“A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.”
The thing we love about Mother’s Day is the ideal represented in the above quote. And, of course, not all mothers completely meet this ideal, but I think it says a lot for the general character of mothers.
The Purpose and Journey of Parenting
Parenting is basically a device that helps us feel like God feels—toward another human being. For mothers, it generally involves pregnancy (for not all true mothers bore their children—think about it).
Change and a myriad of physical, mental and emotional stimuli become part and parcel of life from the moment of conception and those themes last generally for the child’s lifetime—and beyond in the case of the child dying before the mother. There is an irrefutable link to eternity between mother and child. Motherhood, hence, is a life-changing contract with God.
There’s fundamentally a full weight of sacrifice involved in epitomised motherhood. For their best, the kids come first—that is, they’re not given their own way all the time, but the model of sacrificial love is first (ideally) learned from Mum (and Dad). The ‘love strand’ is hence passed down to the next generation—for love is giving, serving etc.
The traditional stay-at-home mother was always in the best position to do this. Somehow the kids need to learn this sacrificial but balanced love and it is best from both parents. But, of course, Mother’s generally in the most natural position to further the bond created during gestation, notwithstanding the traditional family models are now turned on their head.
‘Other’ Mothers – Mothers All the Same
Many do not have links or love for a natural mother, but they have a grandmother or foster mother or some other mother figure that played the key role. Many too, sadly, never had a mother figure and we can only hope they see motherhood on display and, rather than pine for it, appreciate how beautiful motherhood actually is.
Mother’s Day Sadness
Sometimes Mother’s Day brings a sadness; perhaps for a lost mother, or even perpetually for a neglectful or abusive mother endured in the past. For the latter, all we can do is negate the negative and focus on this vision of motherhood as guide, mentor and sacrificial lamb of the family (together with father—if the family’s constructed that way, for no assumptions can be made about ‘family’ these days).
And for some women there is the shredding and heartrending sadness of not being able to be a mother—or of not having achieved that goal as yet. Mother’s Day is often then a reminder of sadness’s never too far away. God be with you.
Mothers – We Salute and Love You
Personally I’m blessed incredibly with a wonderful mother, and she lives—a fact never to be taken for granted whilst that fact remains, though sometimes I do. Such is a mother’s grace, she forgives in an instant.
Mothers, one and all, for all that you mean to us and for all those in-the-moment sacrifices of love you make, we salute you today, and we love you back. We hope that today (and all days) that you can know the satisfaction of God’s Spirit resting serenely in you as you lead and support your families according to their very needs. God bless you all.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.