Thursday, March 1, 2012

What Everyone Failed to Tell Me about Motherhood

I grew up knowing that motherhood was a hard thing. I remember women complaining about how difficult it was, and I rarely met a woman who seemed happy being a full-time mom. Indeed, it seemed like those who stayed home with children were constantly trying to prove their importance and value as great contributors of society while failing to believe it themselves.

Mothers seemed an unhappy lot who were waiting for their children to grow up so that they could follow their real dreams. They talked about how unrewarding and thankless motherhood was, and it seemed more like a death sentence than a chosen occupation. Some claimed that motherhood was a blessing in much the same way that others claim that difficult trials are a blessing long after the fact. It was as if they grouped the motherhood blessing with death, financial ruin, or like terminal illness as a painful teacher that stretches the soul.

What young woman would WANT to be a mother with an education and example like that? Oddly, and despite all of this, I remember deciding at age 16 that someday I wanted to be a mother. I decided, however, that for me it would be different. What made the difference for me? I knew that my dad loved being a dad, and I knew that my grandfather loved being a grandfather. Why, then, couldn't I love being a mother?

As a new mother, many told me how hard life was going to be, especially with twins. I knew that it would be a lot of work, but for me work does not equate to misery. I have basked in the beauty of these tiny souls and have enjoyed caring for them in spite of sleepless nights and days. They have not been a burden; they have been a joy. Even in exhaustion, they have been heavenly, and the very best kind of blessing.

While many are happy for me, oddly there are some still waiting, watching for that moment that they may toss their "I told you so's" my way. It's as if my joy is their burden. To them I say, motherhood is marvelous, exciting, adventurous, and requires a courageous and happy heart. Choosing to have a positive outlook on life doesn't mean that one does not face difficult circumstances, but it does mean choosing to find and focus on the good aspects of an experience. It may be challenging to do so at first, especially if one is accustomed to looking for and focusing on the negative, but like anything, it gets easier with practice. Succumbing to anxiety, fear, and negativity are not God's way. In fact, they are the opposite.

Looking for the good in one's life and being happy for another's happiness will make one happier much faster than finding fault with one's own life or with someone else. We find that for which we seek.

So what was it that all of those mothers failed to tell me? That motherhood is magical, exciting and fun! I completely understand that saying so puts me in the line of fire for those intent on proving me wrong, but I refuse to send deceptively negative messages about motherhood. We each choose our attitudes, and it's unfair to teach future mothers a negative attitude about motherhood.

Every job has aspects that we enjoy more than others, but at the end of the day, we either love what we do or we don't. How I love being a mother, come rain or shine. It's my favorite job yet, and I just gave up the best job I've ever had for the best job I'll ever have... being a professional mom.


  1. I completely agree with you about how wonderful motherhood is, but I am left wondering - what kind of people were you hanging around as a child? And who are you currently associating with who are waiting for you to hate your new role? You have made similar statements on this blog in the past about how stay at home moms in general hate their role in life, and how others are just waiting for you to join those ranks. I've never heard moms putting their jobs down or complaining about being with their children. (Maybe on TV, but it has been years since I've watched a show like that.) Please don't take this the wrong way, but maybe you should find some new friends?

    PS> I'm really glad you've joined this gigantic group of women who LOVE being a mom and who treasure their time with their children. Welcome! :-)

  2. Hi Missy, I also post Happy mommy thoughts on Facebook, and have had several individuals across the country thank me for my positive outlook on motherhood, commenting that they are so used to women complaining about motherhood. This makes me think that this isn't an isolated perspective/experience, so perhaps you are just very blessed and fortunate to be surrounded by women who are particularly good at expressing gratitude an communicating the marvelous wonders of motherhood. I hope that my girls will be able to say that of me, knowing how much I loved being their momma and wondering how anyone could feel differently. :)


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