Being a mother is the best and hardest role many of us will ever take on. Often we think of it as bringing out our best and worst, and we are either one or the other at any given moment. Can we be both in the same moment? My friend captured this picture of me in one of those moments that I thought was terrible and she thought was beautiful. What you can’t see, is the screaming face of my child. What you can see is me, whispering to her and holding her close. These moments and seasons show us there is such passion and hope inside our hearts as mothers in the midst of exhaustion. The tension of these times can be difficult to put words around, but I was listening to a podcast and a guest read the following poem. Tears instantly started streaming down my face. I felt so validated. Here it is. I hope you like it.
To Be a Mother:
To be a mother is to suffer, To travail in the dark, stretched and torn, exposed in half naked humiliation, subjected to indignities for the sake of new life
To be a mother is to say, “This is my body, broken for you.” And in the next instant, in response to the created’s primal hunger, “This is my body, take and eat.”
To be a mother is to self-empty, to neither slumber or sleep, so attuned you are to cries in the night, offering the comfort of yourself, and assurances of “I’m here.”
To be a mother is to weep over the fighting, and exclusions, and wounds your children inflict on one another, to long for reconciliation, and brotherly love, and when all is said and done, to gather all parties, the offender and the offended, into the folds of your embrace and to whisper in their ears, that they are beloved.
To be a mother is to be vulnerable, to be misunderstood, railed against, blamed, for the heartaches of the bewildered children who don’t know where else to cast the angst they feel over their own existence in this perplexing universe,
To be be a mother is to hoist on to your hips those on whom your image is imprinted, bearing the burden of their weight, rejoicing in their returned affection, delighting in their wonder, bleeding in the presence of their pain.
To be a mother is to be accused of sentimentality one moment, and injustice the next, to be the receiver of endless demands, absorber of perpetual complaints, reckoner of bottomless needs.
To be a mother is to be an artist, keeper of memories past, weaver of stories untold, visionary of lives looming ahead.
To be a mother is be the first voice listened to and the first disregarded, to be a mender of broken creations, and comforter of the distraught children who’s hands wrecked them.
To be a mother is to be touchstone, and a source, bestower of names, influencer of identities, life giver, life shaper, empath, healer and original love.