Monday, April 30, 2012

Why We Need To Be Mothers

I am inherently selfish. Even when I am thinking about other people, I am thinking about myself more. Even when I am listening to you, I am paying more attention to my inner monologue. When you tell me your problems, I am comparing them to my own. If you need something, I will get it for you, but somewhere inside me, somewhere I'm pretty good at hiding, I might resent the effort.

I know I can't be the only person like this. I know I am not the only person who could become so wrapped up in myself that I stopped caring for others at all.

The thing that grounds me is my children.

If you're a parent, you know exactly how much of yourself you have to give to your kids, which, at one point or another, is exactly everything you have and are. Being a (good) parent makes being selfish pretty dang hard. Starting with you own body, your nutrition, your sleep, your energy, it turns into your time, your attention, your creativity, your caring, your love, your interest, your talents, your money, your life, your decisons, and your future, until it comes down to the breaths you take and the beats of your heart. All for another person on some level or another.

If I was not a parent, I would still think all those things belonged to me. But they don't and they never have. Each one of those things is a blessing or a gift from God. I would not even have the breath in my chest if God did not permit it. And like I thank Him for my bout with pneumonia for teaching me that, I thank Him for my motherhood for teaching me to become unselfish. That's right, to become unselfish, because I have a feeling it is going to take a long, long time for me to get over myself.

So even though I am not one of those women who just loves kids, who just wants to have fifteen of them because they are so cute and precious, I think I am starting to see why this is what God wants me to be doing, and how, as with all the experiences He gives me, the things that come after will be dependent upon me having the knowledge I am learning now and the qualities I am developing.

I grew up in a home where Mother's Day was despised (roses did not bloom beneath our feet), and I guess it rubbed off on me. I have to admit that I have no idea when Mother's Day falls this year. But I'm pretty sure it is coming up. And as it comes and goes, try to think not on all the things you do and have done for your beautiful children, but instead, on the things being a mother has done for you.

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