Confession: There are many days when I feel I could cheerfully dispense with the trappings of motherhood.
Not motherhood itself, mind you; just the trappings that come with it.
“Wear this, Mommy.”
Do I have to?
I’ve never been a natural loving-every-blessed-minute kind of mother, beaming while cooking early breakfast. I love my kids like *crazy* but the wow moments of I-can’t-believe-I-get-to-mother-this-gorgeous-amazing-child are too few and far between to qualify as payback for the I-can’t-believe-I-got-myself-into-this-situation ones.
Sometimes I would love never to hear another riddle or knock-knock joke as long as I live. What I want to know is this: How did the worst jokes of a tiny rural community in northern Minnesota thirty years ago transmit themselves into the mouths of my kids in western Pennsylvania, 2014?
I do enjoy a good challenge, but I feel I’ve sort of maxed out on How many paper boats can we craft in one church service?
I could probably live quite happily without hearing Georgie Porgie Pudding and Pie sung to the tune of Silent Night. (Regan’s concoction.) (It really works.)
And I could most definitely do without dispensing inanities such as “Yes, picking up is not always fun, but we must do it anyway.”
“Please don’t put your fork in my face.”
“And if you fall in the toilet doin that I’m not fishing you out.”
I have found that a dry sense of the ridiculous has preserved my sanity more effectively than any amount of romantic exuberance.
Do you know what I like best about mothering?
It’s such a hotspot for sanctification.
Don’t you just love that God made babies so stinkin CUTE? I don’t know one lady who doesn’t get a quiver of pure joy at the sight and scent of a newborn. It’s a little trick built into the core of the universe, just like God making men so big and brawny. Who in her right mind would ask to enter into a permanent relationship of laying down her life every day for another person? But that’s what marriage is, and mothering too. By the time we realize exactly what we’ve committed to it’s too late—and we are sure in for it.
So gently He leads us, through the scent of a baby. Lay down your life, sweet daughter. Lay down your independence, your selfishness, your agenda. Lay down your time, your aspirations, your identity. Lay it down.
There in the laying down, there in the trappings, He changes us.
Jesus, I bless your name.
BUT if you survive you can someday read a funny blog post from a younger mom to your grownup daughters as you sit around the living room and you can all laugh at the “said Mother” part because that is what you always say after your own inane statements which causes your children to talk about how you go around narrating life. [Empty the dishwasher, said Mother soberly. No, said Emily stubbornly. Then Mother spanked Emily very hard. etc.]
Wow! Good thing you just explained about that trick part. I almost fell for it the other day again, after holding the dearest, sweetest, brand-new Indian baby. 😉
And as for God asking us to lay down our desires, our life, our agenda to do this “mothering”… yes. I hear you. I just heard from a friend yesterday sharing that perhaps this (simply being wife and mother, and accepting, loving motherhood) could be the very altar that God wants to break me on and make me acceptable to God.
Oh don’t worry. Knowing it’s a trick doesn’t stop it from working.
Amen and amen! You expressed so very well what I feel so often.
I always said God doesn’t play fair. He gets us so hopelessly bonded with the darling helpless [peaceful] newborn that we refuse to give them away when they grow into screaming tyrants. Yes, by the time we know what hit us, its too late. And about marriage, as your dad says, “Get married before you know better.” 🙂
“By the time we realize exactly what we’ve committed to it’s too late—and we are sure in for it.”
SO TRUE. For me, I didn’t know I’d become a human Kleenex when I committed to motherhood. That said, I’m now pregnant with my third and looking forward to it–except in moments of exceptional clarity when I wonder what on earth we’re doing letting ourselves in for the insanity that comes with three kids 4 and under. I fully anticipate more sanctification ahead. 🙂
Jenn – it’s going to be ok. Interestingly enough, for those of us who like to analyze relationships, three kids is far more interesting mulling. 🙂
Good to know! 😀
I gotta get me some of that “dry sense of the ridiculous”.
What I don’t get is their responses to those [said Mother] commands. “Okay [said mother] it’s almost bedtime and you guys have to clean this room up” Shock, horror, surprise…you mean…wail….we have to pick up this Whole Huge Mess ALL by ourselves!?!? I don’t get it. It’s a surprise almost every time. Are they actually thinking…okay, I know I’ve had to clean up my toys 364 days of this year, but maybe, just maybe, she’ll walk in and do it for me tonight, than let me stay up late as a bonus…..all I can figure out is that they’re innocent enough to be eternal optimists (or maybe optimism is the best way to survive our parenting). After all, as one slyly pointed out the other night, we forgot to dream up a suitable punishment for the foolish behavior in the other carpoolee mothers’ van the last week…..Hotspot for sanctification, I couldn’t agee more.
Love this post and love the comments!
I’m presently in the stage of falling in love with a newborn. Somehow it is making me just a tiny bit more patient with my children-who-are-no-longer-newborns. Maybe it is helping me remember when I first fell in love with them. I know there are all sorts of sanctification building moments in the future.
Thank God for grace.
So true! There are days when my darling children drive me an inch from insanity! But those same little hands touch my face and whisper “you’re so precious” when we snuggle at naptime. Somehow while we are shaping a child, they are shaping us. I just need to remember to “lay it down” and relax.
I am right with you! Love my kids, love my life but sometimes I just wanna run to some far away island so I can eat my chocolate without being interrupted! Thank you for the encouraging blog!
ok. this post is in one of my “Top Twenty Shari Posts”.
I can’t think of anything else to say besides, I really like this and I really like you.
I love this post very, very much.
Came across this from a FB share… Oh so much truth here! I am not one of those “lovelovelove” mom’s either and sometimes I worry about myself. Glad to know I’m normal! 🙂
Ah, I love this….ditto to Shannon’s comment above!
Your blog AND the comments made my day.. Thanks, Shari and the rest of you! 😀
I found this on FB as well. It’s a good thing no one is in the house because my teenagers would think I lost my mind the way I am laughing. You hit the nail on the head! Keep writing because I think your posts on teenagers are going to be exceptional! I am still laughing…
So true! I love the honesty reflected here. And I would agree with you that motherhood is one of those things that continues to rub off your selfishness again and again. And just when you think you can’t possibly have any left. Ugh, it rears its ugly head when the child spills a bowl of cereal all over your freshly mopped floor.