Motherhood is not what I expected it to be.
A quote from my daughter sums up what I thought motherhood would look like.
“When I’m a mom I am going to get up in the morning, ask my kids what they want to do, and then we are going to do that thing.”
I thought motherhood would be a little like what my daughters anticipations are. Turns out it’s not.
Motherhood began for me with an unexpected pregnancy. Living with my parents. Trying to Co-Parent with someone I barely knew. A week long stay at children’s hospital.
Each pregnancy held lots of vomit instead of a cute belly and a beautiful glow.
When I did get married I wasn’t patient and calm towards the end of my pregnancy (or during any of it). I was a nightmare to live with. One of our kiddos was born during my husbands busiest season. I would ‘test’ call him. I would call to see if he would pick up and how quickly he would respond. Just in case I needed to get to the hospital. If he didn’t answer within an ‘acceptable’ amount of time I would be beyond irritated.
I thought I would be a mother who had an unending patients, supper on the table at exactly the right time and it would be a completely balanced meal, with dessert. I thought I would be the mother who would do crafts every day. I thought I would be the mother who was in incredible shape. I thought I would be the mother who always knew how to discipline. I thought I would be the mother who adored the sweetness of bedtime.
Turns out I am more of a spend to much time on Facebook or reading murder mysteries, in a messy house, with no patience, to exhausted to organize a craft or play, is at a complete loss for how to discipline most of the time and loves bedtime because I can eat ice cream after only scooping one bowl instead of 5 and watch Outlander in peace and quiet type of mom.
I thought I would find more joy in my ability to mother, in being mom.
Where my joy actually comes from is that I am loved in spite of myself.
Even when I didn’t Christ knew I would end up pregnant and a single mom. He knew I would be short on patience and long on my ability to scroll through Facebook. He knew I would binge on ice cream and Netflix instead of serve those around me.
Turns out the joy does not spring from me or what I am doing but from Christ.
The unexpected joy comes from remembering I am loved and so are my children in spite of what I do or who I am.
Joy does not come from being the mother with the clean home, organized crafts, unending patience, Out lander and The Office watching, Ice Cream eating, everything in order type of mom. Joy does not come from being whatever type of mom you dream of being/
Joy comes from being loved in spite of what I do.
Joy comes from loving my children in spite of themselves.
Joy comes because it is not dependent on my work which, as a mother, in always unfinished.
Joy comes from the finished work of Christ.
When it comes time for me to hold the title of Grandma Katie I can look at my daughter and the women my sons marry and let them know where I failed as a mother and where the joy of motherhood actually comes from.
It does not come from motherhood. It does not come from the always unfinished work of motherhood. It comes from being loved in spite of ourselves. It comes from the finished work of Christ.