I’ve been stewing for the last week. Reading status updates of people hating on Mother’s Day has riled me up. The sentiments behind the posts were legitimate – grieving a mother, the hurt of infertility, dreams deferred, rough relationships, and everything in between. I wasn’t sure why I would get worked up because I’m certainly not attached to the day myself. Then, it dawned on me- it felt like those voices were raining on my parade.
I know they’re not, I really do. But let’s be honest, mothering is my thing. I desired and chose it, ill-prepared and naive as I was, and I have been finessing it for 12 years. I have willingly been stripped of and let other things go for the sake of this call and I own it. My motherhood isn’t clean or soft or even pretty, but it’s hard-fought and determined and passionate. The chorus of what I’m doing wrong and failing at is always droning in my mind and at times it can be deafening so don’t think for one moment that I think I have it together or that I’m perfect. I don’t feel the warm, fuzzy “I heart being their mom! They are my world!” vibe, but this pack of rapscallions? They made me ME and are plowing my way to heaven, THANK YA JESUS.
So I will take the day. The recognition. The honor of being noticed for what I am doing and will do for the rest of my life. My motherhood, my pride in saying, “I brought forth that life,” doesn’t make me better than anyone else but it does define me. Being a mother means your body is never, ever yours alone ever again. My biology, my very self at a cellular level, has been changed by my children. My mind, too, is different as a result of this call. If they gave medals for it, I’d take one for each of my babes because mothering is HARD. First with the puking and fatigue, then the pinched nerves and hernias, labors, births, nursing, fatigue, post-partum depression, fatigue, mom brain, hormone roller coasters . . . did I mention fatigue? For the love of Pete, isn’t it okay to give these hard working ladies a brunch and sparkly cards?
In the end, I wonder if we women aren’t just afraid. Afraid that we won’t be remembered and noticed for who we are. I’m just a stay-at-home mom, after all. Others worry no one will recall or recognize the empty arms and aching heart because of infertility or a life lived unmarried. Others worry their loss of a baby will be forgotten. Or that no one will want to mention the mom who is no longer here or who abandoned you or was abusive.
Woman, you are seen. You are important because God made you and he has a plan for you. It is wild and crazy and doesn’t seem logical, but if you follow where he leads, that plan will yield joy upon joy. Alleluia, glory be, God. Is. GOOD.
Today that meant breakfast in bed, homemade cards and lilacs rescued from the snow. It meant less than an hour to get ready for mass and wearing cowboy boots with fancy dresses because we couldn’t find the right shoes.
It meant braving the snow on the roads to go to a sparsely attended mass. It meant carnations from birthright clutched in hands of various sizes.
It meant second day makeup and tights poking out of shoes that I didn’t notice until we were back home.
It meant lunch from Taco Bell, naps three to a bed, and sharing my water bottle with a thirsty girl so she would just go to sleep. It meant Jac cooking supper and celebrating with 3 godmothers because we realize their spiritual motherhood is as valuable as my physical presence in the life of the kids.
It meant phone calls and texts to the ladies I love and admire. It meant crying over a letter and gifts from Jac because he notices me.
It meant shaking off the funk and annoyance and noticing God’s goodness. And it was great.