Brianna Bell is married to her best friend, Daniel, a youth pastor at Compass Point Bible Church. This spring they welcomed a beautiful baby girl to their family, Penelope Rose. Brianna writes at This Rookie Wife, where she shares her heart for women, homemaking, and growing in godliness.
Six months ago I gave birth to my first child, a precious baby girl named Penelope Rose. My husband and I had agreed that I would stay at home with our children rather than return to work, but I didn’t know practically what my days would look like.
The first few months home with Penelope we were all in survival mode. Sleep deprived, but head over heels in love, we survived off of adrenaline and euphoria.
I ate when I was hungry, and drank when I was thirsty. I showered when I was dirty, applied make-up on Sundays for church. I fed Penelope, consoled her, kissed her, and read to her. I cooked and cleaned, although I often found it difficult to be cheerful about either.
Once Penelope began sleeping through the night, and we began to establish a routine, I realized that my mind was still on survival mode. I wasn’t seeking to establish my relationship with my daughter in deeper, more meaningful ways. I realized that I needed to change my mindset, and rather than merely survive in my new motherhood role, I needed to thrive as both a mom, and a woman of God.
Listed below are some practical steps that I am taking to thrive, while I stay at home with Penelope.
1. Greet the day cheerfully
Greet the day with a cheerful smile and a joyful prayer for the day. Some days I’ll hum a little song to my daughter as I change her, some days I’ll just speak softly to her as I attempt to slowly wake myself up. When you’re excited for a new day, you’re more likely to shower, eat a healthy breakfast, get out of your pajamas, and get a plan for your day. These are all important steps to getting on the right track (in my opinion!)
2. Get into the Word
It’s much easier to be joy-filled when I manage to get into the Word in the morning. The best mornings are when my husband and I take turns caring for our daughter so that we each get some moments of quiet time where we can be alone and pray. We also make sure Penelope is hearing God’s Word by reading to her The Jesus Storybook Bible.
3. Set the tone for your home
As a mother and wife we are usually the ones who set the tone for our home. Some ways you can establish a peaceful environment in your home include: playing soft worship music throughout the day, lighting a scented candle, baking or cooking a hearty home-cooked meal, speaking softly and kindly to other family members, and ensuring that our homes aren’t cluttered or disorganized.
4. Get outside
The biggest change that I have made is to get outside for at least an hour a day. I have seen a huge impact on both myself and my daughter by simply getting some fresh air and changing scenery. I live in chilly Canada and don’t have a driver’s license, so if I can get outside for an outing, anyone can!
It’s easy to busy ourselves all day and take no time to rest. I find that I am more productive and my spirit is more gentle and kind when I have had some time to rest
during the day. When my daughter naps I usually make myself read a book, lie on the couch, or even nap myself.
6. Give yourself grace
I realize after writing this post that you might be stressed out. I’m a little stressed out myself! In my experience, not one day has been absolutely perfect. I rejoice in my
victories and try to remember to give myself grace where I fail. I try to remind myself to lay my failures at the foot of the Cross, where they belong.
What about you? How do you thrive each day in your role as a mom?