Saturday, May 7, 2011

Motherhood

I've been thinking a lot about motherhood the past couple of days.  Not surprisingly, posts about mothers have been popping up in the blog-o-sphere, and I spent a lot of time yesterday afternoon thinking about my own experiences as a mother and the ways I've been impacted by my mother and my mother-in-law.  



I thought about all the things I've heard and read about what motherhood is and means, but I found it hard to fit my experiences into those categories.  I don't think the categories are wrong, but everything looks and feels different when you're in the midst of it.  What I thought about the most was of a study I'd heard about taken by parents of young children who were all really miserable, yet all recommended having children to other people. It made me laugh at the time, because as a parent of young children myself, I could understand what these people were feeling.  Parenting is overwhelming and hard, yet simultaneously richly rewarding.  


I asked myself the question:  What makes parents recommend parenting to others when it's such a hard job?  Since I'm a mother, and it's Mother's Day weekend, I'll answer the question from my perspective as a mother (and since that's the only perspective I really have).  I think the hardest thing about mothering is the constant self-giving.  All of a sudden your life is not your own.  I never realized how much my life revolved around me until having Ella.  I could no longer eat, sleep, shower, or even go to the bathroom on my own timing.  Nearly five years later, I get to eat and sleep when I want to, but there has yet to be much privacy in the other areas.  At the root of all this self-giving is love.  I choose to love those children when they're sweet, adorable, and delightful (and they are so much of the time!), and I choose to love and do what is best for them when they're disobedient and having a fit of temper.


Love makes you get up three times in the night to nurse and rock back to sleep, makes you walk the floor singing Jesus Loves Me over and over for thirty minutes until the crying subsides, helps you be resigned when you miss out on events and activities you would have enjoyed, makes you endeavor to control your own temper when faced with repeated disobedience, makes you cook dinner when you don't feel like it, and give your child your attention at the one-hundredth request to, "Watch this!"  Love changes you.  And in the end, the very self-giving that isn't natural and that we tend to avoid, gives us our greatest joy and satisfaction.  And in my life, motherhood is the tool God is using to make me like His Son, to teach me how to love.  It makes my life rich and deep and forces me to come face-to-face with my inability to fulfill my duties apart from Christ...and that's not always fun but always good in the end.


I really am grateful to be a mother, and this Mother's Day, I'll be celebrating by staying home from church with a sick little boy.  (It's all about the giving and the sacrifice!!)  I took him to the doctor this morning because his breathing didn't sound good at all.  He has an upper-respiratory infection and a touch of croup.  And so, I'm thankful, and the joy really does run deep.


P.S.  KJ just informed me that I'll be missing his Sunday School lesson
entitled, The Secret of Contentment.  

That's too bad.  I could have used that lesson.
Oh, but wait, maybe I'm learning it by being content to 
stay home with my little boy tomorrow.

Yes.  Maybe so.





3 comments:

  1. Very good thoughts. I agree with the 'not fitting into the experiences or other categories' part and the exhausting, overwhelming, richly rewarding part. I also really really agree with the giving your child attention for the 100th request to 'watch this!' part. I want to blog about mothering too...right now I'm not feeling so inspirational...lol:) Happy Mother's Day my friend, you are a beautiful fantastic Mom!

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  2. Oh, dearest Lynn. You are one of the best I know at putting your thoughts into words, so beautifully and so practically. I am so thankful for the insight and encouragement that you offer your "readers", especially us moms. You will, indeed, be personifying all that the term "Motherhood" means as you stay home to care for James tomorrow. I do pray that it is a most memorable Mother's Day, one in which the Lord meets with you in a very special way. I love you, my sweet sister, and - as Falyn stated - "you are a beautiful fantastic Mom" . . . of 3 precious gifts.

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  3. p.s. I LOVE each of the pictures. How fast these little ones grow!!

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