Everyone Needs Mothering!
Updated: Oct 9, 2019
Every last one of us whether we want to admit it or not... needs mothering. We want someone to look out for our best interest, overlook our faults, and be our cheerleader from the sidelines. We crave the acceptance and love a mother brings to our lives. We all need to be mothered. Mother’s Day brings with it a wide range of emotions for many of us. I want to speak encouragement to several different groups of ladies about mothers.
For those of you who are not yet mothers … look around you and see if there is someone in your life who could use a little mom attention. Early on in my teaching career, I went through a woe is me time and wondered if I would ever have a husband and children. I was dwelling on what I wanted and not paying attention to opportunities around me. As a teacher there are some students who attach themselves to you. They ask you questions about your life. They find a way to stand next to you in line or come spend their recess talking with you. Glory Lee, one of my students was that child. She was all about being in my business. One day, we were deep in a literature discussion and when Glory Lee cocked her to the side and said, “You are going to make a great mom one day.” Besides bringing tears to my eyes, something shifted inside me and I began to quit feeling sorry for myself. She woke me up. I looked into her sweet brown eyes and knew she thought of me as a mom figure. I began to not only teach her but to mother her more. Practice your mothering skills and bless those around you with some extra love and attention.
For those of you in the mothering trenches with young children...hang in there! You will sleep again. You will slowly begin to figure out how to fix your hair, put on makeup, pack a diaper bag, and make it out of your house on time. And if you are lucky you might just wear high heels again.
For those of you with teenagers...all your hard work will pay off. Don't give up. You will survive. Keep your end goal in mind. You are raising children to become independent adults capable of making decisions. You must be their parent first if you want to be their friend later. If you have a girl, I’m confident one day, she will get it. She will understand her very life was built on your sacrifices and unconditional love for her for when she becomes a mother. It will click. I’m not so sure a boy will understand it, but he may come to appreciate it when he sees his wife give labor and and sees his wife mother his own children.
Continue to teach truth and fight the temptation to win their battles for them. One of the things I miss most about my mother is how honest she always was with me. Even when I didn’t want to hear the truth, she spoke it. Even when she knew I would get angry and defensive, she spoke it. I know there were times I talked back and slammed doors, but her words and truth made their way into my heart and soul.
John 8: 32 says, “The truth will set you free.” In a world where your friends flatter you and the media can deceive you, the truth is a precious gift to give your teenager. Speak the truth and stand firm even when it is not easy, especially when it is not easy. Don’t be afraid to say no to your kids. Don’t be afraid to be the bad guy. My mother loved me enough to take a stand on certain issues and I will be eternally grateful for her teaching stance with me. If you are battling it out with a teenager right now, dig in, put your bulletproof vest on and don’t let their tongue kill you. It will hurt, but now is the time to be tough. Pay it forward. My mother took some verbal bullets from me and in the near future, I need to prepare to take the hits from my own kids. There future depends on your mental toughness. You can do it.
For those of you mothering adult children...I can’t speak from experience, but I know this stage isn’t as easy as it looks. One of my dear teacher friends actually said the other day, “Young children wear you out physically, older children wear you out financially, and adult children wear you out emotionally.” Adult children come with life-size problems. My mom seemed to have a nice balance of allowing me to be an adult at the same time she helped me feel supported and loved without smothering me. She listened. There is something so comforting in coming to a person who loves you and allows you to share your heart. Don’t underestimate the power of listening. Hang on their every word and say of prayer of thanks they chose to share their heart with you. You can't fix all their problems, but you can listen to every single one.
For those of us who are missing our own mothers....give yourself permission to feel whatever you feel. And while you are allowing those feelings to wash over you, I also think it is important to reflect on the gifts our mothers gave us. Mine gave me the gift of wisdom because she shared with me the lessons her mother taught her, she shared the lessons the Lord taught her, and in doing so, she shared her life with me. This is my first Mother’s Day without my precious mother and this may sound strange, but in some ways this year I’ve never felt closer to her. She is living in my thoughts and I’ve found her living in my heart. When she left this world, she awakened something in me. Her absence somehow gave me the strength to be bolder about my faith and gave me the courage to try to live my best life. I look at my own children and I’m challenged by her legacy of love and parenting she bestowed on me. My greatest challenge in life just might be...living up to the parenting example she set before me.
For all of us…. mother from where you are. I’m thankful God has not only blessed me with a wonderful mother-in-law he has sent me two precious ladies to help mother me this year. God is so faithful to us. While no one can take the place of your mother, God sends people to you at just the right time. So, if God prompts you to go talk to someone that seems upset, it could be that they need a little mothering. Give the hug! Be the listening ear! Seek opportunities to be a mother figure!
Mother’s day was never an easy day for my own mother. Her father passed away on Mother’s day and years later my grandmother passed away on Mother’s day. I can’t imagine the emotion of reflecting on your mother and father’s passing on the same day while the rest of the world is being social and celebrating. I do believe my mother must have done some reflecting on the gifts her parents passed to her because she passed them to me.
For my Mother… I love you!