday we cut out snowflakes - even my husband! I love putting my kids in front of the dreaded dusting schedule, but then the dirt overwhelms me ... I need these reminders to stay on top of things so that I can enjoy all the time I have with them!

With that, I'm off to fold laundry ....

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Renee,
I can relate to you like many moms here. It wasn't until this past summer when, oddly enough, I was recovering from a hysterectomy, that I realized I liked being with my children. Don't get me wrong, I have always loved them, but because they are 18 months apart, I have let the stress outweigh the good. My kids are 11 and 10 now. And I have just finished up getting my teacher certificate - to hopefully at least have more time off with my most precious of God's gifts - my children.
Thank you for your daily blog as it is inspiring.

What a wonderful gift to your children that you have chosen to appreciate their NOW and not just concentrate on what they may become in the future! You're the sort of Mom that so many kids would love to have paying attention to them!

All my children are grown....late 20's--early 30's....but still when I see them I pause and try to absort who they are NOW! They are always going to be my little children....even if they do have grownup bodies and faces now! :)

God bless you and your family!


Blogger Rachel said...

Good afternoon

It is amazing how quickly kids grow, my daughter who is in 8th grade is home on a snowday painting her room. Unfortunately I am at work missing out on the fun. I know I need to spend more time listening to my kids and and enjoying them. How do we as women relax and really enjoy our children.

Blogger kittyhox said...

I really needed this today. Thank you.

Blogger Cathy said...

trying to spend less time on the computer and taking time to be present with my kids today....thanks for your reminder as i needed it on a busy Monday!
I like to take time to pray over my kids while they are sleeping. It seems God always speaks to my heart reminding me how precious this time of life is.


Anonymous Di Miller said...

You hit my life right on the head... I linked to this article after reading today's article "Her Children Arise and Call Her Busy"... Thank you LORD for using these women to speak to me today

di Miller

Anonymous Kirsten Noll said...

I just want to say Thank You! It is nice to know that you are not alone in your thinking of "Becoming the Mom I Always Wanted to Be". It makes me feel better. I have a ministry through our church, Celebrate in Sioux Falls, SD and I send out a daily devotion to them. Our group was started in February 2008 and has grown to over 65 women! Amazing! I am constantly searching for inspirational words and devotions to share with them! Thank you so much the Ladies are going to love this as much as I have! I'm eager to keep reading....I'm glad I came upon your site! Thank You and Many Blessing to you and your family!
Kirsten Noll

Anonymous Mirna kauffman said...

Thank you very much!! This words came to me as water to the dry land.

Blogger JCgirl said...

Thanks for this reminder. I am really focused on becoming the Mom God wants me to be. It is crazy how time seems to pass faster and faster when we have kids. I knew it went fast but watching my children grow make me realize this all the more.

Thanks again, and thanks for all the great comments!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What great words of wisdom. I need to replace my obsession of cleanliness and order with pure pleasure of spending time with my son. All of the sudden he is a middle schooler and I don't know where the years have gone. What good is a clean house if I am not truly in the moment?
What a blessing you are in my day!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Renee.

I was actually gazing at my five year old son's face today and remembering the baby face he had only several years ago. You are right that our precious loved ones are only with us for a short time. It is so easy to want to e-mail, clean, talk on the phone,etc when our children are only wanting us and our time. That is truly love! Thanks for the reminders. JD at

Blogger Lori said...

Hey Renee
I totally agree with your post - I feel I was so blessed with my four children for having them but also to make me sit back and relax and not get so caught up in the small things - I realized years ago I couldnt keep up with the house and everything else = which forced me to put them first - I like to do M&M days (as my kids call them- stands for Mom and Me - or since all of my kids names start with M they insert their name) one on one - they love it - its not usually much but something or catching up with them in the car - I let them take turns sitting in front with me so we can talk - all sorts of things - I know they will be gone before I know it - Madison has already reached the stage where she looks at the clock waiting for me to leave the room so she can giggle and talk with her friends -lucky for me they all like to come here so I can still keep a watchful eye! Love Ya

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too relate to the women who struggle with the balance between housekeeping and time with children. It is very easy to become overwhelmed with recurring clutter and pass that stress onto my three young children. I like the word picture you used about visualizing your son's features when he was younger and remembering that in a few short years he will be gone. My goal is to be a more relaxed, gentle, and patient mother despite the pressures of a never-ending to-do list and a husband who is patient but sometimes doesn't understand why I can't keep the house in better condition. I need to remind myself that I am still fearfully and wonderfully made even though I stuggle with a deep and ongoing sense of inadequacy/failure as a wife and mother.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know that most women desires to be the godly wife and mother that God designed us to be. But we lose that focus because we allow are lives to be unbalanced. What a wonderful reminder that the dishes can wait but your child needs that affirmation and attention.

Blogger Nikki said...

This is something that I struggle with so often. If my house is in disarray, then our days do not go smoothly (which is most often the case.) As a mother of four young children, I am constantly being torn between enjoying my children or encouraging them to occupy themselves so I can get some house work done. Just cooking and cleaning up the kitchen alone can take such a large chunk of time away from my children. I think sometimes pride is an issue that I need to deal with because I wonder what people think of us when they stop by and the house is a total mess. I need to remember that teaching and spending that precious time with my children is much more important than someones judgement of our untidy home. Thank you for reminding me that they won't be little forever.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

carol says; mums can make you fuilfill your dreams and be what you never thought you can be BRAVO TO ALL MOM OF THE WORLD

My heart is heavy on this subject.

Count me in.

In His Graces~Pamela

Blogger Susan said...

My family has been going through pictures of when the kids were little, it has really made me do some soul searching-how quickly the time has flown. I have made a pact with myself over the last few weeks to slow down, worry less, enjoy my friends and family more.

Blogger Happy Four said...

What a timely message. I want to be there for and with my children and treasure each day no matter what it brings.

Thank you for sharing today!

Charlotte, NC

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