Friday, March 7, 2014

Musings on Motherhood

This is one way I love to be a mother--by baking with my youngest sister.  Notice the mess?  Yep...moms don't have to have perfect homes to be perfect mothers.  And moms don't even have to have their own children...shocked?  Keep reading.

I recently read an article on how Satan can steal your motherhood.  It was FABULOUS.  I LOVED it.  But I think it didn't fully address where the problem starts when it comes to us as women questioning and giving away our motherhood.  After thinking about this, I decided to write a supplemental post about this subject.  Please note that I am not offering this as a rebuttal or as something "better" than the other article.  I'm just adding some insight as someone who does not have children of my own and still considers herself a mother.

Let me start by telling you what I believe motherhood truly is.  I believe that every single female born into this world is innately a mother.  Motherhood is an eternal calling and that this calling can be fulfilled whether or not you ever bear children in this world.  I believe that it is the duty of each woman born into the world to magnify this calling no matter what your circumstances may be.  Is this easy?  No.  Is this worth it?  Yes.  And it is vitally and eternally important.  Motherhood is the only job that will leave us completely fulfilled, if we let it.

There will be many out there who disagree with me.  That is because Satan has already stolen their motherhood.  It happens far before you ever even think about having children.  The root of the problem is not in the feelings of being overwhelmed and under appreciated.  The root of the problem happens way before this.

Just when does Satan start to steal our motherhood?  As soon as we are born as a female.  As soon as we start going to school and learn that women "don't need children" and "can have any job they want."  It starts with the first television show you watch that shows a stay at home mother as someone to be pitied and as "stupid".  It starts when Satan whispers or yells at you through another person's voice that being a mother isn't what it's cracked up to be, that some people aren't suited to be mothers, that you can do something BETTER.

So, what am I saying?  Am I saying that if you have a job/career and kids that you're wrong?  No.  Am I saying that women should only ever have kids and never do anything else?  No.  Am I saying that if you don't have kids you are worth less than someone who does have kids?  No.

I am saying that whether or not you have children of your own (which I do not), you have a sacred obligation to act as a mother in all that you do.  What does this mean?  It means that you are kind and nurturing.  It means that you are gentle and thoughtful.  It means that at times, you HAVE to reject what society thinks will help you become a self fulfilled person to realize that surrounding yourself with children will be what will bring the most happiness.  You can do this an have a job as well, if this is God's plan for you personally.

And now, a word to those of us who do not have children.  You are a mother!  Don't buy into the lie that you have to actually give birth to be a mother!  There ARE children that need YOU.  They are at church with you, they are in the schools that are in your community, they are living in a house next door to you.  You CAN be a mother!  You ARE a mother.  Look for opportunities to let this role be fulfilled instead of pining away waiting for it to be immediately in your home.  Take the time to learn the names of the children at church.  Volunteer at a local school.  Serve as a sponsor for an after school program.  Go read to the kids at the homeless shelter.  Help children see that you are another adult that loves them and wants them to succeed and then you are one of their mothers.

I have lots of moms.  And I have needed and appreciated each of them.  They are moms of friends, teachers from school, and women I worked with.  I still meet my moms.  They are the friends who are willing to cry with me, the women that smile at me in the grocery store, the women that take time to allow me to mother their children.  This never has and never will diminish the importance of my personal mother, but I feel grateful for ALL of the mothers I have in my life.

Here is my plea to all the women out there--BE a mother.  Be willing to hold motherhood in the high esteem it deserves.  Don't allow Satan to make you think that you can't be a mother or that motherhood is something that isn't for everybody.  Allow God to change your heart and allow Him to show you how you can be the mother you were meant to be.  You will not regret it.