“Motherhood is an instinct, YES, But it is also a practice; It CAN be learned.” Alice Walker
I think Motherhood is the hardest job in the world now that I am one! It is a selfless act that requires one to deny, derail, and temporarily delay your own wants, desires and sometimes even your needs for the well-being of another….
Many women embrace and stay dedicated to this awesome challenge when their maternal instincts kick in. Life is now about that child who becomes a priority over self. We are now commissioned and predestined to mold and shape the very existence of another human being. To think about it in these terms, it is an overwhelming, often times scary and delicate process. Most figure it out and make the necessary adjustments so that their children can thrive. Others don’t fair so well leaving countless lives forever shattered.
Motherhood can be a heavy burden that can drive a mother to do unfathomable things. The demands are never-ending and some women simply don’t survive the process. Consider Andrea Yates who simply woke up one morning after her husband went to work and decided to drown her 5 children in 2001. Or more recent acts of a Philadelphia mother, Nyia Parler who abandoned her disabled 21-year-old quadriplegic son with cerebral palsy in a park with nothing more than a blanket and a bible. Nothing but the grace of God that he was found and survived the elements of rain and 30 degree temperatures. Lastly a 19-year-old mother, Johnesha Perry threw her 1-year-old baby boy over a bridge into shallow waters in Lehigh County PA just last week. She ultimately jumped in after him. These stories are harsh realities and proof that there is a very thin line between sanity and insanity as a Mother. I don’t judge the actions of these women by far. My heart goes out to everyone involved. I can only imagine the types of pressures these women were under when they decided to take such drastic measures.
Although I have never felt so desperate as to bring harm to my son, but I do admit that I have looked at him over the years and wondered if I am going to be able to survive the process. These thoughts entered my mind when I felt the most alone the most unsupported and the most overcome. When the mind is unstable and the spirit is crushed the job of motherhood becomes extremely complicated. An ever-present help is needed. (Psalms 46:1)
Regardless of how difficult motherhood can be at times, it is still a privileged honor all in the same breath. The mother first has to make the choice to want to perfect the art, not be selfish, and seek ways to learn how to survive the process if she just doesn’t know how….. The word of God says that “Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord.” (Psalm 127:3) The one and only true way to survive the loads of motherhood is to stay rooted in God.
I did not always view motherhood as the gift that it is. I was appointed to be the mother of three. But due to my own fears, doubts, and self-centered ways, I took it upon myself to return two souls back to the Heavenly Father who gave them to me. I rejected the gifts with excuses, earthy rationale and with much pity. Certainly my burden to bear but I thank God for being forever forgiven….. (Thank you Jesus!)
The one I saw through to full term I am committed to beyond description. My son is 4 years old as I pen these words and brings me unspeakable joy. At the same time challenges every fiber of my being. Spiritually I am convicted to be the best mother I can be to him and raise him to be a Godly man. My physical challenges are great as I push through complications of Multiple Sclerosis with smiles, laughter, hugs and love. For he does not understand nor does he need to know; at least not right now. Mentally, as I continue to battle through insecurities, bouts of depression and the results of my own childhood, I constantly question if I am doing the right thing by him. It is the greatest challenge of my life, but I am so up for it! What other purpose shall my life serve if not to take responsibility to be the best Mother I can be? He deserves nothing less…. I am also blessed to have some wonderful step children who I love unconditionally as if I birthed them myself.
The role of being a mother never ends. The definition just shifts as children grow older. I sternly believe that the job of a mother only ends when her life is over. It is a long-term sacrifice for those who have stepped up and stayed committed to the calling.
The pain of an absent mother also never ends. It is a bond that the human spirit requires and if absent and abused will forever scar the soul. No amount of praying or growing up will take the hurt away caused by a mother who simply decided not to be. Consider some famous, strong and independent figures that appear well put together and are clearly successful but when asked about their relationships with their mothers, they will crumble and the wounded child within quickly emerges:
- Kirk Franklin – Famous Gospel Singer
- Patti Stanger – Host of Millionaire Matchmaker
- Hugh Jackman – Actor
- Courtney Love – Actress
- Gary Coleman (Deceased)– Child Actor
- Kenya Moore – Reality TV Star
- Drew Barrymore – Actress
I have watched interviews of each of the above named figures concerning their relationships with their biological mothers. The agony, is real, it is deep and permanent. Feelings are mostly suppressed and managed in sometimes self-destructive ways, but it never dulls and never ever goes away…..
I salute every real mother who sacrifices, endures and embraces the hardest job in the world without quitting. You are to be acknowledged for your greatest sacrifice while:
- Working full-time and going to school.
- Suffering from medical conditions (Mentally & Physically)
- The father of your children walking out on you, becoming disloyal and mentally abusing you as your body went through the necessary changes to bring forth life.
- Searching how to become a mother for your children when you were never mothered yourself.
- Remembering that provision does not take the place of being present.
Or a combination of these things….
My mission as a mother is to assure that my son never looks me in the eye and say you weren’t there, you didn’t try, you didn’t teach or warn me, you didn’t provide, you didn’t give me a decent start, you didn’t love me, you failed me…
He could very well grow up and give me his back side but it won’t be the result of me not putting forth my very best effort in preparation for his life. I will never stop sacrificing for him for it is my call, my duty, my forever blessing.
Furthermore, concerning this assigned task over my life, I want my Heavenly father to tell me, “Well done, my good and faithful servant…” (Matthew 25:21)
Motherhood is a choice, not a title. Just as we chose to put ourselves in position to conceive, we must choose to do the right thing by the lives we bought to this earth; regardless of how hard it is. That means constant long-term sacrifices through behavioral problems, disabilities, and other challenges children may bring to further complicate our lives. If we fail in this area we don’t have the right to expect our children to willingly want to look out for our well-being when they themselves become adults. (That’s REAL TALK!)
They didn’t’ ask to be here and again, they are our gifts from the Lord most High.
To all the women worthy of the title, Happy Mother’s Day; You deserve it and so much more……
“Motherhood is not about what you gave up to have a child, but what you gained by having one.” Author Unknown