Monday, July 23, 2012

When I Know I've Arrived {Mindful Mothering Mondays}

He ran away.  I set him out on the back porch with a lime popsicle clutched in his chubby fist and told him to stay right there.  5 minutes later I get a call from my cousin on the next block, telling me she has something that belongs to me.  I bury my head in my hands, defeated, and not for the first time today.  My husband offers to go fetch the 3 year old runaway.  I start dinner and think  - when will this get easier?  When will I "arrive"??

You know what I mean.  That thought that someday you will have arrived as a mother.  We all have those thoughts.  Maybe you think it will happen when your last baby potty trains.  Or maybe when your oldest aces the ACT.  Maybe you think you have arrived when your husband walks your daughter down the isle and into the life of a good man.  Maybe that's the day you have arrived.  Maybe it's when your children are parents, themselves.  Maybe that's the day that you can say that your mothering has reached it's glorious summit.  You have arrived.  How good that day will feel!

The less than thrilling truth is, however, that potty training is not the apex of Mothering might.  You wake up in the middle of the night to a wet and ice cold toddler sobbing "I had an accident, Mama!"  Your child may ace the ACT but end up goofing off in school and losing his scholarships, moving back in to his old bedroom at home.  Your daughter, happily married, may call you at midnight and say "Mommy...he left."  You may see your children welcome little ones of their own only to struggle just as hard as you did when they were young.

The truth is, if we look for our moment of arrival here on earth, we will always be disappointed.  We'll be shocked when things don't go as we always expected they would.  We'll be devastated when all our time and prayers and effort seems to have amounted to nothing.  We'll feel the burn of embarrassment when our children disappoint us, and the whole world sees.  We'll feel the pain of watching the people we love the most in the world struggle.  This is the sacrifice of Mothering.

I will know I've arrived when I draw up to the pearly gates and see the face of the only Perfect Son that ever lived.  And even if not all of our kids make it, even if our hearts are broken back there on earth into a thousand pieces, He'll welcome us with open arms and tell us "Well done!"  We will have arrived when every mothering tear has been dried, every moment of heartache has sanctified, every second we spent on our knees before God for the sake of our children  counted as holiness.

This path is not for the faint of heart, nor those who want a quick return on little work.  This is the soul deep, heart wrenching, life sacrificing work of being a mother.  Still, we keep on with it, good days and bad, happy moments and heartbreaks, because we know it is worth something more, a reward at the end of it all.

{Today, join us in Mindful Mothering Mondays.  A day to take a deep breath and write out your mothering journey, whatever form it takes.  A day to link up for encouragement from others who are in this same phase of life.  A day of writing out the trials and triumphs and what you're learning right where you are, right now.

You might post recent struggles or thoughts.  Maybe just a picture or a quote.  Or maybe you'll just come here and read the links that others post.  Whatever form your participation takes, this is a day for you.
We are all in this, together.  Together, we can encourage and build one another up, be honest with our shortcomings and strengthened by community to keep fighting the good fight.

I chose Mondays because what Mama doesn't need a little encouragement on a Monday? As such, I'll have the link up ready to go on Sunday night for you to begin submitting your links.

I hope you'll meet with me each Monday!  Here's what to do ~

Link up your post below.  Remember to put the link to the exact post you want to link, and not just your blog url. Include in your post a link back here so others who want to join in can find us!  And visit some other Mamas who have linked up.

Post the community graphic within your post, so people who are reading your Mindful Mothering post can come back here and find the rest of us!

Invite the writers of your favorite blogs to join in!

Share this meme with others on facebook and twitter.  This community is for all moms, and the more that participate, the more we will be able to enjoy!}



  1. Wow! Beautiful post Lydia, tears flowing.

  2. Thank you for hosting such a wonderful, uplifting feature!

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  4. I think that's the hardest part of parenting, remembering that our ultimate reward lies in Heaven and not on this earth. In a culture that likes to be rewarded right away, this is tough to remember. Thanks for posting this!

    1. I think that may be one of the hardest parts - that sometimes the world does not understand this vocation, nor the value of working your whole life and never "arriving" at a good coasting stage this side of heaven. Which is why we need other Mamas to help us remember and encourage us!

  5. This a good reminder, especially for the days when nothing goes right!...K


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