Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Honest About Motherhood

  • Mommy 1: "OMG!  My kids are driving me CRAZY! What about you? What's the WORST part about being a mom?" 
  • Mommy 2: "Oh, there's nothing that bad.  It's all a blessing!"
  • Mommy 1: "What?  C'mon, really?"
  • Mommy 2: *pauses to think*  "Well, I don't know.  Nothing that I can really think of off-hand.  I just rely on God to get me through"
  • Mommy 1*internally screaming to self - "What do you mean, there's nothing you can think     of?"*  . . . . . finally says out loud to Mommy 2, "Oh, well that's good."

Ever have a similar conversation with a mom like this where it seemed everyday was filled with butterflies, rainbows, homeschooling, bible stories, organic food, hugs/kisses, singing, etc. . . . . and dare I say - unicorns??  I came across a great blog posting titled, "It Doesn't Help Anyone To Not Be Honest About Motherhood" by blogger Sarah Mae.  Her beginning paragraph struck a chord with me:

"I remember a few years ago when I was having a really hard time with the day to day of life. I had two little ones and was pregnant. I felt very lonely, I was overwhelmed, and I suffered from tremendous guilt that I wasn’t doing enough or being a good enough wife, mother, or homemaker."
It struck a chord because after having our oldest three kids approximately 4.5 - 5 years apart, I too find myself in the "Two Littles and One On the Way" phase as I persevere through the last trimester with baby #5.   Do I feel lonely?  At times.  Am I overwhelmed?  Yes - more often than I'd like to admit.  Do I carry a baggage of guilt through my day?  Undoubtedly - YES!  There is always something I didn't get to, a request I delay, A bible that collects dust, playtime that is missed, time that it lost.  All things that, when I'm honest, make me uncomfortable.

It can become far too easy in searching for answers from other moms to become even more discouraged.  Please don't misunderstand my above Mommy conversation example.  Relying on God, homeschooling, organic, etc. are not bad.  But I believe when we take those aspects through our day, sugarcoat a bit then dispense to other moms without the reality of being sinful, human and making mistakes, it can be damaging as well as discouraging.  Though there are many great 'mommy' blogs and no shortage of moms willing to offer advice - we must be careful to filter what is truly helpful vs. adding their judgement/condescending suggestion in with our already hot mess of a moment.  Because that's what it is - a moment.  It's only a season and will pass. . . . or at least that's what I keep telling myself as I squint my eyes through the storm and repeat mantra, repeat mantra, repeat mantra!! 

During Jesus' ministry, he knew what fate lay ahead and when talking to his disciples he made sure to be honest about what was to come.

*Matthew 16:21*
From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.

*Matthew 17:22-23*
After they gathered again in Galilee, Jesus told them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. He will be killed, but on the third day he will be raised from the dead.” And the disciples were filled with grief.

*Matthew 20:17-18* 
As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside privately and told them what was going to happen to him. “Listen,” he said, “we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die.

See, Jesus didn't sugarcoat the truth!  He didn't tell his disciples, "Hey dudes - look, see I have somewhere to go and, um, I'll be back to hang out in like 3 days.  OK?"  NO!  He knew his mission.  He knew how it would affect others, how they needed to prepare and he layed it out there.  No questions, no guilt, no lies.  You know how I think he did it?  First, submission to the Father - that's a given!  But also because he was first honest with himself.  He didn't have to sugarcoat because he was confident in the mission set before him.  He knew what he had to do and the importance of it.  There was no need to lie to himself or others. 

But what about me??  Or what about you??  Here's some more for thought . . . . Do we even know our mission in motherhood? If so, do we accept it?  If we embellish, is it because we don't want someone else to feel uncomfortable by our raw feelings or is it our own discomfort/feelings of inadequacy that we dislike and try to hide through walls of a smile or 'I'm doing great!' answers??   

We have to be honest with ourselves first.  Does motherhood suck sometimes.  Yes!  But do the bad days diminish the good days/moments that God has placed before us?  Definitely NO!  And hopefully through that honesty, intimacy can lead others struggling with the same plight to reach out and help pull us out of the drowning pool we know as 24/7 Everyday life. . . . .
. . . . or better yet, we can be the encourager that another mother needs to get through those tough seasons of life.  :)

**Linked To: Raising Arrows, The Straightened Path, The Better Mom


  1. Very well said! I love your last paragraph! Also, what grabbed my attention was the picture you used at the top.... I used it in my own post not too long ago- also talking about motherhood! :-)

    Dropping by from The Better Mom linkup.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Erika! In regards to the pic. . . great minds must think alike, lol! I also used it for a previous post about 'how do you do it all' for moms. ;)

    Checking out your post now too! :)

  3. Just came across your blog! I really enjoy it! Amazing post!!

  4. We ALL struggle - some of us more than others - with the demands of motherhood. Especially in our isolated society. We are sometimes so afraid that we will rob God of glory if we are honest and transparent. But I love the verse that says, "His power is made perfect in weakness". That's OUR weakness!! When I am weak (even in my parenting) that's when God displays His strength through me.

    Thanks for sharing this very real post! Found you through Better Moms linkup. I'm hosting my own linkup called Loving Our Children. Come on over and join in!

  5. Great post. I can't believe how much this is coming up in my life. I just wrote a very vulnerable post about this, kinda freaked out at what the response would be and I'm finding so many women feel the same way.

  6. Thanks for your responses Ditto, Kate & Laura! ♥

    Kate, I agree that fear of making God look 'bad' in our inadequacy can be a tough barrier. It's been so important for me to try and look to scripture to see those in weakness that He has built up. That's when God does his best work! :)