I’m often asked how do I manage the demands of motherhood and still find time for myself, my husband, and family, and many other ventures that I am involved in. Motherhood is such an important role in my life, it is by far the most difficult and fulfilling part of my purpose. I am sure any mother would say that this assignment is definitely tipping the scale. Did you know that we all have our own definitions of motherhood? It is defined by our experiences, our beliefs, and expectations that we have set or placed on ourselves. Maybe it’s a mother, or grandmother that we had in our life that we desired to be half as good a mother when we had our own children. Or maybe we are setting our own personal motherhood goals and standards based on all the moms “killing it” on social media, or not! Take a minute to ask yourself, what does motherhood mean to you? How would you define it in your life?
I will begin by sharing how I define it for myself. I was by nature created to be nurturing, comforting, and to have an innate motherly instinct. However, growing up as a little girl, call it atypical, but I didn’t dream of the family, house with the white picket fence, two kids and a hubby, oh and the dog! I valued family and spending time together from my childhood, however, to keep it real, I didn’t want to raise children in an impoverish neighborhood, or a “barely making it”, circumstance. You see my family was not wealthy or well-off so I grew up with an awareness that it took a lot for parents to provide in these circumstances and still provide love, quality time, nurturing, comfort, encouragement, and the likes. When I became a mother, all of my experiences that I had as a child defined how I planned to raise my firstborn both good and bad. It defined my expectations on what it meant to be the “perfect” mother. While many of us as mothers don’t believe we are trying to achieve perfection today, there is sometimes that underlying idea that we must live up to a standard. So, I made a decision to let go of my expectations and this standard to make room for the way it was intended for me to be a mother. I want to remind you of your definition of motherhood you answered above, and invite you today to do the same, to release your expectations for motherhood so that you can have an opportunity to receive God’s grace. I want you to replace your definition or expectations with the following statement:
What is required of me as a_________ to be fully aligned in wholeness with myself, my purpose, my________, my __________, my_____________, my _____________?
Example: What is required of me as a wife and mother of four daughters to be fully aligned with myself, my spouse, my family, my community and colleagues and my faith.
This is a balance statement that you will fill in as it applies to your own life and circumstances. It is a definition that if you are reminded of daily you will see your expectations turn into what is required and most importantly, what is valued on your journey. You see the ones that we once admired are now admiring the fact that we grace stages, we fill arenas, we are leading nations, and most of all, we are still managing to be present with our families. Isn’t that amazing! Motherhood some days are hard, darn hard, but I believe that connecting to the superpower of God’s grace is the ticket to the wisdom you need to navigate the confusing and overwhelming aspects of motherhood. I am here to encourage and to remind you in the middle of a crazy pandemic that a part of your purpose in life was to mother the children that you were assigned. The experiences that you have and create for your family through motherhood will directly affect the decisions, feelings, and path at which you take to walk in purpose. You see our children can give us strength to drink one more cup of coffee and finish that last assignment because you want to give them a better life, or balance working from home to create a savings for them to be able to enjoy life as they get older. Seeing our children smiling in the morning after they have been sick all night and you are completely exhausted, gives us some kind of supernatural strength we didn’t even think we had. Or even sharing with them in their successes academically or athletically. All of these things believe it or not are apart of our purposeful living as mothers. While we may want to stay focused on our imperfections that may feel like mountains of failure, it is our gateway to freedom. God is there to fill in the gap of our imperfections and redeem us. In motherhood you are enough. Enough for the challenges, the demands, the way “your life is set up”, as I like to say, to be right there, present and just doing it the way it was intended in the perfect will. Be blessed today.