Moms have always both fascinated and scared me. Having a mom, being a mom, and having learned from lots of moms for decades, I have appreciated the many different and unique ways of mothering. Having seen the underbelly (pun totally intended), I also understand the many ways in which we as moms try so hard to not repeat mistakes and do all we can to really do our best, even if that is SO not-pretty on some days. The good, the bad and the ugly is what I write about, but mostly the good----learning to glean the good and (borrowing a phrase from my Star Wars crazed son) learning to turn the dark side to the light. (Good thing he doesn't read this blog, or I would be getting major grief for misrepresenting basic Star Wars mythology. I'm also banned from using the word "epic," as apparently his generation made the word cool, whereas my generation only introduced the word to the general population in the 70s.) So, Christian, this is for you: Motherhood is EPIC!
At the age of 14 I actually started reading books about motherhood, parenting and even childbirth. Weird, nerdy, and absolutely empowering for me, those books were my first attempt to try to understand what the role of a mother really is. Deep inside, I knew that a mother was an amazing entity, but how to be a good one? Over the past 22 years, I have given birth to five children, each of whom came equipped with his and her own set of physical, emotional and spiritual gifts and weaknesses. I felt from early on, that my job was to play detective and figure out what those particular strengths and weaknesses were, then nurture the heck out of the weaknesses and encourage (in a super-cool-laid-back-don't-get-too-excited way) the strengths. I never did get the super-cool-laid-back part down, whether it came to encouragement or discipline, as I am a pretty passionate person. But life in general is a pretty passionate sport, so double that for mothering. I read somewhere that when one sneezes, several thousand brain cells die. So on a really intense mothering day...well, do the math. I'm happy to report that a few brain cells have hung on for dear life in this brain, and I hope that I can convey some sense of encouragement for moms who seek refuge, who seek connection, and who seek a well of fresh water (for you! not the dog or the kids!)
I also believe that God sends us our children with a purpose for them and for us, as their moms. He has loaned them to us, and entrusted to us the co-creation of their bodies, and in a sense, the co-parenting that can take place with Him, as He knows them better than we do. Oh, the many hours I have spent on my knees praying about he-who-shall-not-be-named, just trying to get a handle on how to parent him, and what practical tactics, tips, or enlightened ideas to try. It goes without saying, or does it?, that if you believe in God, and ask Him, He will help you with your mothering. He will help you figure out that child who is the most unlike (or like) you! He will give you that respite which will add water to your well. And He will let you know that He loves you and is pleased with you for this great work you are about, even something as simple as showing your child how to fold a fitted sheet.