Thrive Mama, Thrive

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Thrive, a verb meaning to grow or develop, well or vigorously
to prosper, to flourish

Every Wednesday I join a hashtag link up on Instagram via Thrive Moms that says #thrivewhereistand and I always love all the photos. Mothers all around the social media world share photos of how they as mamas are thriving just as they are with their kiddos, and making life enjoyable. I've been thinking lately, behind the scenes of the photo I post, how am I really thriving? Does my moment to moment life look like that of growth and development? As a mother, am I prospering and flourishing day to day? I always hear people say to thrive not just survive and I wonder, what does that look like? Sitting and really thinking about it I have written down 5 ways that help me thrive where I stand.

1. Choose joy daily. Being pregnant and having a toddler can be exhausting. Every morning Noah wakes me up by singing from his crib and my video monitor lights up and shows me his sweet self in his room. Now I am usually still very tired, ok I am always still very tired. It would be so easy for me to be grumpy and zombie mom, but I can't help but smile at that sweet voice. I decided when he was a wee little baby that I would take every moment of his life as it is, a gift. This choice helps me to be joyful always when it comes to parenting Noah. Yes there are definitely moments of frustration, exhaustion, and craziness, but these are few in comparison to the moments of complete bliss. I believe choosing joy will help us mamas thrive because it allows us to keep perspective. Our children feel our emotions and when we thrive, they thrive also.

2. Remember yourself. When I remember my own needs and desires I certainly feel better. It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day mama and wife duties without remembering we have individual needs. For me personally, I just need to look put together to feel put together. I am a girly girl to the max and I genuinely care about my physical appearance, so acknowledging my hair and face helps me feel good. I tried the whole mommy bun and yoga pants and it made me feel exactly how I looked, a mess. Not saying there's something wrong with that, but it just isn't for me. So I remember myself each day while Noah has snack time. As he is eating his snack and watching TV (usually Veggietales because he loves it and I am over it), I head into the room and make myself feel girly. A simple 20 minutes of worship music blasting while I do my makeup, hair, and throw on a simple outfit can do this girl wonders. I believe this helps me to thrive because acknowledging myself for just a moment makes it easier to spend the other 23.5 hours of my day tending to others. 

3. View each day with your child as a gift. I remember one time in my 1st trimester of this pregnancy I was having a super hard day with a teething Noah and I was already exhausted  I was complaining so much and then I had this thought, "I am not entitled to have children." This thought convicted me because I think we women feel like it is our right to have children, when and however many we want. There are so many women in the world that will never carry a child in their womb. There are other women who have lost more than one baby. Oh and let's not forget the women who never marry and never hear the word mommy directed towards them. So I decided in that moment that each day as a mother is special and it is a gift. This changed my perspective drastically because I never have the desire to complain. Now I know I do complain at times, but each time I hear myself complain the Holy Spirit reminds me of the gift mothering is and my perspective shifts gears. That half empty cup immediately becomes half full and my attitude changes. You see ladies, when our attitudes are good and positive, we set that environment for our children. Creating memories of a home that was full of joy and peace will be something they carry with them forever. It is a flourishing place and those who dwell there will prosper greatly.

4. Get up, go somewhere, and make some friends! Now I am guilty of being a homebody after having Noah. Geez it was so much easier for me to sit home all the time and not worry about anything. Doing that made me feel a little depressed after and I was just not happy. Being in isolation is never good for anyone so I just had to get up and go. At Noah's age (18months) he also needs to get out sometimes. Play dates, bible studies, walks, Chic-fil-a lunch dates, anything is a treat. Especially being around other ladies in the same season of life who you can thrive with side by side. Having women to walk through this season of life with is so good for our sanity. We can encourage each other, we understand each other, and we certainly can enjoy the kids entertaining each other. Time out of the house doesn't have to be fancy, expensive, or stressful. Make it simple but make it a priority. The little ones need it just as much as we do!

5. Embrace this season, it will be gone soon. I know I'm not the only one guilty of always looking for the next chapter, especially with our children. When Noah was a newborn I couldn't wait until he could be more independent. Well that happened and I was so looking forward to him walking. He walked at 9 months and then I was so excited to hear him finally start talking. Well now he is talking and all I want to do is hold him close to my chest like I did when he was a needy little newborn. I find that I am not truly thriving unless I am content with the current season. Looking towards the future too often keeps us from tending to the now. How can something thrive if it is overlooked, neglected, or unappreciated. Take the time to appreciate the current, allow yourself to grow and develop into what God needs you to be right now. Flourish fiercely where you are at and prosper in each and every moment. They will soon pass and they will never return.

The beautiful thing about each and every one of us moms is that we are so unique and to thrive looks different for us all. Even more beautiful is that God is cheering us on to not just be in survival mode, but in full flourishing. He is more than capable when we are incapable. His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Stay at home mamas, thrive there you stand. Working mamas, thrive where you stand. Whether you're a home-schooling or public school mama, thrive. If you have 1 child or 12, go ahead and thrive. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, do it with grace, and thrive. We are all called to greatness and to thrive is to answer that call.


With Love, Jalyssa 

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