Growing up, I remember playing dress-up, using my crocheted blanket as a habit to pretend I was Sr. Mary Somebody, who loved God and wanted to be the best nun in the world.
Other times, I was a princess or queen in a more Cinderella-esque story; but, the love of God was still there – the desire to serve God was still forefront in my solo playing adventures.
My sister says my one goal in life was to become a wife and mother, and I would play house for weeks on end.
The older I became, as is typical, my imaginative play began to subside. I stopped playing nuns, I stopped playing royalty, I stopped playing house.
While I don’t recall ever doubting the existence of God, for a while, I even stopped believing my Faith. God seemed silent in my life, and I didn’t understand His course of action planned for me, nor did I consider taking a moment to to ask Him of his plans for my life.
Then, I became a mother.
The gravity of motherhood hit me like waves hitting the rocks off an island – fast, furious, and with a passion and intensity I had yet to experience in life.
Such a little word, and yet a word laden with so many emotions, so many thoughts, so many memories, and so much intimidation.
Like any journey in life, motherhood is what we make of it. There are high and low points; there are moments in which we will all battle with stress, anxiety, and worry.
Yet, no matter how difficult it can be to disentangle ourselves from the ball of worry and anxiety, as mothers, it is important we do so. For, each of us are destined for greatness.
We are each given a mission – to love, to guide, to lead, and to raise our children to the best of our abilities. Through the process of motherhood, we are called to put the welfare and well-being of our children.
But, we are also called to care for ourselves.
We must provide for our physical needs of food, water, clothing, and shelter. We must provide for our social needs, gleaning support where we can. We must provide for our emotional needs, since we won’t be effective at caring for others, if we can’t even care for ourselves. Finally, we are called to address our spiritual needs.
Our spirituality is the root of our lives – from those roots shoot the trunk, the branches, and the leaves of our everyday existence. When God is not in the forefront of our daily thoughts and actions, the rest of our life will feel a ripple effect.
Lately, I have noticed I am striving to be like the young child playing nun, royalty, or house – I am trying to live a life with a focus on God first.
Mothers have been given the gift of parenthood, and our children are always watching, listening, and learning from us. Therefore, our goal should be to care for ourselves in a manner which will in turn allow us to care for our children, and model to them the skills, and importance, of self-care, so they will learn the techniques themselves.
As we begin this new year, I encourage all of us mothers to be a little selfish. Take a few moments to reflect on our needs – what are areas in our life that need a little more focus? How can we best support each other on this journey of motherhood? And, how can we enhance our faith while walking through the journey of motherhood?