Some women are born mothers.
Some women achieve motherhood.
Some women have motherhood thrust upon them.
Just a riff on a well-known adage about greatness. Because I sense among the sisters of motherhood an unrest about our role as moms. A fearful tickle in our minds that maybe we got the short end of the stick when we became moms… the consolation prize: Thanks for playing!
As I shared earlier this year when I reviewed Triggers: Exchanging Parent’s Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses, as a mom, I was surprised by negative feelings that surfaced after a few years of motherhood: “I started to feel under-the-surface-angry all the time about my failure to have it all together.”
Mothers constantly receive subtle and not-so-subtle messaging from our culture to “do it all,” “have it all,” and “keep it all together.” (Hello, Pinterest! Which I love! ha!).
Granted, motherhood is somewhat of a limiting factor. Toting a baby on the hip, adhering to feeding, nap, and school schedules is limiting.
But that’s where I think we get distracted. Do we see this limitation of time and space and feel we got the consolation prize?
Maybe it’s time to look at motherhood through a new lens:
Motherhood is not a consolation prize, but instead a consecrated purpose that is pleasing to God.
Perhaps I can say this another way. Motherhood isn’t a prize at all. It’s a purpose given of God for a specific time in your life.
I think for many women, the desire to become mothers is so great, the path often so difficult, we DO feel we “won the prize” when we get that positive pregnancy test. But mothering can be hard and taxing, and if we pin our hopes on that child fulfilling our hearts, we easily become discouraged when the workload piles up. So it’s time to view motherhood in a different light, shift perspectives, look through a new lens, so to speak.
And, by way of clarification (because everything online needs a disclaimer these days), I am notsaying if you are childless, you don’t have a purpose from God. Or that mothers are better than other women. No, no, no! This is not a better-than statement.
I’m merely saying to us moms, instead of regarding motherhood as a negatively limiting factor, recognize motherhood as a positive limiting factor: you’ve been given a very clear call to a very specific purpose: ministering to your children. Not everyone gets such a clear and distinct call to arms as having a babe placed in arms!
Accepting your purpose focuses you and allows you to have peace when you decline other endeavors. (I’m reading The Best Yes – saying “no” doesn’t mean I failed, it means I simply chose my purpose).