How to Increase Your Capacity as a Mother

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Inside: How to Increase Your Capacity as a Mother. Learn how to manage life more efficiently. 

A few days ago, as my children and I were taking a bike ride through the streets of our town, a woman a few years younger than I walked outside. She just had her first baby, a boy, and he is about 6 weeks old. This means he was born around the time of year Brayden was born. She came out in her pajamas and was calling her dog who was barking at us as we rode by.

How to Increase Your Capacity as a Mother. Learn how to manage life more efficiently.

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I smiled as I thought back to those days with my first child. I remembered making it to the end of the day and realizing I hadn’t yet had a chance to brush my teeth. I couldn’t help but wonder what she thought as I rode by with my three children, all of us showered and dressed. I hoped she didn’t feel discouraged. I wondered if she thought, “Some day, it will get easier.” 

Then I thought about the fact that it does not get easier per say, just different. My mind then led to when Kaitlyn was a newborn. When she was a newborn, I was showered, dressed, and teeth brushed all in the morning. When McKenna came along it was the same story. So why could I manage to get ready with three children, one being a newborn, but not with just one child?

My mind immediately jumped to a quote I had recently read. I had just taught a lesson in church on developing talents, and this quote was in the lesson:

“That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the nature of the thing is changed, but that our power to do is increased” -Heber J. Grant


This quote is from a man who overcame weakness after weakness to turn those weaknesses into talents. It hit me. Motherhood doesn’t get easier because the nature of motherhood changes as our children get older. It gets easier because we have persisted, grown in our knowledge, and our power to be a mother has increased. 

What power that realization has with it! I have talked a lot about enjoying the moment and finding things to appreciate now–because you will miss them some day. But with this quote applied to motherhood, it means that we don’t need to wish away our time with our young children–them getting older isn’t what makes life easier. Us getting to be better and more capable mothers is what makes it easier. 

That is why women can accomplish more with 3 children–one being a newborn–than they could when they had only one child who was a newborn. Our capacity increases. Our talent for motherhood has grown. 

Think of the parable of the talents found in Matthew 25. If you aren’t familiar with it, I will briefly summarize. 3 men were given talents of different number by their master. The first was given five. He then went out and worked to increase it, gaining five more. The second was given two. Like the first, he worked and gained two more. The third was given one. He was afraid of the repercussions in possibly losing his talent, so he hid it.

When the master returned, he was please with the first two and displeased with the last. The conclusion to the parable is essentially that when you use what  you have, you will be given more. When you don’t, what you have will be taken away.

How to Increase Your Capacity as a Mother. Learn how to manage life more efficiently.How can we apply this to ourselves as mothers? When we merely survive life, waiting for that blessed day in the future when things will get easier, which servant are we being like? The unprofitable servant. We are not increasing our capacity to be a mother in the least. 

What about when we do our best to improve each day? When we do our best to enjoy what is before us? That is when we become profitable servants. That is when we increase our capacity to do what we are doing. Then we are making life easier for ourselves rather than waiting for it to magically happen one day.

Do not be discouraged. I don’t intend to push you further than you can go. Being a new mom is hard. There are times you feel you are barely treading water. Do not try to do more than you can do. Just do the best with what you have. Your best is enough, and you know if you are giving it or not. Do not sit and wish away your months until life will be “easier.” Move forward, enjoying each day as much as you can. Just put one foot in front of the other and you will improve your capacity. 

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Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book, The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at Babywise.life, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on the About page. Follow her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for more tips and helps.

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19 Comments

  1. Amber Ruth
    June 29, 2011 / 8:15 PM

    i loved this. just what i needed to hear, as a new, first time mother. thank you so much.

  2. Rachel
    June 29, 2011 / 8:37 PM

    What an awesome post. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. MM
    June 29, 2011 / 8:41 PM

    Made my day seem a bit brighter. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Jess R
    June 29, 2011 / 9:29 PM

    Just put one foot in front of the other… That's what I need to focus on today. Thank you.

  5. D & H
    June 29, 2011 / 10:19 PM

    Excellent thoughts. Thank you so much! I find it so discouraging when women with older kids tell me it only gets harder…but I think the things that are hard now will get easier and I will have new challenges. I love the idea of our capacity increasing as we keep on growing as mothers. These older women have had this growing already which is why my situation seems easier to them…but I am still in the process of learning and growing.

  6. Katrina
    June 29, 2011 / 10:56 PM

    Thank you. I REALLY needed to hear this today.

  7. Adams Plus One
    June 29, 2011 / 11:48 PM

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Kelle
    June 30, 2011 / 12:59 AM

    Wonderfully put! I wholeheartedly agree.

  9. liz22
    June 30, 2011 / 1:02 AM

    Great post! I was just thinking about this today when I went grocery shopping with both of my girls. I thought back to when my baby was about 3 months old and I told myself I would NEVER go out by myself with both kids. Even in three short months things have gotten easier for me because I have dared to take on/do more. Thanks again for the reminder to not wish away today!

  10. Katy
    June 30, 2011 / 1:34 AM

    So nice to read today. Just had our 2nd baby 4 days ago and am swinging between "newborns are so hard; how can I ever handle 2 children?" and "We figured it out before; I can do this!"…

  11. Tracy
    June 30, 2011 / 3:18 AM

    This post has almost made me decide to have another baby! 🙂 I am the mom who thinks I could never have more than one kid….I am always complaining that it is so hard to have 1 baby and I see so many families making it look easy with 3 or 4 kids. Thanks so much for showing me how it's done!!!!

  12. Kristy Powers
    June 30, 2011 / 2:37 PM

    This is a beautiful and wise post. I vividly remember how hard (and wonderful) things were when my oldest child was born, and how un-put-together I was. Not that I am so put-together now, but magically I do brush my teeth, get dressed, and have days when everyone in the house is fit to go out at a moment's notice. 🙂

  13. Beck and Chris
    June 30, 2011 / 3:12 PM

    Beautiful post, and such great thoughts about that parable from the Bible. Great reminder to embrace each of our days

  14. Kristin
    June 30, 2011 / 5:19 PM

    This was lovely and inspiring!

  15. Mollie Energy
    June 30, 2011 / 6:39 PM

    Thanks for this inspiring posts. I've had a couple nights this pregnancy where I've laid in bed nervous about having 2 kids – but I know I'm very compentent and this made me feel more positive that I can do it!

  16. kmbutrfly
    July 1, 2011 / 3:29 PM

    new mom here! thank you for this post. love the quote and the matthew reference.

  17. Plowmanators
    July 19, 2011 / 4:45 AM

    You are all welcome!

  18. Plowmanators
    August 10, 2011 / 10:33 PM

    Love it Jessica! Thanks for sharing!

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