Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Week Eighteen - Lessons I Learned From Motherhood

As I watch my children raising their children, it is evident that parenting has changed. Where my childhood meant threats of having my mouth washed out with soap when my word choice was less than acceptable, my grandchildren receive gentle admonitions to a wiser choice of words. Instead of eating what is served without questions, bargaining with tasty treats is their motivation. My parent's command, "You better stop crying, or I'll really give you something to cry about," is now replaced with "I can see you're upset. Take a deep breath and use your words."

I'm not saying I want to go back to living under threats, but I do wonder how this coming generation will deal with the reality and harshness of life. But that's not what I want to discuss today. Instead, I want to look at six things about mothering that have not changed. Things every mother - no matter what generation - learns. So here we go!

First, I learned that organization and consistent discipline pay great benefits for me and my children - most of the time! Mothering requires precision plus plan b, c, and d if things don't work out. In other words, mothers need to learn to be organized and flexible!

Next, I learned that kids don't care. They love messy things. They aren't worried about showing your most embarrassing photo with great pride. They will invite friends in when the house is like a bomb, and they'll never blink an eye. My grandmother, who was a good housekeeper, had a little sign in her kitchen that read, "Clean enough to be healthy, dirty enough to be happy." And sometimes mothers forget that kids don't care. They love you anyway. So, put hospitality before pride, and don't let it get the best of you.

One of my greatest lessons was that I have a breaking point. I'm not, and neither is any mother, a superwoman. We are just simple beings trying to do our best. And when we reach that breaking point, we may as well admit it. The kids need to learn this too. Don't push mom beyond the breaking point. It might not be pretty!

I learned to stop comparing my brood to others and pay attention to my own nest for peace of mind. There will always be someone doing things better. Good for them. And there will be those who struggle. I can pray and help where I can, but God only asks me to care for my own little group. No parent is perfect, myself included.

The family in Proverbs 31 praised their mother. My praise will come when I remember that humility has a flavor, and I need to learn to enjoy it. Proverbs 15:33 reads, "Before honor is humility." So, I learned to laugh when things go wrong, admit my failures, and remember I don't have to be right every time.

Finally, as I look back, it all passes too quickly. My grandmother wisely told me, "Gail, stop and enjoy them. They are only children once." I am thankful I listened to her advice because it does pass too quickly, and they are never little children again.

So, moms. On this Mother's Day weekend, take time to simply look at the beauty of your children and think about what you have learned from motherhood with a thankful and humble heart.

Here's my brood in 1983 and then in 1995. Today, they are grown, married, and faithful to the Lord in their various places. I am thankful the Lord made them a part of my life. I learned so much!


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