Friday, December 08, 2006

More on Motherhood

Helping out at my sister's house this past week has taught me more about about the wonderful, and challenging, task of being a mother. I know, however, that I am far from an expert on this subject; helping out for one week hardly makes me qualified! I'm sure that a lot simply can't be learned, until one is herself a mother. I've learned quite a bit though, even reading a parenting book while here! =)

Motherhood is truly one of the hardest, yet most rewarding jobs around. To a mother is given the task of running a house, teaching and caring for children, and doing numerous little things often while operating on very little sleep. Hers is the task to comfort a newborn as he or she wakes for the 4th time during the night. Hers is the job of training a toddler to obey. Hers is the job of teaching her children right from wrong, about daily life, and for preparing them for the day they will one day have their own family. Her job is often a thankless one. Who notices the toys she continually picks up and puts away, or the crumbs she's forever sweeping up? Children rarely ever thank her for feeding, clothing, bathing, and loving them. What child ever thanks their mother for the discipline she gives, although it is essential in training them to be a responsible adult? Yet, she does it, often to the point fo exhaustion. And her reward is the joy of seeing her children grow, hearing their giggles, receiving their hugs and kisses, and the smiles as they go through the day.

No, motherhood isn't all cuddly cooing babies or girls dressed up in ribbons and bows. Certainly, there are many rewarding times, but the majority of it is just plain, hard work. I'd like to think that when I (Lord willing) become a mother, that things will somehow be easier and go smoothly for me. I'd like to think that I'll always be able to keep an impeccable house, or never have a stubborn child that's hard to train. It'd be nice, but I know that it's unrealistic. Certainly, I should strive for the best, yet I know that the house will often most likely be in disarray, or they'll be a screaming child I just don't know what to do with. Yet, I can honestly say that I look forward to it. If God wills that I get married and have a family, I'll be more than happy. However before then, I still have much to learn.

I'm learning that I can't do it on my own. I'm learning that I've got to rely on God for strength. I'm learning to look past seeming failures and keep going. I'm learning to have a servant's heart; to know that most of my hard work will go unnoticed, yet to go on, knowing that God sees all.

It amazes me how today's world is slow to give the honor due a mother. If you're a cook at a restaurant, you are acclaimed, but what about all the meals a mother makes for her family? If you're a maid, it's okay in the world's eyes, but what about the big responsibility of keeping your home clean and inviting? If you're a Nan or teacher you are respected, yet a mother teaches and cares for children all day long, and a mother's training is the most important that a child can receive. You could be a beautician, but then what about the joy and love you feel as you dress and brush your daughter's hair? Being a full-time wife and mother is often looked down upon by today's society, but I am convinced that their job is one of the most important in shaping the world that we live in. A mother is raising the next generation! Wouldn't you rather care for your own child, then leave a stranger to do it most of the time? The hand that rocks the cradle does indeed rule the world.

Mothers aren't the only important ones in shaping their children's lives. Fathers are equally important. I'm seeing more and more the wisdom of God when He made a family to be one with two parents. A father and mother work together, supporting each other, figuring out the best way to train their children, and presenting a united front to the world. After a long, tiring day of caring for children it is so refreshing for the mother to see the father come in the door; to finally be able to carry on an adult conversation after hearing childish voices all day; to have someone to love and honor, to be the head of the home. Without a father, how would a boy learn what true manhood is? Without a father, how would a daughter find the love she needs from a man? Sadly, today fathers are undermined as well, made fun of, or thought unnecessary. Yet, a family with both a mother and father is the kind of family God intending, providing balance and security.

I won't be a mother for many more years, but I honestly am looking forward to it. I know that it will be more work than I can imagine, but I can't wait. No, my goal in life is not to have babies, as some have so disgustedly commented. My goal in life is to love God and serve Him forever. However, one of the ways I can do this, I believe, is to be what God made women to be - a mother. No, I'm not spending all of my time dreaming about motherhood, but I am preparing for this great task. I'm learning how to run a household by helping out at home. I'm getting experience with children by helping with nieces and nephews or babysitting back home. Yes, I have to admit, it will be kind of nice to go home and not be responsible for the care of children almost all day. It will be nice to sleep through the night without hearing a little voice at my door or a wail in the dark. It will be nice to play games a little more advanced than Go Fish! and Candyland, but I will miss the little ones. I'll miss snuggling up with James and Sara as they listen spellbound to a story. I'll miss cuddling Lisa Beth and rocking her while singing a lulaby. I'll miss having a little one to scoop up for a hug whenever I need one, or to tickle and hear a delighted giggle.

Yes, the jobs of mother and father are indeed extremely important. I don't fully understand every aspect yet, but I do know much of the hard things involved. To all of you mothers and fathers, and especially to my own mom and dad, sister and brother-in-law, and sister-in-law and brother, thank you. Thank you for all you do, big and small. Thank you for all the little things that often go unnoticed. Thank you for the work you're doing to train the next generation. May God bless you abundantly for the great work you are doing!

"Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children are a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in ones youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate." ~ Psalm 127:3-5


Elijah Lofgren said...

Anna, you are an inspired writer. Thank you for posting your writings such as these on your blog.

lioness_for_Him said...

Bravo! That was wonderfully put. And I agree wholeheartedly.
I, too, can't wait to be a mother. I know it will be difficult (I'd be a foolish girl to think anything else), but I'm looking forward to the difficulties. It sounds funny, but somehow, I'm willing to "suffer" for the noble cause of Motherhood. Even if the preserves won't jell, and my husband comes home to a partially ransacked home, I will be pleased to be a wife and mother.

You're so lucky to be an aunt. I'd give anything to have nieces and nephews!

Miriam Rebekah said...

Anna, that was a wonderful post! I would almost think you were a mother if I didn't know you. You seem to know all about it. :) Course, I've had a little bit of my own training in that department but you put my feelings in words better than I ever could. Thanks for posting. I know you've been busy. I really hadn't had anything to post and I was wracking my brain (which hurt). ;)

I'm looking forward to being a mother also, to be able to take care of my own children, and hold them. Right now I have to be content with my niece, which isn't very hard.

Anna Naomi said...

Thanks for the encouragement, you all. I am truly blessed to be an aunt to 7 nieces and nephews! The number of my parent's grandchildren is already 7, same as the number of their children. And, only 2 siblings are married so far! We'll probably have huge family reunions when we're all grown.

Miriam, I had a little time yesterday morning. I had the inspiration, so I wrote the post instead of doing school work as I had the last few mornings. I feel as though I'm a mother sometimes... I don't know why. Guess it's because I love being with little ones so much.

Thanks again for the encouragement. It's to know that people enjoy reading things I've written.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful thoughts! You put it into words so well! Motherhood is the most rewarding ambition a girl can have.

Anonymous said...

Cute pictures! I'm sure Maria's missing you now that you are home! Can't wait to see you soon.


Ella said...

Anna, I love how you can express yourself so easily and so beautifully. I, like everyone else, can not wait to be a wife and mother. That is all that I desire in life to do. I know that there is no greater joy. I wish that I had the opportunities that you do, but I know, that the Lord will prepare me in his own time. (Though you are bless to be doing things now!:-)