Motherhood is a great responsibility. As a kid, I thought, “Motherhood. A piece of cake.” Oh yeah, my perspective has changed since becoming a mother. *You’re laughing, I’m sure. Me too!* I’m grateful for great examples of amazing mothers, because without them, I don’t know where I’d be! … Probably a mess, trying to figure it out!
I think of my mom and I am filled with joy. She radiates goodness. She is one of the most hard-working people I know. She is caring, patient and loving. She exudes talent – she is brilliant with sewing, journaling, teaching, entrepreneurial everything, family history/genealogy, and crafting. I am grateful for my mom. I am grateful for the love she has for my dad and all 6 of us kids (and all the grandkids too). I strive to be like her. My mom speaks often about her amazing heritage. She talks of her mom and her grandmothers with great love and honor. I know she had beautiful examples of motherhood from those she holds near and dear. It is evident. What a blessing for her … and for me!
Alongside my mother, I look to many others for their great examples of motherhood – my mother-in-laws, my sister-in-laws, aunts, good friends, etc. But the ones I look to most would be my three sisters. Each one of them possess qualities of amazing mothers. Each of my sisters have had different challenges, experiences, and findings as they have trekked through motherhood. For me, it has been beautiful, as I have learned from and grown because each of their examples. I have much love, respect and gratitude for each of them!
My oldest sister, Kristin, is strong, smart, and loving. When I look at Kristin, the words that stands out the most are: PERSEVERE and LOVE! She has faced challenges, head on, that I don’t know I could ever get through had I been in her shoes. What I love about Kristin, and a testament to me of the responsibility of being a mother, is that though it all, her driving force to keep going has been her role as a mother and her love for her children. When you talk to her, you can feel the immense gratitude and love she has for her kids. Her love for them is so deep. It’s beautiful to see her relationship with them and her children’s love and respect for their mom. Her children are smart, caring, service-oriented, talented and hard-working. Not only has Kristin persevered, but she is more radiant because of it! I know Kristin’s role as mother has been a shining force behind it all. Her example makes me want to be a better mother.
In our younger years, my younger sister, Julie, and I were always thought to be twins. I loved having a twin! (She was definitely the cuter half, for sure!) As she married and started her own family, it has been beautiful to see Julie in her role as a mother. I think of Julie and I think: BIG HEART and LOVE! In society these days, we often see our “big (and soft) heart” get in the way of discipline and structure. I am grateful for Julie’s example that one can have big heart AND maintain the balance of discipline, structure and a fullness of love. Julie has homeschooled her children, taken care of her aging in-laws, participated in church and community projects along side her family. As a result, her children are smart, respectful, loving, helpful, hard workers and always have big smiles. I can see when I go in their home that “Love is spoken here”. I know that Julie is behind it all! I want to be a better mother, because of what I see and feel in Julie’s home. And for that, I’ll take being her twin, any day!
My youngest sister, Sarah, is nothing short of amazing. I have seen the challenges that she has faced as a mother and the fight and drive to make JOY and LOVE the underlying and overriding factor in her home. You know success when you see the young people say and do the things they have seen their parents say and do.
I see that in Sarah’s family. You see her children remember to pray, to serve and be kind to family, learning to accept the consequences for their actions – which ever way they stand, and share their love for their parents. These wouldn’t happen without the example Sarah has given to them. She is a stalwart mother. I want to be a better mother, because of the kind of mother Sarah is.
I’m grateful for these mothers in my life – looking to them has made it easier … because being a mother is hard work. Each of us have different lives, work responsibilities are different, our children have different personalities, challenges and abilities. We have all been exposed to different examples of motherhood. The philosophies of ‘how to mother’ are as numerous as there are mothers. But if there is one thing, well, make that two things we all have in common, it would be: We want to be a good mom. We want the best for our children.
I don’t know all the answers of how to be a great mother. But I keep trying – I get up every day and strive to be a better mom than I was the day before. Although I don’t have all the answers, I can say for sure that two things have shown tried and true for me: PRAYER and LOVE. Sometimes I wonder how to keep going – and the peace, the love, the support, the answers, the drive have come only through getting on my knees. I am grateful for prayer in my life as a mother. I have also learned that when love comes first, I am more patient, I am reminded of my children’s potential and why they were placed in my care, I see I can persevere, I feel the joy, and the love is stronger – for my kids and for my responsibility and opportunity to be a mother.
The world we live in has become more challenging – fluctuating values, responsibilities, expectations, and even the status of parenthood/motherhood. Our challenge as mothers is a great load and responsiblity. But God has given us this responsibility, and He knows we can do it … and that is a great honor and a great comfort!
One last thing that tugs at my heart and I want to share. There are several women in my life, growing up and also since starting my own family, who I (and my family) have been very blessed to know. These women have made an impact on me throughout my life and as a mother. Some of these women have not had the opportunity to have children of their own. But I am grateful that that didn’t waiver their decision to help me, guide me, and walk beside me, cheering me on along the way. I am grateful that whether or not they had children of their own, they still loved me, my children, my family and have planted hope and love in our path. These women, all of them, have made a lasting impact on my life. And I am grateful!