This post is written from the words and longings from many women in my life. Our long conversations are on my heart this Mother’s Day.
Link to reading of post: I found an add on app with WordPress. I’m hopeful that my grandchildren and great grandchildren will be able to “hear from their Gigi”. I’m also trying to get my mom to record prayers. More to come!
You’ve changed diapers, wiped noses, planned weddings, graduations, and birthdays, navigated a driver’s license, and stayed up all night praying for your teenager and adult children. You’ve listened to the Disney movie and song a million times and now your toes are tapping to the Broadway musical, Hamilton. Maybe you are grandma, Gigi, or Mimi, and you’ve developed advanced skills in loving and caring for the next generation. I’m writing this to you before Mother’s Day hits this Sunday. My greatest prayer as I write this is for the mom (including me) who needs to feel confident and loved.
Self-compassion. Love. Acceptance. Joy. Peace. Take a rest. You are enough.
Strong women through the centuries have fought for equal standing in this world–to vote, to plan for parenting, to work outside the home, to walk down the street at night and feel safe, to attend higher education, to hold positions of authority and political office, and to fight against deadly media and negative body images plastered everywhere we turn. Motherhood is no different. We are still placed in categories to do, to be, and to behave in such a way that stirs up shame and indifference. The supermom who has it all together and never has a moment’s hesitation or a season in life that she questions.
I read a quote the other day that my oldest daughter posted on Facebook, “Heal. Because we have children who don’t deserve the broken version of us.” I agree that all children deserve a home in which they feel safe, their voice can be heard, and they are given the best chance in life to achieve their goals. Here’s the thing. I’m going to tell you a secret and blow your mind. The reason our children and the world needs to understand that moms are broken. And, It’s okay. The secret?
Moms are human. We are broken just like everyone else.
We have brains with genius thoughts and ideas along with memories that hurt; a heart that beats passion and love yet aches; a nervous system that awakens each day to multitask but can only take but so much; a soul that seeks God and the good things while fighting back the chaos; and we have emotions and feelings that we put to the side so we can nurture others. I want my daughters to see this side of me so they can know that they do not have to be perfect. You can get up and face the day afraid and fearless, angry and determined, sad and resolved to take another step. In your brokenness, you are becoming.
We make mistakes and say things out of fear and frustration. We go through seasons in life like aging, loss, job instability, health issues, marriage problems, and overall insecurities when we feel out of control. There are rare moments that we even question our ability to parent. Why am I not like………Why can’t I do this right? What is right?! We secretly laugh and picture ourselves riding off into the sunset while the “right” mom rushes in to rescue the children and gives us time to get ourselves together.
We quietly close the door when we finally get in the bathroom to take a shower or “something”, and we cry out. We are told not to compare ourselves to others, to clear the calendar and take care of ourselves–a pedicure or take a walk to cool off, and to try a new hobby. All positive coping skills.
I chatted with a friend today who speaks to my soul work. I shared with her some of my insights and longings, and she shared a term with me “toxic positivity”. I laughed, and asked, “Is that a thing?” So, I looked it up. Whew! It’s a term that has become more prevalent within the wake of the pandemic. It’s okay to be human and broken.
After a year of a pandemic and its impact on my family, another birthday come and gone in my 50s, and the loss of my father, I want more than a walk around the block, a pedicure, or a conversation that “de-legitimizes real feelings of anxiety, fear, sadness, or hardship”.
Within my humanity, I want the freedom to figure this next season out without judgment and regrets. Yes, I am mother, but that is just one of my roles. I’m also a person who seeks the companionship of friends who have become my sisters, a seeker of God’s love and grace, a lover of God’s beauty in this world, a daughter who has lost her daddy and wonders about the time she has left with her mother, a sister, a wife, a worker in a challenging job, and a person who needs space to create and to just be quiet and listen to the silence.
Mother’s Day will come, and I hope you can find space to live in the freedom of where you are right now. Show up to your gatherings with the steady confidence of I’m enough right now, right here. This is me. No apologies. I pray you can see the handiwork of your love all around you. I pray you see yourself as worthy and a beloved child of God.
To my mother–Thank you for loving me in all the seasons of your life. I guess it took me being here, in my 50s, to realize the depth and magnitude of “mothering” when sometimes you may have wanted to be understood and cared for in your humanity. How fun to walk and talk with you as two women understanding “who” we are and where we are going. I love you.
To my daughters–May you know that your journey will be filled with challenges, suffering, passions, and moments of pure delight. I pray you know how much I love you. May you discover who you are within the framework of who God has called you to be and not the world’s images or ideals. For every word spoken between us, may you look back on those conversations in light of my humanity and yours–two different generations colliding and building a bridge to each other’s hearts.
May the best days as your mom bring you reassurance of my devotion to you. May the worst days as a mom connect us in the knowing that we all stumble. What beauty there is in forgiveness that goes both ways, that extends each day, and creates a safety net for our future actions. And, for all the days in between, may you find the journey filled with meaningful steps that are filled with a deep intimacy with yourself and your Creator. Spend time with “who” you are and create dreams that manifest in God’s timing. Take risks and be okay with the uncertain and unpredictable. I cannot promise the journey will always be easy. Opening ourselves to live and embrace the present will cultivate joy. You will become the woman you desire to become through living each moment on purpose filled with the love for who God has created–YOU— A MASTERPIECE!