A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

MOPS and the Importance of Being Mother

MOPS day is always a big day. An 8:30 start and a 12 o'clockish finish. But it's always a great day, speaking for myself. It's an enormous privilege really to be able to serve other mums in this way. Occasionallyl, I feel a pang or two of sadness that it's my last year at MOPS but really, it's time to move on. I'm not getting younger and everyday I feel it acutely in my bones that my time for having babies is more or less over.

Was tired before I got started at MOPS today. Girls were surprisingly well-behaved at breakfast which was helpful even while I had my back turned. I woke up tired... the culprit undoubtedly was last night's big storm. Nope it didn't help...  a third of the mums there looked liked how I felt. Sleepy. Like me they were probably up just before the storm and then had trouble going back to sleep once the flashing, rumbling and cracking stopped. If I had a dollar for every time I yawned this morning, I would have been able to get myself some takeaway tonight. One mum mentioned that she thought God was clapping in her ear. I'm sure he was clapping in mine... a reminder that he calls the shots and I need to rest in his grace.
Yeah, it sounded pretty scary outside.

Topic today was "Rainy Day Play". I came away at the end feeling like slacko mum. There's all this fun stuff out there... a lot of it... and I don't do any of much of it with my girls. But I can't say we weren't armed to the teeth with info. Bec, who was a child care teacher did a good job with the topic. Still, I'm pretty psyched about using felt to make stories. I'll post up all the great ideas that we discussed in the next couple of days.

Speaking of motherhood, I saw this odd bit of commentary about the Oscars. I didn't watch it and I haven't for years now. I don't think I miss much generally by skipping it and getting the results elsewhere. Apparently this year was as much a dud as previous years.
Young Natalie Portman who received an Oscar for Best Actress got up in front of a Hollywood audience  and thanked her fiancee for giving her the most important role in her life, a reference, as it turned out, to her unborn child (shock, horror). Some pundits apparently felt put out and "icky" about the comment. Apparently they were offended that a professional actor would confess publicly that motherhood is "the most important role in her life".

There's something surreal about this discussion and I'm sure Natalie Portman never intended to speak for anyone but Natalie. "Role" was probably meant to be some kind of play on words. Personally I don't believe motherhood is the most important "role" in my life. Being a wife is. All the smart people tell me that the best thing you can do for your kids is to have a good relationship with your spouse. I haven't seen anything yet to disprove that.

Something happens when you have kids, a paradigm shift occurs -- sooner or later they take precedence over many areas of our lives even a career. Doesn't that say something? Even those of us who aren't terribly good at being mothers (or fathers) know that. We are called to something higher and nobler than what we are capable of. It isn't because being a mother is always fulfilling or pain free, stress free or worry free. Because, let's face it, we know it isn't. There are even moments, when the loo is your final place of refuge in cramped quarters and all you want is for the kid(s) to just disappear.

We are mothers because of the children. Not because it is just something we do or something that makes us feel good about ourselves. We are, therefore we do. The importance of motherhood is not in how feel about it but what it is... what God intended it to be. It is a relationship... a unique one and like every relationship it goes both ways. Hence it isn't what I do for my kids but who we are to each other. It's nothing like making movies or making money. They're not comparable. Like an ant to a whale. To suggest that motherhood is equivalent to a thriving career is to miss the point entirely. That, I think, is the danger of seeing children as a lifestyle choice.

I'm becoming more convinced that in general terms (there are always exceptions), aside for being the building blocks for humanity's survival, God meant for motherhood (and fatherhood) to be a training ground for selfless maturity. It is a conviction that has helped me get through some of my toughest days with my girls. Children will challenge us, test us and push us to give and give until we can't and then we give some more. Sometimes they will make us cry, sometimes they will make us laugh. Nonetheless, what we have with each one of our kids cannot be replicated. It's not just a different path... it's a different dimension.

That we need to recover this truth... says something about where our civilization is headed.

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