I have basically always wanted children. Wanted to be a mother. I thought mothering would be so wonderful, so magical, and so lovely. Naming, dressing and playing with many small children all day long? What could be better!?
And, even though, back then, I was a bit hazy on some of the finer details associated with parenting (you know, like dying llama hissy fits, sippy cups full of mold behind the couch, stretch marks and time outs), I still think I hit the nail on the head. There is very little that is better than mothering. But not exactly for the reasons I first thought.
Sure, there are wonderful moments in mothering, magical memories created with our offspring, lovely late-night snuggles with heavy-lidded babies. But parenting is also hard work. And it's not glamorous. We don't often get the support we need, we struggle with mother's guilt and sometimes feel we need to keep up with the Jones'. Our children sass back and our best-laid plans are trampled on. We must often face our own shortcomings, because they are revealed to us so readily as we make attempts, but fail, at being perfect parents.
But there is good that can be brought forth from the hurt that parenting sometimes brings. Moments of revelation to be found even amidst the clamor of many small children. Beauty to be derived out of the ashes of mother failure. Joy that can only be discovered in helping God create another human being. There is meaning in the mundane, a purpose beyond potty-training, and a peace that can only be gained when one has learned to calmly deal with a tantruming toddler at Target. Having children is worth it. And, although I was inspired to start my family for one reason, My husband and I have continued for another. I love making our family.
But I don't love it for the dirty diapers, the sleepless nights, the cracked nipples or the endless whining. I don't love it for the dings in our walls, the screeching down the halls or the midnight calls.I love it in spite of all that. And I love mothering for how wading through all the difficulties that mothering brings transforms me for the better. Mothering is one of the toughest, most beautiful things I have ever done.And it's totally worth it.I desire to be an encouragement to others about starting their own family. And, to those who already have, I long to be a support, and never a hindrance, in their journey to discover exactly how wonderful parenting is.
I read this on McKMama's Blog and I agree with every word. I did ask her permission to copy it and she didn't mind at all. I love the way she words things I could never say it all like this but it is really how I feel.
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