Motherhood is something that I take very seriously and hold in high regard. Too long has the culture around us told lies to woman saying that having children and especially staying at home to raise them is for unambitious, weak, not-so-smart, doormat type girls. We who do this job usually answer the question “what do you do?” with a meek, “Oh I’m just a mom.” I’ve said it. And not because I think its silly, but because I myself struggle with its importance regularly, due to our cultures perception of it.
However, the Christian culture on this subject has recently begun to shift, particularly with my generation. What we now have is a growing number of ladies having babies and seeing the great need children have for their moms. In fact its become kind of a trend. Just google homestead blogs and you will find a myriad of earth mothers my age talking about motherhood, vegetable gardens, hospitality and homemaking. (hmmm pot calling the kettle black?)
But it’s like a thing now.
We all want to have a Von trapp experience. Running through a field with seven kids in tow, guitar slung to our backs. We want to sing with them and sew them outfits. All the while killing each moment with an instagram pic and Facebook update letting everyone know how free-spirited we are in our effortless mothering skills.
It is a trap we have all fallen down more than once. We want to be the perfect mother and we also want to show everyone we are too.
But its become an idol.
It’s become my idol. Did you know even good things can become idols? I’ll tell you how it happened to me.
I wanted it so bad and then I got it. And it was wonderful, but much harder than I thought it would be. My world blew-up with opinions and expectations and development worries and discipline tactics and a whole slew of unexpected disappointments. It consumed me.
Pretty quickly my hills are alive earth mothers dreams became a faded unattainable black and white photo headed for the fire pit. And it was replaced with google search’s on night terror’s and learning disabilities. Increased sleepless nights instead of the latter. And looks of judgement from everyone around us.
The picture I’m painting would scare any new mom to death, but that is not what I intend to do. It’s just that the whole thing was not as picturesque as I imagined. But its my deeply rooted love for my kids that put heels to the ground after a sleepless night and slap meals on the table and works hard at language development and makes all the kisses and hugs and laughter possible amidst the struggle.
However it is my pride and that sneaky little idol lurking inside my heart that makes it all the harder. Instead of mothering with my eyes to God, I mother with my eyes to people. I want to impress. And when I get an accolade my little idolatrous heart sings with delight.
And the motherhood idol gets a little bigger.
I so often forget that I will not spend eternity as mom to Ben and Lucy, but as child of the living God. All earthly titles will be stripped away and I will continue as His. I sure hope and pray that my kids will share eternity with their parents and God, but I have no ultimate say in that.
Being a mom even with all its uncertainties and unexpected hardships is a blessing that I am grateful to experience. I hope to give my children the best God-glorifying up-bringing possible. But I am done with that idol asking more of me than it deserves.
I no longer want to be consumed by it. I want to be consumed by God. My identity is first and ultimately found in Him.
And I desire to have my mothering flow from that rich relationship.
I desire pure motherhood. The kind that acts out of a reverent love and desire to please God alone. Just Him and no one else.