I’ve always looked forward to becoming a mother. Quotes about motherhood, depicting it as an
honor, privilege and one of the greatest services to God and man, gave me quite a soap box to
stand upon. While on a mission trip in my earlier young adult days, a fellow missionary asked
where I saw myself in 5 years. “Married and beginning a family,” I responded with NO hesitation.
Mind you, there were no wedding bells, or boyfriend (officially) for that matter, anywhere in sight.
I deeply wanted to restore the honor to motherhood that had been lost and masked by
academic and professional ambitions alike. These ambitions were great in their own right, but
being a mother- the type of mother I wanted to be- would require me to focus on one or the
A little over a year later I was married (things became official soon after my time with Jesus) and
just shy of a year later, I gave birth to my 1st child, Naphtali. Just as her name’s meaning
foreshadows, this was the beginning of wrestlings and struggles with myself, motherhood and
all the harsher realities that were part of the not-so-perfect-after-all package. I loved my
husband. I loved my daughter. But this thing called motherhood, I didn’t love it AT ALL. My
ambitions for academic and professional success were much stronger than I had been willing to
admit, and now I found my duplicitous self living in great tension. Motherhood was getting in the
way of accomplishing things that really mattered. But how could I entrust the responsibility of
teaching and caring for this beautiful package of life to anyone else? With friends experiencing
difficulty to conceive and others navigating through the wounds of miscarriage, how could I
openly admit that I didn’t like this coveted gift? For sure I would be considered to be insensitive
and ungrateful and driven to feel even more estranged from the gift giver Himself. So, I decided
to keep my thoughts and true feelings close to home; my husband bore the brunt of my
displeasure and our marriage definitely suffered its fair share of blows.
Motherhood is not easy, and for some, its FAR from the picturesque depiction of a woman and
child prancing in fields of flowers, giggling with glee. It’s messy. It’s uncomfortable. It’s painful.
It’s hard. It’s tiring. Sometimes, it literally and figuratively STINKS! So why pretend that the
struggle to embrace it, and love it, and be content in it, isn’t real? I mean, 5 years and 3 more
kids later, I still feel the tugs in opposite directions. Why pretend that we’ve got it all together and
taken care of while a village stands around us with hands ready to help? Admitting my
discontentment, doesn’t mean my faith is weak or my prayer life is lacking. Receiving help,
doesn’t make me incompetent and inadequate for the role. Even Jesus knows that motherhood
isn’t easy and many days are far from fun! That’s why He suffered the little children to come
unto Him (Luke 18:15,16), that through the blessing of each child, their mothers, in turn, would
be blessed. That’s why, breaths away from death, He looked down from His cross at his disciple
and arranged for His mother to be taken care of after His departure (John 19:26, 27). Not only
does Jesus know it, but Oh, how He cares! He wants to bless our children and us through
them. He wants to draw us into His presence with our woes and cares so that He can have the
opportunity to work in us “both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). He has
even made arrangements with our brethren for our physical, social and emotional well-being.
Professional counseling, heart to hearts with seasoned godly mothers and mentors, and
allowing myself to be served by my church family and friends, helped ground me where God
has had me, and where, deep down, I ultimately want to be. Instead of pretending, let us reach
up to Him for He has supplied our need as mothers. Let us reach out to others for they are part
of His supply. Let us reach in and be honest with ourselves that we may be able to accept what
He has supplied. Christ is not pretending that mothers don’t have a unique burden to bear. If
even Jesus isn’t pretending, why are we?