on mother's day

oday was my tenth year to celebrate Mother’s Day, since we began celebrating when Arwen was in utero.

I have hated almost every single Mother’s Day, and I really can’t explain why. Is it the unmet expectations? The ridiculous notion that moms of littles get a day off? Is it self condemnation, feeling that I don’t deserve the honor?

This year, I am super sick and exhausted on Mother’s Day. And it was the best Mother’s Day ever.

I got to sleep in because we didn’t go to church since I’m sick and a couple of the kids were looking run down.

After breakfast, the kids and Brent had gifts for me.

They sang to me and started the presentation.

Evie and Titus got into a fight over who got to carry the last gift, and Brent went to break it up. He still had his guitar on and accidentally smacked Evie in the face with it.

You can’t see him, but Titus was crying too.

Eventually they calmed down and I got to open my last gift.

Only, Titus snatched them up and wouldn’t take them off.

eanwhile, the other kids were running amuck and being berserk.

We finally got shoes and everything on the kids because Brent wanted to take me to lunch. My first restaurant choice had an hour and a half wait, so we punted it and I picked something I thought the kids would enjoy, since I felt too sick to really eat much. They all feasted, I had soup. Totally happy with it.

After a nap, I tried to go shopping with some coupons I’d been saving up, but I couldn’t stop sweating and feeling faint, so I skunked back home and Brent put me to bed.

Sounds pretty sucky, right? When I told Brent this was the best Mother’s Day ever, he remarked that he must have really neglected me all those other years.

But that’s not it at all. The difference is that I’ve let go of all the extra expectations of what defines motherhood that have been pressed into my head for so long. Those ideologies that glorify the stay at home mom over the work outside the home mom, they are damaging to the stay at home mom too. Because, what if you stay home, but you really suck at it?

When we define biblical motherhood as staying home, cheerful-excited even- about dishes, as using all of our gifts solely for homemaking and child rearing, as being beautiful soft spoken women, as having 19 children, as being the number one highest calling, as being the base of your identity….

There is no place for the mom that sucks at housekeeping, that has desires to use her gifts outside the home, that is genetically predispositioned like a bull in a china shop, that realizes you don’t have to prove that you love kids by having a million of them, or that really doesn’t like even being a mom sometimes.

It’s because that is not a definition of biblical motherhood. That’s a definition of someone’s skewed ideas about motherhood In reaction to the culture we live in today. And I reject it. Almost all of it.

I tried to fit in to the patriarchal community, and it was like jamming a square peg into a circle shaped hole. It was painful and uncomfortable, and it resulted in me hating motherhood and all of its demands altogether.

My identity is not found in my current role as mother. My identity is found In Christ. And He calls me to serve Him, love Him, BE loved by Him, and to love His people.

Motherhood is not the greatest calling. Following Christ is the greatest calling, and that affects the kind of mother that I am.

It means that I administer grace and mercy in my home. It means that I serve others, including my children, first. It means that I consider the lowly, in this case the young, and meet their needs. It means that I do all to the glory of God.

So, how do you have the best Mother’s Day ever?

Be loved by God.

Know that you are His delight, His joy, made for His glory. Know that the gift of children that He has given to you is a reflection of His creative nature, and we get to partner with Him in that each time we give birth. Women are greatly favored in this way.

God loves you, Mamma. When your floors are filthy, when your children misbehave, when your kid can’t read, when you yell because you have had enough, when you pick up fast food (again), when you complain about it all on Facebook (again), when you fail over and over, He loves you. His love is not contingent on what kind of mother you are. His love is contingent on His nature that never changes. He.is.love.

Yes, God loves you.

Even when you let your kid play with knives.