BURTON, MI – Being a “good mother,” the title we as moms hope to achieve is a whole lot easier said than done. It doesn’t just happen. My first year as a mother I felt mostly unprepared and inadequate to the task. To be honest, this still is a struggle for me from time to time. I had believed that I had a pretty decent grasp on the expectations of motherhood. I read the books and went to the classes, but this small yet potent gift of life still threw me curveballs every day. Not only this, but I also felt pressure from all directions about how this should be a “natural thing”, but natural doesn't equal easy.
And then the questions come especially for those who serve as the spouses of church leaders. On my first Mother's Day, I was asked what it meant to me to be a mother. Hmm? In one word,sacrifice. It's probably not the usual expected response, but it's a very real one. I began to realize that I couldn't be all things and do all things, or at least all the “expected things.” It was time to prioritize for my child(ren) or present the best acceptable image. I'm not a high maintenance person to begin with, but I still had some areas that needed to be scaled back. I placed a lot of weight on what others thought of me and my reputation (hmm… what’s a people pleaser, again?).
But now here was this first baby (followed later by three more beauties) that did not always follow a schedule, and did not like to sleep in their crib. Added to this, the often disapproving looks would fall on my wee free spirit child(ren). I began receiving more advice and even more parenting books on how I could do and be better. As these children became the fiery strong-willed toddler, the quiet but rugged bam-bam, the care-free dancer, or the play-filled rascal, I have had much of my walls peeled back exposing my soft spots.
There have been many days I felt under attack for the actions of these little created beings. These children are who they were meant to be, not a blank slate to fill in what I wanted. Though God has charged me to guide, teach, and disciple them, I am reminded that it is God who has uniquely designed each of them in my womb (Psalm 139) and He has uniquely designed me (Ephesians 2:10) to parent them. God has a plan to better both the child and the mom.
Where you are not enough, God gives the extra measure. At the end of it all, we will stand before the all-knowing, all-powerful, always-present God and give an account of how we invested in His treasures. There will be no mother-in-law, Pinterest mom, or well-meaning older woman standing there for approval. Just the gracious King saying “well done” to His faithful followers. Seek wise counsel to be the sacrificial parent, but do not forget who is the wisest of Counselors. He is with you, child of God we call… mothers.
ABOUT THE OTHER
Melinda Taylor is a wife, a mother of 4, a homeschool teacher and a registered nurse in Flint, MI. She attends Eastgate Baptist Church in Burton, MI where she leads the Awana ministry.