Growing a Mother’s Heart: Part 1

Rhonda RobinsonBy Rhonda Robinson8 Minutes

Rhonda Robinson: Karen, you are an author of 30 books, what inspired you to write Growing a Mother’s Heart?

Karen Whiting: Well, my children have become parents.
That makes a big difference in looking back on what I’ve done, and seeing what they’re doing. Also hearing all the time when people feel I’m not measuring up, I can’t do this. It’s not working. And that whole idea, I’m not always good enough.

But at the flip side, hearing their joys when things go well, and I thought what they need is to understand, it’s like that for all of us, no matter what age we’re in. This is a devotional, with stories of people from the Bible, and people from history that also had the same experiences.

So they’re not alone, you’re winning. What they’re experiencing is normal.
And this is life. This is motherhood. Welcome to motherhood.

RR: So what what type of mother would be best served with this book?

Karen: Really mothers of all ages, and I think particularly, there are those moments at any age that all of a sudden, we feel like we’re a failure. There’s also these joys in the treasures that you think life is going by too fast and want to hold on to what you can. This type of book reminds you to have those moments to treasure.

So you have both sides of let’s have some balance. So any mom who wants either that walking alongside the struggles or rejoicing with her and her joys and reminding her to stop and treasure those kisses and hugs.

RR: We have to be reminded about it, don’t we?

Karen: Yes, because we can be so busy doing making the dinner or whatever we forget to see the pleasure of them with spaghetti all over their face that they loved it. We only see the mess. We have to step back and think, but they loved it.
I liked my cooking today.
RR: It’s It is so very important to keep your perspective, isn’t it?

Karen: It is, yes. Because we can get out of that perspective we can get out of that place we want to be as a mother so quickly when one thing can trigger our feelings so down, or are all of a sudden being so defensive, or our being so busy, that we forget.

There’s a whole world of motherhood, not just this moment.

RR: Do you think that there’s more pressure for this generation than there was in previous generations on mothering?

Karen: I think there are different pressures. One of the pressures with social media is that aspect of everything looking perfect, because those are the only pictures we’re putting up. And that’s how my life looks. I wanted real. There’s the struggle of this past year of all of a sudden we’re in a cave or home, we can’t go out.

And how are we going to cope with this?

Are our children getting what they need?

Because they can’t be out socializing as much. So that’s a different type of struggle. I think we’ve always had problems with moms thinking am I good enough? Moms comparing themselves with others and moms. No, the struggles become different. And yet, there’s always that am I good enough? Or I feel I’m being dumped on? Because I’m comparing myself in one way or another?

RR: Did you ever as a young mother, or have you ever felt like that? Is it something that you’ve had to overcome?

Karen: Yes, I’ve had a call from a principal or a teacher that my child did something wrong, I felt like I was a total failure. right then and there, you know, if my child had an accident during potty training at the store, or somewhere else? You know, I didn’t feel great about that at all. I had to pack up and think, well, he’s only two, what do I expect?

RR: When my children were growing I what helped me the most, when I would start to feel like a failure was when I would teach them something obedience-wise, over and over and over and over—like not fighting with their sister. And they would do it for a while, then all of a sudden, we’re back to square one. I came to realize, he’s not done yet. He’s still growing, he’s still learning. He’s not an adult. So when I think about that, I think how that one little nugget helped me quite a bit. In Growing a Mother’s Heart, are there nuggets like that for moms?

Karen: Yes. I have a story of my daughter having a tantrum in a store. I just knew she was overtired, I said, “Alright, we’re putting this back. We’re not getting it, we’re leaving,” because she was overwhelmed. I thought I’m not gonna worry about anyone else around me.

Now, if we go back to the store later, then I could talk to her and she could apologize to the sales clerk. But right then and there, it was not the time. I think you have to think about what is my plan of retreat when I need one?

RR: I don’t think we ever had a plan of retreat. But we did practice go out, practice going out in public.

Karen: My husband was happy to see I practiced taking the children out. I didn’t have a date night with him. So I would take one child at a time. Then I built up to two at a time. And now can I take all three out, especially just before we’re going to move and knew we have a few weeks of just restaurants.

I did that with them, which was fun. I think that can be a real joy for the child to experience with mom.

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