Words of Wisdom from a mom of 4

Some how Kash is 8.5 months, cutting his first tooth, practicing the art of popping his booty up on all fours and eating human food. This stage is exciting but nuts! Truth be told I've been exhausted and unmotivated for the past couple weeks so I asked someone I truly admire as a believer, a human being and as a mom for a bit of advice. She also happens to be my cousin and is an amazing mom to her 4 kids. I find her inspirational and wanted to ask her a few questions on how she does it all while looking so dang good. If anyone needs an emotional pick me up (like me) I hope this helps and perhaps you can pick up a few nuggets of wisdom along the way. 

A bit of background:

At 21, Jen married her farmer husband Andrew and have been married for almost 13 years. At 24 they had there first baby, now they have:

  • Katie who is 9 she is so intuitive, kind and compassionate
  • Hannah who is 6 she loves to smile and is naturally nurturing
  • Eli who is 4 and the only boy, he is strong, sensitive and caring
  • Natalie Claire who is 2 she is very energetic, she laughs easily and hugs freely.

When they got married Jen was in the process of completing five years of University for a Bachelor of Social Work. She was pretty sure she could manage a degree, a career and a couple kids. Crazy how we think we know the best plan for our life but God has something better in mind. After 3 years of farming year round raising chickens and working as a Social Worker some decisions had to be made. After 3 months of fasting and praying Jen decided to give up her career which she loved and stay home raising her babies. 

What are some struggle you face being a stay at home mom with 4 kids?

Lets be real...."I" cant do anything in my own strength.  I try to...and I fail often.  This would be my biggest struggle!  I can get too busy...ahhh when mama is stressed the whole family is stressed.  

Another struggle...managing time!  Shhh don't tell anyone...but I have a bit of a perfectionist streak in me ( a lot actually) and when this mama gets rolling down that road the kids pick up on it and kind of shut down.  

Finding our worth as mamas....and this is huge!  Being a mama does not always come with a lot of quick rewards...but let me tell you when you do experience the rewards they are so very precious. 

Feeling like I am "just" a mom when really its the most important ministry (next to our marriage of course!)

What do you do to try and over come these struggles?

Andrew and I try our very best to take quiet time each day.  I love the early 6am mornings; but when my kiddos were babies this was not possible.  The afternoons are great too (when our kids are home from school they all have "quiet time" for 2 hours- we find they need it just as much as we do!)  We read our bibles, often follow a devotional app and journal and pray.  I found myself very frustrated through out the years of sleepless nights; so I learnt then that prayer can be a through out the day event.  Weaving simple prayers through out my day has been a huge parental lesson and coping strategy. 

Community!  Us mamas need to stick together!  I am so blessed to have a group of ladies that I call family.  We are all raising kids and hold the same values and love for our families.  We meet once a month for a morning brunch.  The kids play, we eat and laugh, pray, cry...whatever we need to do.  Community is so necessary to thrive as a mom! I am so thankful for my parents and parent-in-laws who are our cheerleaders, prayer warriors and helpers. Ask each other for help- we all need it! It really does take a village!

I keep on allowing God to work on my character.  And my kids are beautiful mirrors on what areas need some improving!  Yikes!  It is a very good source of accountability when you hear your 9 year old scold your 6 year old with not so nice tone.

My worth.  How do I sum this up.  Its a life long journey.  Gratitude!  When I choose to see joy in the simplest things; my daughters beautiful long eye lashes, a big "hi mom" and hug, a snuggle and a story with my "baby", watching them giggle on the trampoline in the sunshine, all getting along...it changes my heart and my perspective!  I also like the small things; a warm cup of coffee, a pretty napkin, a short walk, a new journal and a nice smelling candle are just a few! 

How do you pray for your kids?

One idea that I love and need to do again is cultivating specific prayers for each of my kids.  This was an idea given to me at a moms group.  Basically you take some time to reflect and write out a prayer for each child- include promises, scripture, desires from your heart...and then you can go back to it!  I also pray a blessing over our kiddos at night- they love it. 

Numbers 6:24 "The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you, the Lord turn his face towards you and give you peace" 

Is there any advice you would give to young moms like me who might be having a tough go during this stage of life?

Don't stop dating your husband.  It really is true- one of the best gifts you can give your kids is a thriving marriage.  We have a best friend couple who also has four kids.  We take turns once a month taking each others kids (yes that means we have 8 kids for an evening!!)  Then we stay home and order in or go out for supper and connect...quietly...its so lovely!  The kids love it too because they can play with their dear friends!

Be gentle on yourself.  I had way too many expectations on myself when I had my first baby.  Our first baby was tricky, didn't sleep, didn't eat well...take a snooze when they do if you can.  Sit quietly.  Read.  Drink a cup of joe.  Whatever it might be...its so important to take that time- guilt free!  And your body...it is beautiful!  It was a home to a little one and that is incredible!  Throw away the magazines if they only make you feel bad.  Drink water, eat healthy, get a short walk in for the sunshine and please spend time with others who are doing the same!  Don't do this mama world alone its just plain too hard.  I have tried and it only made me depressed!

Your baby will sleep...eventually.  Sometimes they just take time to figure it out.  You are a good mom!  Hold them, rock them, love them lots! 

Is there anything you are reading right now or devotionals you would recommend?

  • Jennie Allen "Anything" is a pretty cool book
  • "The magnolia journal" by Chip and Joanna Gaines is beautiful!

What Bible verse do you try and live by?

  • Jeremiah 32:38-41 is one I love!

Hugs to you beautiful mamas...you have a very important job!  Praying you will find fullness of joy in it! If you have any questions I can try and help, email me at jen_schulz75@hotmail.com

Love, Jen

Thank you Jen! You are an amazing momma and so beautiful inside and out!

Photos by Steph Schulz Photography 

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