What makes a mother? Giving birth to a child is an amazing miracle that I have been privileged to participate in a number of times. I have also lost 3 children in miscarriage and suffered the loss of losing one of my children (stolen by the government). I have also fostered and nurtured others.
While it is a great gift and privilege to carry a child in your womb, and nestle them in your arms with love while you feed them as babies, by far the greatest challenge is raising them to be useful, and independent people who will hopefully walk with the Lord and follow you into heaven. I know at least one of mine will do so, and I steadfastly pray for them all, so I have great hope because a praying mother is a powerful thing.
Carrying and giving birth to a child is a wonderful thing, but it doesn’t end there for most, you are cook, housekeeper, finance officer, communications expert, guide, teacher, mentor, nurse, life-coach, and chauffeur (I have to delegate that one). All this yet there is no official training given, and for the most part you learn on the job. No prior experience necessary. There is no financial compensation, and any you do get usually we spend on the children. Sacrificing your own needs is part of the job requirement, the reward for all this is supposed to be gained in love, personal satisfaction and gratitude, and you LOVE your children, but sometimes it is a long time being returned, little and often short-lived. Forget the gratitude for what you do or did. You love your children, but they are not always little angels and it is not all wonderful. They are all worth it!
Then your children grow up and leave to follow their own destiny and live their own lives, if you are lucky and have done the job right. While some children love you and keep in touch with regular phone calls and visits, valued especially once the grandchildren come along, others forget you exist, too busy with their own lives and problems to spend even 5 minutes on a phone call. I have a friend in her 70’s who was a good mother to her 2 children, yet she has sometimes gone whole years without hearing from her son (in the same town) and while she hears from her daughter (also in the same town) I talk to her and see her more often than either of them and I live nearly 300km away. She is like a second mother to me and I make the effort. I will be ringing and talking to her today and saying “Happy Mother’s Day” and telling her I love her along with ringing my birth mother (I was raised by my grandmother who passed to her reward some years ago).
I wonder if my children will remember to ring me today – the truth is that it is one of God’s Commandments to honour your mother and the promise attached to it is that if you do your days will be long in the land. But did you know your children do what you do, not what you say and when they grow up – they will treat you the way that you treat your mother. I will be there for my children, whenever they need me, to the best of my ability as long as I am breathing! I am a mother! So to all the mother’s – Happy Mother’s Day – Make sure to ring and honour your own mother also today!