carry on brave mother.



My facebook stream is full of links lately to specific posts and then rebuttals to posts and then rebuttals to those posts and so on. There's anger, joy, celebration, animosity, and opinions and all of that. Dialogue is good. Discussion great. But honestly, honestly, to me, it's so much about rules and so little about grace. Sometimes we get caught up in the outward and forget the power of the inward and the heart.

We all mother differently.

We are different.

And instead of trying to put us all into one mold or one right way of doing things I say we start to celebrate that the differences among us actually make us more beautiful and more strong. Imagine a world of just one color without much shading - it would be boring and the depth of beauty would be lost. There would be no difference between dusk and dawn and midday. Fall, winter, summer, and spring all would be the same. 

Mothers are never going to be all alike.

Do you know what? We may mother totally different and our kids might end up falling in love with each other. Our kids aren't our chance to make a statement - our kids are little humans that we are blessed with the opportunity to raise and teach about life and share our values with. 


You, right now, as a mother, are incredibly important. And not because you follow every rule in the mothering book or because your child fits perfectly or is above what to do in the What to Expect the First Year book. That's a thing. You are important for the little things that you do.

Do you know what those little things are?

They are those times when you get up in the morning after three hours of sleep and push brew on your Keurig and hug the cranky three year old that comes down the stairs who has declared today to be the worst day ever because his toast isn't ready yet.  They are the moments when you humble yourself to those around you and admit that your life really isn't that perfect and that you fear things and that you need help. They are the times when you buckle all the kids in the car after they've been pushing every single button and you back out of your driveway with tears in your eyes and you regain perspective.  They are the times when you go to work and you say good bye to your crying toddler and you work hard for the food on your table. 

Getting a gold star in motherhood isn't for producing little star athletes or brilliant prodigies or children who never sass back or kids who get perfect grades or for a life that is perfect. Motherhood can't be graded by those things.

Because there is real life.

And real life is often messy. 


Motherhood gold stars need to be passed out for the little pulling up your boot strap moments when you think you have no strength left and yet you somehow manage to tuck the six year old in at night and say prayers and kiss the top of his forehead. They need to be for the times when you simply let the tears fall and invite the friend into your home and you share your heart. They are for those moments when the child is sick and you are worn and yet you still manage to smile. Or laugh. Those things matter. 

So all of these agendas and posts about what is the appropriate way to dress or be or what our children see - they're only opinions. And this is my opinion as well. And my opinion?

Lets focus on the strength of moms and not the rules.

Lets celebrate our friends for who they are and love them for where they are and not get caught up in making our kids perfect but lets instead admit that we are all real. Our kids will mess up. We'll mess up. Our lives may not look like the Hallmark card. That doesn't mean failing. It's just life.

So we try. We be the best we can be in the moment. And we live with grace.

So to you the mother right now sitting here reading these words and trying to remember that scraping jelly out of a jar and wiping booger noses and reading off spelling words and talking with teachers and all of that matters - I tell you it does. Yes, yes, yes, it does.

Hold your head high.

Motherhood isn't always easy. It's work. There are the moments of beauty that we're all blessed to share. Moments that make the Hallmark cards look weak. And there are the moments of worry, anxiety, pain, and sadness too. We all have them smooshed together into a story called our life. 


I guess today, today, I want to leave you with these words.

Carry on brave mother whose life isn't perfect. Carry on brave mother whose heart may hurt. Carry on brave mother whose kids are struggling right now and she's fighting for their hearts. Carry on brave mother who feels all alone. Carry on brave mother who has had no sleep and yet has a full day of work to do. Carry on brave mother who worries about money and bills. Carry on brave mother who is just simply tired. Carry on brave mother not for how perfect your life is but rather for how perfect it is that you have the bravery to keep on going.


Carry on.
One foot. In front of the other. After another. After another.

Carry on brave mother.  

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18 comments:

Amy said...

I sat the other night talking to my husband about all of those articles on Facebook. How much they discouraged me, made me think, hurt me. Mostly it hurt because of all the judgement. I wish more moms would just cheer each other on. I am not free of judgement but I try to be. I try to remember that everyone struggles. Everyone wants to do what is best for their kids. Thank you for this. I needed to read a positive reminder of motherhood. I needed to remember why I keep going even when I want to just sit and cry. Thank you.

Amy said...

I sat the other night talking to my husband about all of those articles on Facebook. How much they discouraged me, made me think, hurt me. Mostly it hurt because of all the judgement. I wish more moms would just cheer each other on. I am not free of judgement but I try to be. I try to remember that everyone struggles. Everyone wants to do what is best for their kids. Thank you for this. I needed to read a positive reminder of motherhood. I needed to remember why I keep going even when I want to just sit and cry. Thank you.

