Lately, I have been thinking about mothers; I am one. I have one, and ten years ago, I got myself one of those 'in-law' ones. I have also been 'mothered' by older women (the ones that bake you a cake when you have a baby, or put your washing away when you're heavily pregnant). From my own mother, I learnt how to be hospitable and go the extra mile for people, how to bake without measurements and live without order, how to laugh a lot and find a bargain. From my mother in law, I have learnt how to be patient and diligent, and to see the benefit of a little order in the chaos, and how to give my oldest boys individual time. From those mother-hen types, I have learnt to offer help, even when a mum says she's coping and to look out for young mums. And from being a mother, well...I'm still learning. I have learnt that wet wipes really can clean anything, that you have to say sorry often, that it's best if you try not to laugh during discipline, that you have to try not to worry what others think of you or your kids, that you need to ask for help and advice, and that you need to hand over all the 'Mother Guilt' to the one who loves us with His perfect Grace.
As far as I can tell, some aspects of mothering are the same whether you're mothering girls or mothering boys. It is one of those relentless but joyful tasks. It's full of tears and laughter. Full of the unknown, and the same old things. Full of teaching, but also learning. Full of change yet also steadfastness. Full of worries and expectations. To mother, it seems, what ever book you read, is to improvise on the spot; how do I bring Biblical teaching into this? how do I make a jet pack out of a Pringles tub? How do I know which size jelly mould is the right sized sick bucket, for which child?
To mother, it also seems, is to be the fountain of all knowledge, at any time of the day, or at least to pretend to be, or asking God and Google for wisdom in the moment. Some days, mothering is just full of naked bottoms, poo or sick, Calpol and cheesestrings!
I think that most mothers can relate to one another, despite their different situations and circumstances. On some levels, one mother's plight can be totally different to another's. And mothers can definitely learn from one another. So here is my introduction to a series on 'Mothering'. I have interviewed different mothers to find out what mothering is like for them and see what we can learn from their journeys. The common ground I have found, is that regardless of our mothering differences, God remains the same. Amen to that. He remains faithful, loving and full of grace no matter what kind of mother we are. And He is willing to help us become mothers who glorify Him.
"Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 2:22-23
I hope and pray that you enjoy the series...
Part 1 - Mothering Special Needs
Part 2 - Mothering and Mourning
Part 3 - Mothering at Christmas
Part 4 - Mothering Twins
Part 5 - Mothering Many
Part 6 - Mothering & Working
Part 7 - Mothering someone else's
Part 8 - Mothering with Post Natal Depression
Part 9 - Mothering Young
Part 10 - Mothering Girls
Part 11 - Mothering an Empty Nest
Part 12 - Mothering in Fear
Part 13 - Mothering Alone
Part 14 - Mothering the Prodigal Son
Part 15 - Mothering Mum
Part 16 - Mothering Across Cultures
Part 17 - Mothering Without Mum
Part 18 - Mothering Through Loss
Part 19 - Mothering Anorexia Part One