On most days my first born little girl woke up happy. We would hear her in her crib just talking to herself and singing away, waiting for one of us to get up and start her day. But I remember one morning when I heard a different sound. It wasn’t all the way to a cry, but it was definitely a sound of distress. As I approached the door, the smell announced that something was definitely wrong. And when I opened the door, there stood my fussing child absolutely covered in vomit- along with the crib, the wall, and the surrounding carpet. I’ll never forget her pitiful little voice telling me, “Mama, I had big burp!”
I will also never forget the great motherhood revelation I had that morning. As I looked on the mess, while taking in the awful smell, I had two thoughts. First, “Where’s my mom when I need her?” My mother can take on anything, and has rescued me from many of the messes I’ve faced in life. But she lives a thousand miles away. So my next thought was, “Do you realize there is no one else on the planet who can clean up this mess?” I could hear a voice prodding me on with the thought that only a mom could handle this mess, and I was the only mom this poor child had. I had to clean it up!
The revelation that morning has stuck with me- the great privilege and challenge that there is no one else on the planet who can be the mother of my children. That realization should guide my priorities and greatly impact how I choose to spend my days. Motherhood is one of my primary roles- a role that only I can play. Along with motherhood of course is my marriage, and also my other family relationships. Only I can be a sister, a daughter, a granddaughter. Secondary roles are those responsibilities that I have been called to, like my role with my job or at my church. It is an important role, but it is a role that another person could serve. (Someone else served it before me, and someone else will serve it after me). Keeping primary roles primary, and secondary roles secondary is the great challenge for all moms.
There has been a gradual, but major shift in our culture in the last 50 years devaluing the role of motherhood. Perhaps through the rise of feminism (when women demanded equality with men), or the legalizing of abortion (when motherhood became optional), motherhood no longer was held in such high regard. While progress has brought many more opportunities for women to be successful outside of the home, being successful inside the home has become progressively less important. I know this shift has impacted me, and my prayer is that I can strive to honor God first in my home, and second in the outside-of-home places He’s called me to serve. I’m the only mom my kiddos have, and that role has great value.
Motherhood is challenging, rewarding, confusing, fun and exhausting.
Motherhood is a great joy, yet brings great sorrows.
Motherhood is an adventure, always bringing something new.
Motherhood is a gift.
As we honor mothers this week, I am thankful for the woman who has served that primary role in my life. Only my mom has been there in my darkest moments and in my greatest joys. Only my mom has a sixth sense that tells her exactly when to call in a time of crisis. Only my mom would greatly love my husband and children, and encourage me to be the strong, loving mom for them that she has been to me.
May we greater value our roles as moms. May we see motherhood as the high calling which it is, with eternal rewards that far outweigh the messes we must clean along the way. May we raise our little girls to look forward to and anticipate their roles as moms. And may we pause at each day’s end to hear the voice, “Well done, good and faithful mom.”
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive your reward. You are serving the Lord Jesus Christ. Colossians. 3:23-24