Ashley P said...

This is great and so very true. Every mother is different same as every child. But we need to support each other because only a mother can understand a mother.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy & sometimes need these perspectives, as a husband & father I too need this. The least I take away each time is words of encouragement I can give my wife! Our family's Super-Mom! She's loving, fun & tired, stressed & full of dout, but still our "Super-Mom"!

Thank you for what you do for Mothers (& sometimes Fathers)...

Pippa Storyofmum said...

This is beautiful. You might appreciate a little ebook I made a while back - it's full of Mama's Reward Charts - reminding ourselves that we deserve gold stars for all those small things - the good and the bad - the 'having a cry', the 'putting things in a pile' as well as the 'answering of impossible questions'. Every mother deserves support to follow her instincts and do her best.

Michelle said...

Once again, perfectly timed to what I needed to hear. I praise you for being able to speak the truth to so many of us who need to desperately hear it, and for helping us pull up our bootstraps to continue on this very important journey of being a mother. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Khaleelah said...

I'm always all for not judging another...most especially a mother. I may not agree with something I see someone doing, but (mostly) I am good to remember that I'm not in their shoes. I don't know what's going on in their life today anymore than they know mine. I not once have said anything to a parent about their parenting, because I choose to allow others to make their choices.

I love the way you write to others, sharing your insights :)

allyallyt said...

This is just beautiful. I have struggled the last 2 days and this was exactly what I needed to hear. I am NOT perfect, but I keep on trying. Thank you so much!

Rachel Martin said...

Thank you all. I am certainly in a season of my own life where I am becoming more aware of how much the little things matter and how important motherhood truly is. Thank you for loving me as I share my heart.

Rachel

HayleySarah said...

made me feel a little teary and thanks for reminding us :)

Ada Thomas said...

I used your post in my post as I was able to read this morning and it so apropos after yesterday.
Happy weekend Ms Rachel!
http://adapieonepotada.blogspot.com/

PrettyMama said...

Oh my goodness I so needed this this morning! These thoughts have been swirling around in my head, feeling so disconnected as I worried about all the "issues". I usually ignore the issues but some days (like yesterday and today) the "issues" like how to dress and what your 2-year-old should eat just keep thwacking me down. But I will rise above them and carry on...Thank you!!!

Erica said...

I just love this post. I just finished writing a quick post myself about a really hard sleepless night that my hubby and I had with our 2 little ones last night (www.beautifullifemadeeasy.blogspot.ca). So your words meant a lot to me this morning. Thank you!

Lynn said...

Is that why I see older posts pop up now and then on FB? People put angry comments on there?! I can't imagine that! Glad I haven't read any of them!
Praying right now!
Hebrews 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
My email address

Lynn said...

Stopping by to let you know I'm still here praying!
Psalms 59:16-17 But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble. Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.
My email address

Susan said...

I agree with so much of what you posted here - that life and people are not perfect, that sometimes things are hard, that we all need grace and that we are all so much more ALIKE than we are different. We want and need the same things - connection, compassion, community - to name a few biggies.

Your opening paragraph has me wondering though: "My facebook stream is full of links lately to specific posts and then rebuttals to posts and then rebuttals to those posts and so on. There's anger, joy, celebration, animosity, and opinions and all of that. Dialogue is good. Discussion great. But honestly, honestly, to me, it's so much about rules and so little about grace. Sometimes we get caught up in the outward and forget the power of the inward and the heart."

I wonder what opinions and debates you are talking about I wonder if they are some of the debates that to me are very important. Is it the "mommy wars" you speak of? Is it ideas about how children's needs are best met and the people that are putting themselves out there stand up for children?

Yes children are all different. But they all need to be HEARD. There are a lot of practices out there that are ignoring this simple fact - and all of the beautiful, soothing language in the world won't change that fact. People who are calling for change aren't doing so lightly and the ones I admire aren't putting the "blame" on mothers... they recognize that mothers aren't supported. That doesn't mean that things are ok the way they are.

Here is something I wrote a while ago that I feel is really important: http://www.togetherwalking.com/1/post/2013/01/community-independence-and-help.html

Sending lots of love and Joy to you. I really would love to hear your thoughts on this! I know I sometimes get caught up in the philosophical when I try to inspire with my writing - but sometimes people need the bitty gritty which includes details - and that means getting specific about what is ok and what is not.

Am I making any sense at all here??

Mandy Fonos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mandy Fonos said...

I love how the photos you choose capture the words and feeling of the moment, for my heart when I read your blog. I think I saw where you said the photos are taken by your daughter.. well I have to tell you, both of you are very inspiring to me. so thank you for sharing her gift as well as your own.

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