Thoughts on Mothering

I was a part of a class yesterday that served as a wonderful confirmation of things I have felt most of my life, even when my experience and what I was taught was vastly different.

The class was taught by a woman who is also a mother. She said two things that made me pause and smile. One was that just after each of her children were born, she knew something about them that had to do with their character.

I perked up upon hearing that because I remember very well, feeling I knew things about my children while in utero. I knew who was mild mannered but couldn’t keep still, who was feisty and opinionated, who was mild mannered, who was wild and free and so on. I don’t think it’s unreasonable as each baby and I shared my body for months and months on end. To my way of thinking, you can easily learn something in the amount of time it takes to gestate and be birthed into the world outside a woman’s body.

The other thing the teacher stated that I loved was that while her husband belongs to her, her children do not. I have felt that instinctively at least since I gave birth to my firstborn, 20 years ago. She was and is a gift, as are all of my children. They are not mine. They belong to God first and, when/if they marry, they will belong to their spouses.

My job is to love and respect them. I listen to them and help them to learn and grow in as loving an environment as possible. They are not extensions of me. They are not a reflection of me, representing me everywhere they go. They aren’t my arm, foot, or anything like that. They aren’t me. We are not entangled. They are entirely whole, separate beings, on their own, in and of themselves, and I have the honor and privilege of raising them. I am here to help them, not try to control them. I find so much bliss, freedom and peace in that.

Hearing another mother echo these sentiments, mean it and show the fruit of it, was so refreshing and affirming. For many years, I thought I was weird because I am not like anyone I knew growing up. I used to say I didn’t know where I came from with all the ideas and things I have done and do regarding birth, child rearing and more. As I think about it now, the answer is super simple. I follow God’s leading. He has been speaking to me for as long as I can remember. I am grateful for that and that He is always guiding me and helping me to be a better me, and in this case, a better mother. I so love being a mother.

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