I have moments where it makes me happy and days when I hate it, but, by and large, I don’t like being a mother!
I love my children. I have three insane and amazing daughters. I think they’re incredible human beings. I want them to have the absolute best opportunities in life. I want them to know they are loved and I want to nurture them and care for them and create relationships of trust, respect and communication so that one day they will also be my closest friends.
But mothering is hard. The hours are long, the pay is bad, the leave is non-existent and the conditions would defy the Geneva convention… in no other job would I allow my fellow employees to throw food at me or scream at me because I handed them an item ‘the wrong way’.
I don’t get excited about doing a 12 piece Maisy puzzle or watching the same episode of ‘In the night garden’ for the twenty-fifth time. I am not thrilled about the fact that I can’t remember the last time I went to the toilet alone. I can’t remember the last time I woke up and thought ‘Hooray, today I get to make lunches and do laundry and cook dinner and answer incessant questions about poo and wipe poo and eat pretend food from a pretend café’ (unrelated to the poo thank goodness) 😉
I spent a long time struggling with my dislike of motherhood. I felt guilty that I didn’t really enjoy being a mum. I grew up as a Christian and I was given the impression that I would love being a mother, that motherhood would provide me with a deep sense of happiness and satisfaction and that I would be totally fulfilled.
But nowhere in the Bible does God promise me that I will love parenthood. There is not a single verse that says that being a parent will fulfil me or make me happy.
This is usually the part where other Christians tell me that the Bible calls children a blessing… and it does. But a blessing is not a thing that makes me happy, a blessing is something that draws me closer to Jesus. And there is nothing in this world that has brought me closer to Jesus than motherhood. There is no other experience that has forced me to call out to God in desperation, isolation and anger.
And the best part is that He has come through… every time.
When I struggled with Post Natal Depression he gave me the friend I needed to prompt me, the doctor I needed to diagnose me, the therapist I needed to help me heal.
At times when money was tight and we couldn’t imagine how the bills would get paid, a payment has been forwarded that we were not expecting or someone has anonymously given us just the right amount of money to make it work.
When I fell pregnant with a third child I had not planned I cried out to Him. I could not imagine how there would be room in our lives and hearts for another child. When she was 18 months old and I stood over her cot, tears streaming down my face, overwhelmed by my love for her, I knew that God had filled my heart with the love I thought I didn’t have to spare!
So, I don’t like being a mother, but that’s ok. I can still do the job well, I can still raise amazing young women and God can still use this experience to help me understand Him better and allow me to rely on Him more.
Regional Coordinator South East Melbourne and Gippsland