I have leader friends who are mommas to blended families, single parent families, and foster and adoptive families. I have one friend mothering a dozen teenagers on her husband’s football team. And then there’s my collection of mom friends ordained and in ministry (whom I affectionately refer to as the Reverend Mothers). Whether you are investing in your own children, the kids in your neighborhood, or someone else’s babies who need your TLC, together we are uniquely nurturing the next generation of leaders.
Mothering is both a beautiful privilege and a never-ending challenge.
I am constantly looking for moms a few steps ahead of me who can offer practical strategies and a little hope. Over the years, I’ve received all kinds of advice, both solicited and unsolicited. The following is a collection of my favorites: words of wisdom that have helped me that I hope will empower you, as well.
“You can do anything for 10 seconds.” An older mom who was a labor and delivery nurse shared this with me when I was pregnant with our first son. This reminder not only helped me get through two hours of pushing (in 10-second intervals) but also countless times of waiting for results, cleaning up you-name-it, or enduring tantrums.
“In our house we only have three rules: be obedient, be respectful, and be honest.” The chaplain and Bible study leader mom who shared this sage advice helped me see that you don’t need a long list of household rules to follow–these three pretty much cover it all.
“Send them out the door with a challenge.” For 20 years, one of my pastor friends issued the same identity reminder every time her boys left her house to go out into the world. Now before my boys head out the door for school or a friend’s house, they know I’ll give a hug and say, “Lead well and shine your light.”
“Do the things that will earn you credit with your kids, not the things that earn you credit with other moms.” When my boys entered school, I was a little overwhelmed with all of the volunteer opportunities, events, and expectations–and how I would juggle them with my workload. A ministry leader friend shared this rule that helped me say “no” to things I felt I should do to match efforts with other moms and say “yes” to things that really mattered to my boys (like chaperoning field trips and helping with book fair).
“The days are long, but the years are short.” These words offer perspective when I have a sleepless night (due to a little guy’s stomach virus or my own irrational worries) or find myself discontent with the monotony of yet another round of “brush your teeth” reminders. With each passing birthday, I see my boys grow, and this truth become reality.
What leader moms have inspired you? What advice would you share?Julie Pierce is passionate about two things: empowering leaders to change the world and pursuing pie perfection.