It’s funny how much my view of motherhood has changed since I entered into that role. I always knew mothers were important. I always knew it was a hard job. I just never quite understood the extent of either. There was a time when I thought mothers who wanted to be stay-at-home moms had no ambition. Oh, how naive I was! It also never occurred to me that just because a mother doesn’t work outside the home, doesn’t mean she doesn’t do plenty for her family, church, or community.
I read an article several months ago about how parenting does not bring enough happiness to counter all the stress and cost associated with it. The author must not be a parent. If he/she is, I pity their children. I’ve thought on several occasions that if I was going to pick a name that perfectly suited Dinah, it would have to be Joy. She just exudes joy. I’ve had people stop me in the grocery store and ask if she’s always that happy. And, the answer is yes, most of the time. She provokes it in others too with her smiles, giggles, squeals, singing, running, jumping, most everything she does. When I was pregnant, and freaking out a little over the changes about to come because I liked it being just the two of us, my friend told me once she was here I wouldn’t be able to imagine life without her. She was absolutely right. Nothing in my life has ever stressed me out as much as she can, but nothing has ever been such a constant source of joy either.
Being a mother is unlike any other relationship or any other responsibility in the world. There will be many factors shaping Dinah throughout her life. The people she meets, and relationships she has. The joys and hurts she feels. The books she reads. The examples of others, and the situations she encounters. But, the first thing she sees, and the greatest influence is what she experiences at home. It’s my job (and Dean’s) to show her love, forgiveness, gentleness, kindness. It’s our job to direct her. What could be more important than that? People are always looking for ways to make a difference in the world. Motherhood makes a difference.
I’m thankful (and terrified) for that opportunity to make that big of difference in someone’s life. I’m thankful for my own mother and the difference she made in my life. She wasn’t perfect, and I’m not either. But, I knew she loved me. She did her best to direct me in the right ways, in the things that mattered. She has always put me and my brothers first. Our needs were always met before her own. Still to this day, she cares more about how she can help us than how she can help herself. Thank the Lord for mothers.