This MoM Blog was written by Jamie Hoos. You can connect with her on Facebook or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Someone once said that motherhood is like riding a roller coaster. I think I would have to agree. Wholeheartedly!
Let me tell you a little about the ride . . . as if you didn’t already know these things.
First of all, once you get on, there’s no getting off. We learned that when the line on the pregnancy test turned solid and then nine months later we found ourselves in labor. There, in fact, was no turning back. The motherhood ride is not over until it’s over and then, I’ve been told, there’s grandchildren. This of course, is a good thing. No one wants to escape in the middle of the ride, anyways! That would be insane.
Insanity brings us to the next point: You’d better buckle your seat belt and keep your hands and feet inside the cart at all times. It’s flat-out dangerous being a mom. Sometimes even hazardous. There’s the germs. The lack of sleep. The sacrifices we make with our very bodies. The drives to and from town with your fifteen-year old who barely passed the test to get her permit. The drives to and from town with your fifteen-year old who barely passed the test to get her permit.
Emotionally—as a mother–you’re basically going from one extreme to the other. Perhaps this is the point that illustrates the mommy roller coaster ride the best. One moment you’re gripping the bars so tightly because you’re scared to death you’re not going to make it through the day—let alone the entire ride (you know what I’m talking about!) And the next moment, you’re raising your hands high in the air screaming with excitement because the joys and mountain tops are just so stinkin’ fun and rewarding!
Furthermore, if it’s your first time riding the mother roller coaster—or your first time through a certain season or stage of your child’s life–you never really know what’s around the next corner. It could be whiplash from the complete turnaround your pre-teen just made right in front of your eyes; or, it could be a nice breezy straightaway like seven whole hours of uninterrupted sleep. Surprises come in all shapes, sizes and at all times. This is, for sure, when you’re a mom.
This ride is simultaneously exhausting and exhilarating just thinking about it.
For me, I’m presently full-fledged in my mothering roller coaster ride. Four teenagers and the youngest who is eight. It’s the only ride I find myself on these days because the real coasters are just too much for my aging body. Back in the day, I rode the big ones—most of the time my eyes were closed shut the entire ride—but I rode them. I do remember one thing that made the ride so much more fun . . . and that was riding with a friend!
Alas, our last point about this roller coaster thing. . . It’s so much more fun to be experiencing it with a friend.
Let’s face it, though, friendships are hard when we’re mothering. We can potentially find ourselves isolated from our friends or from those who may potentially be our friends. Oftentimes, this happens after our first child arrives and our network of social activities begins to change simply because we’re doing “the baby thing.” Other times, if we’re honest, it can be because we don’t feel like making the effort to have and to be a good friend. Friendships can also be very risky –who wants to be vulnerable and take the chance of being disappointed or hurt? Most of the time, however, we fail to pursue friendships when we’re knee deep in this mothering thing because we just don’t have the time.
Let us reconsider. Everything we have—our families, our homes, our jobs, our lives—is a gift from God. When we begin to recognize these gifts as blessings straight from Him, we see our response to the people and the opportunities of life differently. We can begin to re-prioritize, so to speak. Certainly, when we give our lives to Christ it becomes all about Him. His grace. His love. His guidance. His plan. In everything, including our mothering. And our friendships.
To put it plain and simple, when we put Christ in the middle of our “mommy-ing” and our friendships, we have a dynamic equation equaling great encouragement and power in our mothering that we perhaps have never even dreamed of!
What does that look like for you and for me, if we’re friends together in Christ, in the midst of this mothering? Is it time-consuming, draining and more of a burden than a blessing? No, it doesn’t have to be. I promise.
Picture it this way . . . you seek the Lord as you love and serve your children and I’ll do the same. We’ll push each other on in this journey and remind the other of His faithfulness. You keep it real with what’s going on in your family, and I will, too. No need to pretend like we’re perfect when we’re not. That perfection was settled on The Cross. You pray for and love my kids, when they’re good and when they’re bad, and I’ll commit to do that for your kids as well. We’ll draw strength and encouragement from one another, because of the strength and encouragement God is giving us as individually. His well is so deep, we’ll find ourselves filling up so that we can pour out to our families and to one another.
In short, we’ll ride this roller coaster together. And it will be worth it. And we will be glad that we did. Because the reality is, the ride wasn’t meant to be ridden alone.
“Two are better than one, for they have a good return for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” Ecclesiastes 4: 9 – 10 a
Moms on Mission is for moms of all ages and meets monthly to grow moms in their faith and friendships. The next gathering is from 6:00 – 8:00 pm on October 10, 2017 at Cornerstone Baptist Church. Registration fee is $25 (includes a book on motherhood) for the year. Childcare is provided. For more info, call 827-4833.