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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Dear Mama Who Secretly Thinks Motherhood is a Drag

Dear Mama,

I see you over there, nursing a baby while you dig around one-handed in your diaper bag searching for your toddler's sippy cup. It looks like your little boy needs you to take him to the potty too. I remember those days so well.

I was thinking about you this afternoon and wanted you to know it's okay if you're terrified that you're the wrong girl for this job. It's okay if it's taking you a while to find your groove with this whole motherhood thing.  It's alright if you've ever wished away the child you're holding. And it's okay if you don't wake up each morning excited about the prospect of preparing meals for ungrateful tiny people and changing diapers and being without adult company for most of the day.

Jesus himself wasn't exactly thrilled with his assignment of an excruciating death. (Luke 22:42)

If you're thinking dang, that got serious quickly then you're picking up what I'm putting down.

Motherhood is a serious business. It is not at all for the faint of heart. It is for fighters and endure-ers and for those who are willing to put their own agenda aside again and again and again. And again. Mothering a child comes at a price. And contrary to what some may say, it is the most unnatural thing in the world.

If you are weary of the monotonous cycle of napping and nursing or if you are bored by the perpetual nothingness of driving toy trucks on the floor and making PB&Js, please believe is coming to an end. Even though some days and some hours take whole eternities to pass, your kids will grow up.

And if you persist, if you refuse to give in to the feeling that motherhood itself is monotonous and boring and if you pay attention to your children when all you want to do is to check out and pay attention to yourself, you'll find a strange new you emerging.

And yes, she may have gray hair and wrinkles instead of a sexy flat stomach, but she is growing wiser by the day. She has learned that even in the absence of happiness one can find true joy.

Society implores you to pursue your own fame, to gain followers and collect likes, and yet there is a reason even those who don't consider Jesus their Lord admire him and those who followed in his footsteps (Ghandi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa to name a few). But those like him are the exception rather than the rule.

Like Jesus, you Mama, can trade a life chasing self-actualization for a life submitted to the needs of others. You can leave a legacy one small moment at a time. Just like the great pyramids are made up of millions of individual stones, your millions of unremarkable moments can add up to one very remarkable life.

So don't give up Mama. I know what you've traded for that stroller and minivan. And what you have chosen is absolutely worth the cost. One day you may even look up and realize that you're getting the hang of it.

*Dear Mama is a letter I wrote to myself, back when I couldn't imagine how I would survive having three kids all under age 3.*


  1. Love the title. I could have written it myself (minus the secret part...I'm pretty open about my feelings on motherhood). I didn't give up some great career that I loved, but I struggle with selfishness, which makes me miserable every single day. I want to learn to embrace the calling of motherhood. I love the line, "Even in the absence of happiness one can find true joy." I want it to be my mantra as I seek to honor Christ by dying to self as I build into my kids through all the little moments in daily life. Thank you for your words and your honesty.

    1. I always say that I never realized how truly selfish I am until I became a mother. Even marriage didn't teach me that one! Thanks for reading and commenting Jackie - I hope you are encouraged!


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