This year Mother’s Day carried a greater significance for me. I am now part of the Mom Job Club. Wow. Since I was a young child I always wanted to grow up, get married and be a Mom. Here I am. Living the dream. As a kid I didn’t dream of growing up and having a career in a certain field. I was ready to work and make money until the time came to have children. But ultimately, that’s what I wanted, to have children. Most days, I love it.
This morning as I was running before Stephen went to work and Titus woke up for the day, I was thinking about being a Mom. What kind of mom do I want to be? Who do I want to be? What do I want Titus and his siblings to remember about me when they go off to college and get married? What do I want to teach them? How do I want to interact with them? As these questions were playing out in my head two things came to the surface – a book I’m reading called The Pursuit of Motherhood and my own Mom’s life.
My Mom stayed at home with my three siblings and me growing up and not just until the youngest one was school age. My Dad and she wanted to instill Godly principles and character into us as we grew and decided that the best way for them to do that was to homeschool us. So, my mom gave a lot of herself. She didn’t have dinner weekly with her girl friends, rarely had an half-hour to call her own, and had zero hobbies that didn’t revolve around one of her kids. Sad life? Not really. Most days, she loved it. She had a very important job, realized it, embraced it, and accomplished it beautifully. She gave of herself sacrificially. My sister said it well in a poem she wrote for our Mom yesterday.
Today is a day to celebrate Mothers,
To give back to those who give more than others.
A Mom is a gift, so special and rare,
Today is a day to show her we care.
My Mom, she’s special, she’s the best Mom out there,
She spends hours talking to me to tell me how she cares.
She’s given her life to raise her kids right,
29 years she’s spent molding our life.
My Mother was our teacher from kindergarten to 12th,
She’s always there to care for us in sickness and in health.
Mom spends hours on the road so we could have the best,
As far as “Best Mom Ever” goes, Mom always passed the test.
Thank you for giving your life to mold your breed,
For your caring support and giving us all we need.
Thank you for being so much fun and the best friend ever,
For giving us a wonderful life that we all live together.
Mom wanted us to succeed as adults and knew that if that was going to happen then she had to mold us while we were young. Of course she taught us all of the practical things like how to write, tell time, read, and manage our money. But, she taught us much more than that. She instilled in us a hard work ethic and a desire to keep on keeping on, even when we fail. She showed us that no matter what we did, she would be there to pick us up. My mom never yelled at us. Though, she did discipline us and become frustrated with us on occasion. Somehow, we always knew when we were being disciplined that Mom didn’t enjoy causing us pain but rather loved us and wanted us to grow into mature young people and was helping us do just that. My Mom was also REALLY great at having fun with us. She loved taking us to museums, zoos, and outdoor events. She also trekked all over the state of Alabama to take us to music lessons, sport games, and activities with our friends. She didn’t do it grudgingly, but with a happy heart. Always smiling, asking us questions about our experiences, and laughing at our fun stories. As we grew older we started doing more things with our friends and less things with our Mom. But, after each activity we would come home and there Mom would be, ready to listen to our stories of the day’s adventure. Asking a few questions, but mostly just listening and smiling. And let me tell you… that was a lot of listening and smiling because my sister and I can talk a LOT. I always loved coming home and telling Mom what I had done with my friends or at church, etc. Then, I grew up more. I went to college. Got married. And now have a little guy of my own. Through it all, Mom has been right there to encourage me and listen to all my stories. Maybe she had a tough time seeing me go to college, leave home, and become a wife. If so, it never showed. She seemed to understand the stages of being a Mom. Once she cared for every single need that I had, fed me, clothed me, and kept me clean. Then she let me take on a few of those responsibilities myself and began teaching me how to read and write and love Jesus. Before long her role as my mom had changed drastically. I didn’t need anyone to feed me or clothe me and she had taught me enough skills that I could teach myself. How does that make a Mom feel? Un-needed? Do some moms keep trying to fill the roles they use to in their kids lives? And then feel unloved because they realize their kids no longer want them to fill those roles? Those were the questions going through my head on my morning run today. I’m so impressed with my mom and her acceptance of each stage she finds herself in. I no longer need her to fix food for me or teach me my math skills. Most days, I don’t really want any advice from her either like I did in highschool. Now she finds herself in the role of being my biggest cheerleader and confidant (well, besides my handsome husband). How will that role change in the coming years? I don’t know. But right now, she embraces the role she has and listens to my countless stories.
How do I embrace the stage of Motherhood that I’m currently in? My job is relatively easy compared to what it may be like in another 6 years and 2 more children. Does it really matter how I interact with Titus at this age? I mean, he itsn’t even three months old yet. If I don’t start now, then when will I? I must be now who I want Titus to remember as his mom. I need to put down my phone and not spend every free second looking at facebook, reading a book, or jumping rope. Honestly, what’s more important? Titus or what I do with my phone? I would always answer Titus, but if someone was watching me all day, would they say the same thing? If my phone rings or dings, am I more attentive to that then a sound from Titus? I want to be all that God wants me to be as a mom. If that’s my goal, then wouldn’t make sense for me to spend much time with Jesus and get His perspective for each situation? Don’t I want to go ahead and introduce Titus to the most loving person in the universe? I want him to know and love so passionately as a little kid. There’s no greater time to start then now.
So – I want to truly embrace this stage of Motherhood. Who’s with me? Whatever stage of Motherhood or life you’re in, do you need to embrace it? If so, what would that look like?
For me, it might look like singing songs to Jesus each day with Titus, talking to Jesus out loud during the day so that Titus sees me doing that, focusing on Titus rather than a to-do list or facebook, spending time with Jesus, being thankful for this time and not looking longingly to the time where Titus will interact with me, and having a content heart.
As I continue on this journey of being a mom who loves Jesus I’m sure I’ll fail and falter. Yet, Jesus will continually pick me back up and teach me. I’m encourage by these words from the Pursuit of Motherhood book and reminded of what’s most important.
As we build strong homes, we do not want to unwittingly push those that we love away from us. Instead, we need to train ourselves to be kind and have a softened heart that guards against harshness as we lean to becomes a faithful servant that the Lord can use… We truly cannot give our to our children what we do not possess. Our strong walk with Jesus is our lifeline….Do not allow your time with the Lord to become just another thing to cross off your to-do-list, thrown haphazardly into a rigid schedule. Instead, I encourage you to cultivate a true relationships with Jesus Christ, desiring to hear and learn from Him on a daily basis.