It was late at night and I was heading to bed when a sleepy critter emoticon popped up on my phone. It was a message from a friend that read:
“I have been trying to get [my daughter] to sleep for an hour!”
“You know … there are times that I want to be a mom so bad that I think I would welcome sleepless Littles!”
Knowing that our audience is comprised of many young ladies who have not yet been blessed with the gifts of marriage and motherhood, I can imagine that many of you have experienced similar feelings. I think most of us would be absolutely delighted to have children of our own and I know that some young women feel a little discouraged during Mother’s Day season: feeling like we’re missing out on something. And we are.
I know there are many young women who are thinking, “Oh, what I wouldn’t give to have children of my own!”
And I know that any mother will tell you that once you are blessed with children, you’ll give everything you have. And then some! Are you ready for that?
I was sitting on my bed doing a few last minute things before hitting the pillow, and my sister spoke up out of the blue. “You’ll make a great wife and mom one day!”
“Who? Me? Why would you say that?” I asked, feeling a little amused and doubtful.
“Because you can handle everything,” was her reply!
I laughed at her confidence and was about to set her straight when another sister piped up in a half-playful, half-serious tone, “But she gets cross!” And she proceeded to explain that I had gotten cross with her about her math schoolwork.
So while one sister explained to the other that everyone gets cross and no one would ever get married if they waited until they never got cross … I thought about what she said.
It was true – I had gotten a little upset with her. It wasn’t entirely my fault but I hadn’t reacted with self-control, gentleness, kindness … you know, all the good fruits! We had both asked forgiveness and resolved the situation but the fact that it had happened still bothered me, and even more so the thought that one day I might treat my little daughter in that way.
I remember a couple years ago I had an amazing Labrador puppy whom I really enjoyed, but he didn’t like to sleep in his crate through the night. I was awoken time after time in the middle of the night by his cries and had to spend time trying to keep him from waking the rest of the family with his howls and teaching him to sleep peacefully in the crate. After multiple nights of this, I was tired and frustrated! One night I shoved him roughly into the crate, slammed the door and muttered something like, “There! Would you just shut up and go to sleep?!”
In case you’re wondering, that didn’t stop the howling 😉
But it did cause me to think – “Oh no! What type of mom am I going to be?!”
After all, I’ve heard most babies don’t sleep entirely through the night! Granted, most of us would probably enjoy rocking a baby in front of the fireplace at 2am rather than a puppy, but as much as I’d love to be a mom one day, I can’t deny the fact that there will be times when I want my sleep more than I want to care for a crying baby.
I was reminded of this scenario again recently while training my horse. She was having a stubborn moment and it was a conflict of wills. Showdown time. I knew I had to win the battle and not let her think she was in charge of me, but oh my! As I’m sweating and my arms are aching, I could feel the frustration mounting. I wanted to burst forth with, “You stupid, stubborn horse! Why won’t you submit?!”
Don’t worry, I didn’t say that! But it was in my thoughts for sure. And then I thought about when I may have children that are being disobedient. Stubborn. After all, most children aren’t perfect angels and I’ve seen plenty battles of will! When it’s my two year old who’s defying me, instead of my horse, will I maintain self control or will I lash out in frustration?
You see ladies, most of us have been placed in situations in which to practice the character traits that we will need as wives and mothers. These situations and positions will probably look a little different for each of us, but the Heavenly Father gives us the perfect training ground for what we will encounter in the future. If we can’t learn to control our tongues and tempers here and now, what makes us think we’ll be able to do it in our own homes – when there will be SO much more pressure and responsibility falling on us?
Because at the end of the day, I may be pretty good at keeping things together and getting everything done. But if I’ve left behind a trail of “being cross” … what have I accomplished?
As this year’s Mother’s Day approaches, I want to make a few suggestions.
First, show some love and appreciation for your own mother, or the mother-figures in your life. And no, you don’t have to say “mother-figure” with an Ernest T Bass accent! Seriously though, all of us can use encouragement and this is a good day to remember those who have blessed us with their maternal influence. If you’re trying to think of ways that you can bless your mother, you can check out this post from a blogging acquaintance of mine:
And for any husbands who may be reading this post, here’s a special message just for you!
I enjoyed this post on 5 Ways To Encourage A New Mom. I think those of us who aren’t married can sometimes feel out of touch or awkward with our friends who are now wives and mothers, as we cannot relate to what they’re experiencing, and this gives some practical advice.
For our readers who are mothers, I want to encourage you! You are doing a great work! We’re all familiar with the saying “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world” but I think it has become a cliche and we sometimes don’t consider the important truth that it conveys. If you’re struggling with discouragement or failure, I encourage you to visit the following posts:
Last year my mother shared this post, as she realized that she would not be the blessed mother she is, if it were not for my father. This is a different perspective than what most people focus on this day but it’s an important one nevertheless.
While Mother’s Day is a special day for hundreds of thousands of women around the world, we also know that there are many women who are hurting on this day. There are women who are married but cannot bear children and Mother’s Day only makes this realization a little more painful. There are unmarried women who desire so badly to have children of their own but are still as single as ever. If this day is a painful one for you, I want to give you a big hug through the computer screen. And I want to share a few meaningful posts that have been written just for you.
Can we chat?
If you are a mom, can you share an encouraging thought for unmarried young ladies?
If you are not a mom, can you share an encouraging thought for the mamas who are reading this?