I have been a mother for over 26 years now and I believe I am just now becoming qualified to speak to what it means to be a mother. I remember being so scared the days before my oldest daughter Lauren came into the world. Like most new moms, I was worried I wouldn’t know what her cries meant and wouldn’t be able to comfort her. God helped me with my doubts the night she was born. As I snuggled her close, she looked at me as if to say, “I think I know you. Your heart beat sounds familiar.” In that sweet moment I wished that I would be able to comfort and protect her always. Somehow I think each new mom privately hopes she will be the first to nail motherhood like a gold medal gymnast, but it just doesn’t happen and we are left to do our best with the tools life has given us.
The tools we bring to motherhood are what our own mother gave us. In addition we learn from maternal figures including family and friends, and from our own life lessons. In our life experience each of these tools helps us with deciding what kind of mom we want to be. But then comes the hard part —being a mom. This new little person God has handed over to us to raise and love has her own personality and her own way of seeing the world. Without any rehearsal of how all of this will shake out, we give it our best shot. We use the tools we have and pray that God will help us with each new challenge. We succeed and we fail. We have to reach for the tool of forgiveness and use it often on ourselves.
Being a mom is not for the weak. Proverbs 31:25-28 says, “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness, Her children rise up and bless her.” Motherhood doesn’t end the day our child takes wings and finds her own sky. It changes in the most unexpected ways. As time passes it teaches a beautiful lesson on appreciation. I know I appreciate and love my mother more now, than I ever have before for her sacrifices, love and all the tools she shared from her tool box.