Friday, January 12, 2018

Motherhood: "Is This It?"



As I fellowship and talk with fellow mothers in my life - and online - one thing is so clear to me: this way of life is hard. It really is. The differing lives and circumstances of each mother doesn't change the weight of child raising: these are tiring, draining, wonderful years. 

Some women wonder if this is normal... Is motherhood supposed to be so hard? A friend with newborn twins felt shocked by the dichotomy of absolutely loving being a mother (after such a long battle to get there) and yet, struggling under the weight of all that goes with having a new baby, plus one. I, too, remember pacing the dark room with a baby boy who would just not sleep anywhere else but on me, and wondering, 

"Is this it? Is this motherhood?"

There really is nothing quite like it. The mixture of joy and grief, delight and frustration, sweetness and anger, exhiliration and exhaustion, confidence and insecurity...And above all, the incredible blessing and love of being a child's mother - we love this so much - whilst having our feet tied to the daily ordinary of wiping, cleaning, hugging, and tearing. For many women, myself included, this dichotomy can create a sense of emptiness and doubt.

What Makes Motherhood Harder

From young girls, we have been drip fed this idea: we can do anything. We can do great, great things. We have so much to offer this world - brains, heart, strength, character, beauty, and femininity. Be a nueroscientist. Traverse the rain forest. Study those species. Solve that humanitarian issue. Deep, meaningful things that bless our world immensely. And we can do these things. We must be part of these activities.

Yet, when we become Mother, the great, broad world of anything is suddenly - and often, painfully - narrowed down to minutes and hours, the walls of home, the kitchen sink, bending in the laundry, following behind toddling feet. Day after day. The same dishes, the same clothes, the same letter learning, the same books, the same little faces.

How do we get from up there - in the broad horizon of anything - to the carpet floor building Lego and correcting speech? And how do we do it with joy, contentment, vision, and humility?

Choices We Can Make

The reality is, most of us don't know how to do it. Many give up because the abyss is so big. This is frightening and creates anxiety so they return to what they know - how they know they thrive - trusting others educated to institutionalized mothering. 

Others keep on for years - hard, painful years - sensing the doubt and insecurity but not knowing how to deal with it, thinking it is a character fault of their own.

A few have blessedly brought up to know what motherhood costs and takes. 

The rest of us want beautiful, noble, life-giving motherhood and, because we haven't been shown or taught how to, we muddle our way to find it. 

Has It Always Been Such a Shock?

For generations, ordinary mothering was normal. No-one knew anything different. Making meals, cleaning clothes, feeding stock, milking cows, educating at the table. That was a woman's life for forty or fifty years. It has only been in the last one hundred years that ordinary has been scorned for extra-ordinary, forgetting that the majority of people on earth will only ever have ordinary. 

I encourage you, dear friend, to not fear the doubt of "Is this it?" Yes, this is it. This is your life - if you do it wholeheartedly - for years. 

But, the depth and breadth of the rewards for a life of service to young children is incomparable.

Beyond The Question

One day we will see the fruit of our labour that God produces by His good pleasure. 

One day we will see the great and glorious tapestry of our days, which on the back were a mess of tangles, colour, and snags, and our hearts will sing for joy over His sovereignty and love. 

When motherhood comes calling, then, the change is on us. The struggles we have are our struggles and we must battle to face them. We must use Truth and choice and wisdom to grow beyond what we find hard. When something in us balks at the Groundhog Day-like life we begin to live, we must speak Truth to our souls. We must lift our eyes above our feelings to that which is solid, and true, and noble, and eternal, and real - Him who is beyond us and who perfectly designed the small and ordinary for our enjoyment and His good pleasure.

I write more in-depth about the cost and reward of complete motherhood in my e-book:


11 comments:

  1. This is so true. Your book sounds amazing too! SO glad I found you over at Deb's!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Meg! This was so encouraging to me!

      Delete
  2. My name is Kristin and I'm visiting from the Modest Monday link-up. Excellent thoughts in your post! The Lord is our greatest Helper as mothers.
    I followed you on Pinterest and Facebook and would love for you to follow me!
    Pinterest… https://www.pinterest.com/mintsandacherry/boards/
    Facebook… https://www.facebook.com/mintsandacherry/
    Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This was so beautiful! I still amazes me that there can be such contrasting emotions in parenting. But, should it? I mean when you love something so much, there is bound to be those contrasts. I am so thankful for the Father who fixes our shortcomings and brings us back to joy and love.

    Thanks for linking up at #LiveLifeWell

    Blessings,

    Amy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Amy. God is so faithful to us in our weakness and in our great love for our children!

      Delete
  4. The contrast in feelings can be so confusing, but you put it into words so well. In parenting, I really feel the pull of the world vs the Father. That deep consistent yet mundane work that the Father calls us to with our children. I'm so grateful that He keeps that calling strong and offering me Grace - man I need it!

    Thank you so much for sharing with us on Live Life Well. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is really easy to be tempted into the world's way of thinking, I don't think there is any Christian that isn't in some area of life. We just need to remember that only God's way brings true, abundant life! Thank you for commenting x

      Delete
  5. So well said! I think most of us find ourselves wondering if this is it . . . You make a good point that it's hard to transition from the "I can do anything" mentality to crawling around the living room floor, picking up the same dozen toys a dozen times a day. Thank you for the reminder that the rewards will be reaped. This is encouragement to stay faithful to the calling!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so thankful you have been encouraged to remain faithful - it is such a quality God wants us to have. Thank you so much for coming by and leaving such a wonderful comment x

      Delete