Motherhood is messy. It is not the ideal picture we see painted across blogs and other media. Often, it does not come natural in some aspects. What's natural about constant self-denial as fallen beings?
When we embrace motherhood, we will need to let go of many of our own desires. It's simply a matter of reality.
What does it mean to embrace motherhood?
Embracing motherhood means embracing interruptions.
Embracing motherhood means embracing the training up of our children and the commitment required to accomplish that.
Embracing motherhood means learning how to make a dinner menu so you're not stressing out the whole house simply because it's a task you don't particularly care for (ahem).
Embracing motherhood is saying yes to the child who asks you to play with them, even when your to-do list is a mile long and playing Candyland is close to torture.
A few things we as moms need to be keenly aware of:
The Age of Technology
The art and value of motherhood is easily lost in today's culture, even among Christians. There are so many distractions and so much technology that relationships in the family are suffering catastrophically. And we're blind to it. Not always by choice, but by simply being too close to it all and believing this way of life is normal because it's an age where everything is acceptable.
Technology can be an excellent tool, but it can also be our worst enemy in many different ways. We obviously cannot ignore the fact that our children are growing up in a world saturated with technology. While some aspects are necessary tools in order to navigate our world, there are many elements that can be drastically minimized or eliminated altogether.
Don't allow a computer (any computer: iPhone, iPad, included) to replace special moments with your child. Use them as enrichment or supplement, but do not allow them to do your job of nurturing. We do not want our children turning to Google or chat rooms to learn about life. They desperately need to learn from their mothers (and fathers).
If this is something you could really use direction in, I highly recommend Sarah Mae's eBook (affil link), The Unwired Mom.
Our Own Dreams
Mothers have dreams, too. Many go unspoken from fear of feeling selfish. Having a dream is not selfish in and of itself. But if not tended to properly, it can quickly escalate to that and become all-consuming.
As a writer, I am surrounded by other mom writers. In fact, I encourage mom writers! But I'll be the first to tell you that it is not hard to get sucked into the vortex of it's depth. There are different seasons of our lives, and the heart of motherhood is not the season for throwing ourselves full force into our own dreams (unless that dream involves the whole family).
I am blessed to have 3 children thus far who love to read and write about as much as their mama. So I capitalize on that by allowing us all time to brainstorm, write, and read alongside one another. I realize this isn't always possible, but if it is possible to allow your children to be a part of your dream, I highly recommend it because it makes the dream God has planted in you all the more sweeter.
The Need for Discipleship
I hate to say this but the sad truth is that discipleship is sorely lacking in homes. Part of this issue goes back to our saturation of technology. Parents get lost in it and fail to actively disciple their children. We're sucked into staring at screens while our children wander aimlessly, without direction or stare at their own screens.
The Word is our daily bread. If we aren't feeding our children, chances are we aren't feeding ourselves either. Likewise, if we aren't feeding ourselves, we probably aren't feeding our children.
Moms, please hear my plea to make time to, not only read the word, but create space to live it. We cannot live out God's calling as mother's if we are not regularly connected to the Source of Everything, and in turn, teaching our children how to knit their hearts to Christ.
Technology can never do that for us or our children. There is no shortcut to discipleship. It requires discipline on our part and we must impart that to our children.
Embracing motherhood requires letting go.
Motherhood is glorious. But we need to embrace it to see this. We must let go of many things in order to make room to truly appreciate and walk in motherhood. Some of these things may be time suckers, but others could simply be wrong or negative thinking.
Motherhood is not meant to be this perfectly painted picture we have in our heads of flawless children with an automatic desire to serve others or clean up after themselves. It takes real, hard work and dedication to embrace the role of motherhood.