Perhaps, it is the influx of gifts received at our house during the December-February season (thanks to Christmas and birthdays, and this year, a new baby!), but the ins and outs of gifts and gift-giving have been on my mind. Yes, I’m thinking through, on a very practical level, how in the world will all these toys fit into the playroom; but, my mullings are also on much more sacred spaces — my heart.
To me, motherhood is a gift. Sure, it’s a little clichè to phrase it that way, but then, sayings are clichè for a reason: They are often true. As I’m organizing shelves and closets with new toys and new garments, I’m wondering how I care for, value, and display one of the best gifts I’ve received — my children.
When you check the thesaurus (yes, I use those), some inspiring words appear under the “gift” heading: award, benefit, bonus, contribution, legacy, offering, present. Yet, I believe my in-the-moment perspective of motherhood, especially when push comes to shove, reads more like: responsibility, chore, stress, inconvenience, hassle, frustration. Dare I even say that maybe, just maybe, this is also our culture’s message about motherhood?
So, I’m taking to the blogosphere to remind us, to remind me, what motherhood is really all about — nurturing, respecting, and loving this gift.
Award: Motherhood is a badge of honor, an accolade. It requires so much, and somehow, simultaneously equips us to rise to the occasion. While never perfectly, and certainly never as a basis of success or failure, our children are our trophy. Guard them as a valued prize. Sing their praises.
Benefit: So often motherhood feels like a burden, but it truly is a benefit! Once you begin thinking about all the blessings, it’s kinda hard to stop. You know, wonderful things like unconditional love, companionship, connection, joy, delight, laughter, silliness, adventure, being known, being needed, and on, and on, and on . . . .
Bonus: Whether it’s an unexpected check, extra questions on a test, or that surprise course sent to the table straight from the chef, a bonus is a plus. Motherhood is, for sure, a lot of extra, but it provides so much extra, so much bonus to our lives. Think about how many benefits (see above, ha!) you experience above and beyond your imagination. Did you ever dream your heart could grow so big? Did you ever fathom having this much fun?
Contribution: It’s easy to list what you contribute to your family as the matriarch. Yet, think through what motherhood contributes to you. How have you grown emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and, yes, even physically (those stretch marks of love, those toned biceps from lifting toddlers)? How have your dreams widened? How has your maturity sharpened? Your wisdom expanded? Your patience improved? Motherhood’s molding you in beneficial ways.
Legacy: Oh, mama, you are not only raising your babies, but you are also raising your grandbabies and great-grandbabies. The way you love those littles and those not-so-littles will impact the way your children raise their children. And the ways you parent now pay homage to your influencers, to the mamas before you. Of course, no parent parents perfectly, but motherhood is a somber, sacred undertaking–and should be treated as such. You’re living a legacy now and creating one for your family’s future. That’s special. That’s valuable.
Offering: Is there a better word to describe motherhood than offering or sacrifice? Parenting demands unselfishness, however begrudgingly we give it. I propose, though, that in those very offerings, those countless sacrifices is where we find the most joy in mothering. We are sacrificing, even painfully so, but the gains are well worth it.
Present: A gift is usually something you don’t deserve. Kindness and thoughtfulness go into the selection, presentation, and delivery of it. Isn’t that why we teach our children to receive gifts graciously and thankfully? And why we instruct our kiddos (over and over) to treat these gifts with care? Shouldn’t these same ideas and actions apply to our views about motherhood? It’s a present; treat it like one.
Yes, motherhood is a gift. That idea is the pulse of the Fort Worth Moms Blog. We strive to be a champion of mothers and for mothers by helping and encouraging you to sort and sift . . . value and respect . . . readjust and embrace how wonderful it is to be called “Mom.”