Yesterday we celebrated a Hallmark rendition of womanhood, specifically motherhood. One day out of the year, we tell women they can relax and dads and kids can step it up. I have a tendency to think this perpetuates male laziness and child entitlement in our culture. Also, having gone through years of infertility, I know how difficult the day can be. I definitely think we should acknowledge the hard work of motherhood and the joy it brings, but I wonder why we’ve separated a single day for it. We should tell women daily that they are a positive attribute to society. Mothers should be united and stand together in this sisterhood at all times.
Now, I don’t mean to be negative about the day. I understand its notion. It is meant to celebrate the positive realizations of being a mother. I’m grateful that after four years, God has blessed me with the friendliest, easy-going kid I know. I’m extremely blessed to be your mother. I’m grateful to receive cards and focus the day on our family. I guess it is just a difficult day for me.
See, I often feel forced to speak kindness towards my mother. I know that parenthood is difficult. My mother did the best she could with the resources she had. Every woman is just trying to do what she thinks is best for her kids. Your grandmother tried to do that. However, I feel she thinks that she cares more about you than I do. I feel that she thinks me an inconvenience, a mistaken blot on her mapped out life. I feel she thinks me a painful endeavor, who only brings her grief through lecture and spite. It isn’t true, but it is often what depression causes one to feel. She loves you and I know she means well. Your grandmother doesn’t think me a failure that I’m aware of, even when she disagrees with how I should raise you. I’ll discipline you and annoy you (as she has done to me), but know that aside from God, no one will love you more than your father or I do. (Unless of course you choose to get married and then your spouse should love you more than we do.)
I will mess up horribly. I am a fallen individual. I sin, daily. Please forgive me. My own past has left me checkered with anxiety and depression. I pray that this will not affect you. I ask God to intercede and grant me self-control, trust, and peace. There is habitual sin in our family, as in all families. I’m praying that this generational envy and anger will cease with our family. I want us to get along, at least for the most part. (I pray we keep peace in so far as it depends upon us.) I want us to laugh together. I want us to cry together. I want you to know that I will be your biggest cheerleader, wanting what is best for you, even if that makes you angry. May you always desire truth, love, and God more than worldly happiness.
I love you my sweet girl. I don’t want to pit you against your siblings. Pray that I won’t enable any of you. Pray that I will be as fair as I can be. Pray that I would rely more on God daily than I do myself. I need him to guide me so that I might parent you well, not putting you on a pedestal or belittling you. May you hold the proper place in my heart. I love you. I don’t want to idolize you. I don’t want to think your successes are mine and your failures a result of my shortcomings. You are a gift God has entrusted to me. Pray that I might care properly for the treasure he’s blessed me with.
In regards to your grandmother, I pray that I might appreciate the ways in which she tries to help. I pray that I won’t grow agitated at unwarranted advice, but that I’ll bring it all before God, using discernment to sort through truth versus opinion. I pray that I might encourage her, rather than lecture her (because sometimes I feel she acts like a teenager, but then I’m being disrespectful to a mother I’m supposed to honor). I pray that I might know how to communicate with her, forgiving her for ways in which I feel she has offended me. Her past was difficult and abusive. I pray that she would break free from the bonds that continue to hold her captive and that I would love her in spite of them. Please pray that I would do this wholeheartedly.
I pray for my sister. I pray she would be stabilized and that bi-polar disorder would not plague her daily life. I pray that I would know how to communicate with her as well, understanding that she is extremely sensitive. I pray that I won’t be a doormat and let myself be taken advantage of, but that I’d also be willing to forgive when she wants to reconcile. Help me not to drudge up the past.
Willow dear, please pray that I’d forgive quickly. When we forgive as Christ has forgiven us, we can boldly approach the throne of grace. When we harbor resentment or anger towards others then our relationship with God will be askew. Pray that I would always be kind, not arrogant or boastful. Pray that I would forgive and walk in righteousness. I’ll pray the same for you.
Forgive me for not being the mother you expect, but know that I am doing the best I can. I’m trying to press closer into God and have him equip me to raise you in Christ-like love. Forgive your father for not being the man you expect him to be. He’s doing the best he knows how to as well. We are trying to navigate parenthood with Christ as our leader. Pray we would seek God’s counsel everyday and we’d love you from the strength and passion only he can provide.
I also pray that all mothers would forgive each other. Everyone has an opinion on the right way to address issues. The reality is that no one has a clue. We are all using the tools we’ve been given, utilizing knowledge from our past and present. Mothers (and Fathers) are making decisions in the moment. Some pray beforehand and find it more peaceful, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes prayers are answered in ways we’d least expect them, or want them to turn out. I pray unity among mothers. May we encourage each other to press deeper into the well of strength, truth, and knowledge, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. I pray that we would encourage one another towards righteousness, not tear each other down out of our opinion that worked (probably once) for our particular child’s mannerisms.
God has entrusted you to me sweet girl. I am grateful to be your mother and I hope you’ll be grateful to have me as your mother. I’m praying to be the best mom I can be, with God’s help. I need you praying for me to draw nearer to God too in order to be half the mom I want to be and even a sliver of the mom you need me to be. I love you sweet girl.
Thank you Jesus for blessing me with the role of mother, allowing me to parent this precious girl Willow, and letting me instruct this child alongside my best-friend and dearest companion, Frank. Without him, and your guiding hand God, I would inevitably fail miserably at this insurmountable task you’ve placed before me. I know that with your grace, mercy, and comrades you’ve surrounded me with, I just might be able to handle motherhood.
Pray for me, your mother, dear child. Lord knows I need all the prayer I can get.
I love you.
Oh and if you could like sleep just a little more, I might function better. I’d write more coherently and be less inclined to outbursts of frustration. I’d be a better mom. Sleep is a precious commodity that will make all of us more stable. I feel sleep makes me able to follow God better too. (Some people, I find, would tell me that true strength, alertness, and energy isn’t found through sleep, but by pressing into God. This is true, in part, and I know Paul was able to live out deep faith on little sleep in prison, but I just operate better and find I can attain the fruits of the Spirit faster and more readily when I’m well rested.) So, for the love of all things holy, good, and righteous, please learn to enjoy sleep, at least a little more.