It's a classic party mixer...you might have played it? "Two truths and a lie." I'm stealing the idea...Here are my seven truths (and a lie) about motherhood.
7 Truths and A Lie About Motherhood
First, the truths.
- It's harder than marriage. It was for me, anyways. At first I thought marriage was impossible: the loving-each-other-completely, the forgiving always, the putting-another first. But parenting with love and patience, 24 hours a day? I'm undone.
- It's lonely. At times, a soul-stripping, isolating, missing-the-real-world kind of lonely. It's a lot like being a monk in a monastery actually, and thinking about that analogy has given me more joy than I've had in awhile.
- It brings the rats from the cellar. C.S. Lewis coined this phrase. When you turn on a light, you see rats, he said, just as sudden disruptions reveal our character. Motherhood, for me, really brought my "rats" to the surface. I never realized how selfish, and impatient, and angry I was, until I became a mom.
- It makes you feel guilty. "Mom guilt" is very real, and like no other emotion you'll find. There is a cure, but it's not what you think.
- It's terrifying. Love hurts. Especially when you have a child who scares you - who worries you, who brings you to your knees, who makes you beg God for healing, and protection, and help. Motherhood is scary, scary work.
- It's exhausting. I thought I was tired running marathons (okay, halves), writing papers, and grading hundreds of them for a job. I was wrong. Nothing compares to motherhood. It's normal if you're tired. It's normal if your muscles hurt. It's normal if you're worn out.
- It's beautiful. I'd try to put words to it, but you know it already. You know the choking-back-happy-tears moments, the is-she-really-mine joy, the head-shaking bewilderment that you got so lucky.
Motherhood plays the game, well, though. She has a lie, and here it is.
- I'm the only one. I'm the only one who is so ____________.
The blank is different for each of us, but the deception the same. Motherhood can be quite the deceiver. Eventually she makes us think: why can't I just get it together? Why am I so disorganized/tired/selfish/anxious/depressed/angry/whatever?
It's true and it's not, Mamas.
You think you can't do it. You can't.
You think you're alone? You're not.
We all struggle, and we all - as my darling husband reminds me when I'm down in my dumps - we all have something.
We all have something. I can't say it better than one of my favorites, Tim Keller:
The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time, we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope."
Carry on, Mamas. This truth sets us free!
Jessica Smartt, Smartter Each Day
A note from Ruth Schwenk: We have so enjoyed having our Better Mom Monday's Link-up every week for the past year, however we have experienced many technical difficulties along the way. We will be discontinuing the link-up for a time and will let you know of future plans when they are available. Thank you soooo much for being a part of our community here!! We love each and every one of you and pray for you often.