When we work hard at mothering, we often come face-to-face with ourselves. We see our fears and our desire to control everything. We see our own anger. Our selfishness, anxieties, and our weakness and frailty all come to the forefront.
It’s embarrassing, isn’t it?
Too often, our tendency is to just want to shut it down.
When we start to see what we’re really like, we can be tempted to treat motherhood with avoidance, or pulling away. When we’re overwhelmed, angry, or anxiety-riddled, we could feel “we’re just not able to handle” motherhood, and think the answer is to not have any more children.
When anger flares as our children need discipline and correction, we can be tempted to feel like “we’re just too angry” of a mom to keep on spanking our children.
We can feeling like giving up or giving in.
But we shouldn’t lose heart or give up. Motherhood isn’t to be treated like alcohol: something where we can stop doing it, if we find we’re not handling it well. No, it’s more like food: no matter how we’re handling it, we have to go on eating, and work through our issues along the way, even while we keep on eating as well as we can.
Let’s face it, having children exposes our many, many weaknesses and gives heaps of opportunities for our anger, anxieties, weakness, and selfishness to be exposed. But too often, we can feel that the problem is the circumstances that EXPOSE us, rather than focusing our sights on the problem itself (our anger, anxiety, selfishness, etc).
Whatever other choices we do or don’t make, the real work of motherhood is found in keeping on mothering with increasing faithfulness, even as we deal with ourselves and the ugliness we see inside.
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