Resilience. Do you know what takes a lot of resilience?
Motherhood. Being a mom takes hard work day after day after day, year after year.
If you have little ones, You wake up tired, you either go to work and then come home and deal with the kids or you are with them all day long. You feed them, try to keep them out of trouble, deal with their tantrums, probably yell more than you want to, and try to love on them too. You get through their bedtime routine and then crash yourself. And then you get up and do it again tomorrow. When you have teenagers you get to add in hormones, bigger attitudes, rebellion and the stretch to adulthood. And once your kids are adults you still never stop being a mom. Someone once told me the bigger they get the bigger the problems, so don’t wish them older too fast.
I’m the mom to two boys. A six and a half and nine year olds. Thankfully God gave me a pretty easy going personality. If you know about enneagrams, I am a 9 wing 8. So basically things are great, pretty even keeled, except for when I get pushed past my very stretchy limit. Every single day is a challenge. It gets pretty noisy and smelly. You get used to live critters and dead ones and don’t think too much of footprints across the floor. And somehow no matter how much they eat, they are still hungry. If I listed the crazy things that happen in a day’s time you would only believe me because nobody would make it up.
I pick and choose what battles are worth fighting. We have a 10’x30” pool in the backyard that has been mostly a sanity saver. Except for one thing: from what I am observing this summer I believe their goal is no tan lines. Instead of fighting to keep them to stay clothed I just ask them to stay in the backyard. Is It weird? Totally, but it isn’t something I’m going to allow to stress me.
What I do fight for is them. No matter what bad thing happens my kids know that they are loved by me and by God, no matter what. My kids are not angels and I expect them to accept their punishments. I am going to hold onto the verse in Proverbs 22:6. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” I will do my very best to teach them to honor God with their actions and to seek after Him.
We are living in some crazy times right now. Between COVID, riots, and politics things can be pretty discouraging. But instead of getting drug down with fear or anger let us take the advice from Proverbs 31:25-26, “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” No matter how old your children are, they need to see your strength and faith. As an adult I still look at that in my own mother. And I love the part about teaching of kindness. If we want our kids to be wise and kind, we must teach it to them.
And I think the greatest gift that a mother shares is her love. 1 Corinthians 13 is “the love chapter” that you often hear at weddings. But it applies to the other areas of our lives as well. Verse 7 says, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” That sounds like an exact description of motherhood to me. And verse 13 says, “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Being a mom is hard. Day in and day out can wear you out. It requires resilience. But remember love never fails. Love well mamas.
By Erin Miller