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The Irony of Motherhood

The Irony of Motherhood

It's a very interesting thing, Motherhood.

It's the ultimate battle of wills between selfishness and selflessness. I remember the first time I every truly pondered this struggle over several nights as I, nursing my own cold, had been nursing my then youngest as she dealt with an ear infection—up all night crying, unconsolable, not wanting to be with anyone but Mommy.

Yes, it's an odd place to be…being a Mom. Constantly being torn between equally strong desires to snuggle down in your own warm covers and sleep for 2 days, and wanting desperately to do anything necessary to bring some measure of comfort to your child.

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Then, once they finally do fall asleep—in your arms after bouncing in the same spot and rythym for 2 hours—being torn between wanting to put them down as quickly and quietly as possible in order that you might get a few minutes sleep before they wake up and the whole process starts all over again, and wanting to hold them for another hour just to study and memorize every inch of their little face, feel their light breath on your cheek and listen to the deep, slow rythym of their breathing. Torn between knowing that each moment that passes is one you’ll never get back, trying to savor every little second of infancy and toddlerhood, and wishing away the hours until they’re “just a little bit older” and things will be easier….you can eat a hot meal…sleep a full night….

However, now that I'm 13 years into this journey, and having watched my own mother, grandmothers, and mother-in-law, I’ve come to the realization that no matter how old your children get, you still never quite sleep through the night (those motherly intuitions and promptings from the Holy Spirit to pray for your child in the middle of the night still wake you), you still never quite get a hot meal (my mom, mother-in-law, and my grandmother-when she was still alive-have no children at home and still manage to be the last one to sit down to eat, and the first one to leave their plate of food in order to serve someone else). 

Quite possibly the most important realization is that as mothers, we never quite get “there”….there’s always another battle, another boo-boo, another worry. We’re in this for the long haul, and until we’re in the physical presence of the Lord, it seems He’s entrusted us with the nuture, care, and comfort of these wee dotes in his “absence.” However, the secret to surviving motherhood is to be constantly in His presence. And the trick is teaching your children how to do the same!

I only pray that I have the grace, strength, and, quite honestly, the fortitude to live up to the amazing examples of motherhood I’ve been given in my life. 

Where are you today, friend? Are you in a moment of savoring or suffering? Are you treasuring up and pondering, or are you wishing away today in order to usher in the next phase more quickly? If you're wishing away, can I just encourage you today to lean in, and reach out to your Father? We won't always enjoy every minute, but every minute is so very precious, and vital. For our moments are what make up our days, and our days make up our years, and our years make up our lives. 

The days are oh so long, but the years are so terribly short. So let yourself live in this crazy, uncomfortable, wonderful ironic state of Motherhood.

Blessings on you, sister,

 Jen Deibel

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