“It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world.”
It’s just like this verse implies – it started with anguish, and then gets swallowed up with moments of joy.
What this verse doesn’t say is that the whole thing cycles over and over again. Anguish – why has the child decided to try out permanent markers on the back of my leather couch? And then joy – I just found a great parent hack for removing permanent marker from leather!
The good old pendulum swing. Anguish. Joy.
Add in a good dose of puzzlement – what would make him swallow that dog food right from the dish? How did she even get that sandwich into the VCR? Why would he think it was a good idea to pee down the register?
You’ll say things you never thought could come out of your mouth.
If I hear one more mean word out of you two, I’ll come up there and you’ll be sorry!
Don’t eat the sand there, love. That’s where your kitty hangs out and she has worms.
If you’re going to poop here, at least turn your back and hide behind this bush so you don’t moon the soccer parents.
Please don’t stare at the nice man with one leg. People with one leg don’t like that.
How many times have I told you, gum is for your mouth, not for your hair!
Ah, yes. The anguish and joys of Motherhood.
You’ll memorize all the lyrics to all the Disney songs – and not on purpose, because you can’t really afford any brain space for anything less than critical knowledge since your ‘pregnancy fog’ didn’t lift with the end of your pregnancy. You’ll become referee, social convenor, cheerleader, chauffeur. You’ll cook thousands of meals and pack thousands of school lunches. You’ll hang up their questionable art pieces and say thank you with tears in your eyes. You’ll tuck them in and fall asleep exhausted in the couch -and get up to do it all over again.
But you’ll teach them how to clean, how to finish what they started, how to negotiate the rules. You’ll model how to show grace under pressure, how to love unconditionally, how to kiss it better and move on. In living 3-D colour, you will prove that making mistakes is okay – human, even. You will instill in them a work ethic, a desire to learn, the courage to rise above their circumstances.
Oh, tired mama. How precious and invaluable you really are…
I love how Jesus ‘gets’ us. These are His words in John, comparing how His best buddies are going to feel when He has to leave them to the complicated emotional roller coaster of motherhood.
He understands that motherhood is not all glory, and not all gory. It’s a wonderful, awful, stressful, delightful mix of temper tantrums (sometimes the children’s!) and tender cuddles, teachable moments and sheer exhaustion, pride and accomplishment set up against shame and regret and that nagging feeling of ‘I’m not doing this right’.
Oh, tired mama.
Yours is the most important role of all. You bring life out of your own flesh, and then tenderly teach and love and nurture and selflessly pour yourself into these new humans you carried to term who resist your efforts and wilfully choose the opposite of what you’ve told them.
But then – they make a good choice, and your heart fills to the brim, and you want and expect nothing more as a thank you than that.
Three cheers for you and all you do! There literally would not be a world without you.
You are brave. You are capable. You are enough. You are exactly what your children need – even on your bad days. You are all things lovely and tender and strong – and your Saviour loves, honours, and values what you bring to the table.
Tired mamas, value yourself today with me?
Father, I love that You designed motherhood! I love how much we learn and are challenged by and are refined by the very process of raising our children. As we learn to reflect You in our words and habits and practices and parenting, bless our efforts as a true offering – raw and real and vulnerable and beautiful. Amen.