There’s so much to do to get ready for a baby, but there’s something that’s very important that often gets overlooked: preparing your HEART for motherhood. Being a mother comes with great responsibility, so it’s critical that we prepare our hearts and minds to be the best mothers we can be.
When I was still pregnant with my son, I was so busy preparing all the physical things, like getting his little room ready, setting up his crib, buying clothes and diapers, deep cleaning the entire apartment, etc.
But I wish I had prepared my heart more for things I would have to face as a mother. Not being a mother yet, I didn’t have any idea of how to do that. So that’s why I’m writing this post – for other women to know what being a godly mother is all about.
Here are 9 things to think about to help prepare your heart and mind for your role as a mom.
Loving Your Children
It’s natural for parents to love their children, but one thing that people don’t always realize is that sometimes loving your children can be difficult. Let me explain.
Proverbs 13:24 says, “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.“ Therefore, loving your children means disciplining them, even when you don’t want to.
With children, you have to follow through and be consistent in order for them to learn obedience. If I tell my son not to touch something, I have to mean it. If he touches it again, I can’t just sit there and not do anything about it because I realize it’s actually not that big of a deal. That’s teaching him that he doesn’t really have to listen to what I say.
But if each time I tell him not to do something and I follow through by making sure he does what I say, he will learn that Mom means what she says, so he’d better listen.
Obedience is important, not only to parents but also to the Lord, as it says in Ephesians 6:1 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”
What we can gather from this is that loving your children doesn’t mean you let them do whatever they want. It means training them, disciplining them, and teaching them every single day. So be prepared to work hard.
I’ve heard a lot of stay-at-home moms say that it was always their dream to stay home with their kids, but now that they’re living it, it’s not as wonderful as they thought it would be. I’ve even thought it myself a few times.
It’s hard to be joyful and happy when you’ve dealt with toddlers with attitudes all day, cleaned up just for it to get messy again, worked hard to make meals that your kids all-of-a-sudden don’t like to eat anymore… The list goes on.
For working moms or moms who stay home, it’s easy to get discouraged when you’re exhausted from the day. However, it’s possible to be joyful even when it seems like there’s no reason to be.
Even though parenting is tough, there are so many precious moments that make it all worth it. The first time my son put his arms around me for a hug melted my heart. I’m excited for many more moments like that.
James 1:2-3 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”
Cultivating an Atmosphere of Peace
Everyone wants to live in peace, but it’s especially important for babies and children. Childhood is a time when they are learning how to interact socially, how to trust, and which role models to follow. As their mothers, we definitely have a priority in the role model category!
Hebrews 12:14 says, “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”
I want my children to look back and think of their childhood as a fun and peaceful time, not full of memories of parents arguing, physical abuse, or even unspoken tension.
Sure, we can’t control everything, but we can definitely try our best! It’s been said that the mother sets the tone for the household.
When you have children, you will have to be patient in just about everything you do. From dealing with tantrums, to getting out the door, to eating meals, to disciplining your children… every situation will give you yet another chance to practice patience.
I love this quote by Joyce Meyer. “Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.”
Patience is always something I’ve had to work on. Before I became a mother, I was busy and was always rushing from one thing to the next (and I guess I still am, haha!), but I rarely slowed down.
Now as a mom, I’m constantly having to wait. Things I used to be able to do in 10 minutes now take me an hour. It’s very humbling, but at the same time I’m thankful. Taking care of my son and giving him my attention and time is my most important job now.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.“ Galations 6:9
Making Kindness a Priority
We absolutely want our children to grow up to be kind people. The best way to do that is to give them a good example to mirror.
I’m so amazed at everything my son is able to copy. One of my favorite things he does is try to feed me his food. He sees me giving him food, so he tries to give some back.
If he’s eating a tortilla chip, he will insist that I take a bite out of it before he bites off another piece. It’s the sweetest thing! I’m happy to see that he is even reciprocating kindness at such a young age.
As a mom, you will need to keep your actions under control and make sure that you are always being kind, because those little eyes are watching you.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
Instilling Goodness in Your Children
Here, I’ll define goodness as “moral excellence” or “virtue.” We can’t follow our children around their whole lives and make decisions for them. They will need to learn how to figure out the right thing to do on their own.
We cannot forget that it’s our job to teach them how to be men and women who are trustworthy, respectful, and forgiving.
Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.“
Applying Faithfulness to Parenting
“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:26
As I mentioned in the section above about Loving Your Children, we need to be consistent with the discipline we give.
It’s so easy to let things slide once in a while. But if you decide that you’re going to be intentional about parenting and disciplining, it’s a lot easier to stay consistent.
By being intentional, we are being faithful to God by training our children how He commands us to.
By being intentional, we are being faithful to our children and the responsibilities we have over them.
Guiding with Gentleness
I remember one time when I saw a mom who was irritated, so she pushed her son to make him walk faster. He almost fell to the ground, but caught himself and kept on walking, a little faster.
Another time I saw a teenager and her younger brother at the grocery store. They were at the checkout, and she was being very rude to him. She kept making remarks to him that would no doubt have made him feel like the lowest person on the planet.
After both of these incidents, I felt bad that those poor children were being treated with such disrespect.
Children are people too, so they deserve to be treated well, with kindness, love, and gentleness.
People have their good days and they have their bad days. But that doesn’t mean they need to take it out on others for no reason. Treat others, and especially your children, with gentleness and kindness.
“Remind the people to . . . always be gentle toward everyone.” Titus 3:1-2
Keeping Self-Control in Check
It’s normal for a parent to become irritated when their child is screaming uncontrollably and won’t calm down. Or when they’re being disobedient on purpose.
However, we have to have self-control when dealing with our children. Even if we’re in a bad mood ourselves or are upset at our children about something, we have no right to hurt them or give them an overly-extreme punishment.
Having self-control is something that we should apply to many (if not all) areas of our lives, but people might not realize that it needs to be applied to parenting as well.
Keep this in mind as you approach motherhood. You will need to use self-control in one way or another.
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.“ 2 Timothy 1:7
It’s not enough to just be our children’s caretakers. We need to be actively teaching and encouraging them, “training them up in the way they should go, and when they are old, they will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
You might not have noticed, but these 9 items I listed above are the fruit of the Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, and self-control.
Against such things
there is no law.”
If we are growing in the Lord, this fruit can be applied to every area of our lives. I hope I’ve showed you how it can be applied to parenting and motherhood.
I also hope that these things have helped prepare your heart and mind for the blessings and challenges of motherhood.
Let me know in the comments how you are currently preparing your heart for motherhood. I’d love to hear from you!
If you liked this article, you might also like this one about Praying for Your Husband.