Mothering is the Hard Part

Mothering is the Hard Part October 16, 2017

For most women it’s not hard to have a baby. Of course, that does not discount the many who have been unsuccessful in their attempts to conceive (including me). Still, for the majority of ladies, getting pregnant is easy. And it’s certainly common. Then comes 40 weeks, give or take. Weeks and months of nausea, heartburn, cravings, insomnia, and a swelling body that grows, nourishes, and protects a baby. Mama waiting for the day that little one can be held outside her body. Sometimes patiently, and sometimes impatiently, planning and preparing and praying.

As tough as it can be, the pregnancy is temporary. And in the grand scheme of parenting, it’s not really the hardest part.

No – the hard part is mothering.

Nursing or making bottles. Changing diapers and rocking baby in the middle of the night. Kissing boo-boos and putting the band aid on just right, even if it isn’t really needed (and cost you extra because the bandages have the princess du jour on them). Driving the car pool, going on field trips, teaching Sunday school. Helping with homework and cooking dinner. Grocery shopping and doling out lots (and lots) of snacks. Taking loads of pictures (and never being on the other end of the camera). Planning birthday parties and (spoiler alert) playing Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. Cheering at the football game or dance recital…or soccer or piano or whatever. Buying clothes, school supplies, and the latest gadgets. From teaching them to ride a bike to teaching them to drive a car. Staying up until they’re home and tucked in bed. Late night chats and countless lessons. Listening and loving no matter what – and not just until age 18. Heck, sometimes you don’t even meet your kiddos until after they become adults. This and so much more – this is mothering.

As my husband and I go through the adoption process, I was feeling old to become a first time mom. After sharing my thought with a group of ladies at a recent Bible study, a wise friend responded, “You can be a mom at any age.” She was right – she experienced what it was like to mother children that she didn’t bear, including children that are now adults that still need her attention and care. She knew that mothering doesn’t have anything to do with whether or not you went through pregnancy and delivery. Whether or not the child came from your womb. Whether or not you are legally “mom”. Whether the child is in your life temporarily or forever. It’s the mothering that makes you a mom. And mothering is the hard part. Regardless of how you mother, you deserve a pat on the back. A whisper in the ear that says confidently good job. You’re doing the hard part, and you’re doing it well.

Browse Our Archives