This post is brought to you by Passionate Homemaking’s monthly contributor, Vina.
The most popular topics for moms these days seem to be about growing in the practice of motherhood. Few of us enter this holy profession with intentional preparation like we do the careers we choose. Often we stumble our way into it and learn as best as we can how to nurture our little ones physically, emotionally and spiritually as we go. We learn about creating routines, nourishing meals, family mission statements, and so much more. But as much as motherhood is an opportunity to grow the many skills and attitudes necessary to nurture a family and a home, I believe it also a timely gift to grow ourselves through it.
The Gift of Simplicity
- “Simplicity, clarity, singleness: These are the attributes that give our lives power and vividness and joy as they are also the marks of great art. They seem to be the purpose of God for his whole creation.” – Richard Holloway
Because mothers wear many hats both inside and outside the home, we quickly learn that we must simplify our lives so we can thrive. For those of us who stay at home, it is imperative that we figure out the essential purpose of our day to day tasks and the meaning behind our everyday mundane, repetitive chores so we can focus on the relationships that truly matter most. We grow in simplicity as a matter of necessity, and not by choice. Or else we drown. Motherhood then becomes a gift to help us learn what we are all about, live simply as we can and we let go of the fluff that often distracts us.
Has this been true of you? What are the ways you’ve seen motherhood change you towards a more simple life? How has it spurred you to seek simplicity in your personal life?
The Gift of Authenticity
- “We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” – May Sarton
There has never been a ruder awakening in my life about my desperate shortcomings other than motherhood. The huge responsibility of nurturing another life gets me thinking of all the ways I don’t measure up to whatever ideal it is I picture in my head. It’s like a magnifying glass over the things I’m incompetent in: cooking, keeping house, self-care, and more. But it is precisely because of this that motherhood offers us a way to grow into the person we truly are. We learn to be painfully honest of our weaknesses while we gratefully embrace our strengths. We daily stand on grace and nothing else if only to keep going in this rigorous task we have been given. The gift of authenticity. No more pretending to be more than who we are.
Have you seen motherhood change you towards a more authentic life? What is your experience like?
The Gift of Creativity
- “Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” – Albert Einstein
Motherhood is about creating. We’re given a powerful opportunity to participate in creating life, beginning in our wombs, and beyond. As a new mom, I’ve had to learn how to create in the kitchen even when it’s the last thing I would choose to do. I’ve learned to create with my hands things I would otherwise never ever think about if I wasn’t a mom: cloth diapers, dresses, dolls, and more. If I let it, motherhood can draw me back into the creative world of our children who see everything with such delight and wonder. The songs, the dances, the long walks, the colors, the ideas, the interconnectedness of everything they see and experience. Truly, our children are the best teachers for those of us who have fallen out of touch with our inner creative child. A gift of creativity from the inside out is priceless.
Does this resonate with you? Do you feel like motherhood has given you a new opportunity to relive the creative side you may have long forgotten?
- “The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Ghandi
Prior to becoming a mom, I’ve always been drawn to children. I taught 2nd graders at one point when I lived in China after college. But motherhood has multiplied that heart for the little ones ten times and more. When I look at my darling girl, I think of the many other little girls in this world and I want for them what I want for my daughter. I am filled with anger when I hear about little girls being sold into prostitution. My heart breaks for refugee children and orphans who have no place to call homes. Motherhood is continually making spaces for my heart that I thought were already filled. A gift of unexpected generosity, especially when motherhood is already about giving ourselves away to the small people in our lives on a daily basis. And yet, there is more of ourselves to give.
Have you felt motherhood draw you to a more generous life, when you didn’t think you had more to give? In what ways has it stretched you?
We’ve truly been given an incredibly gift as mothers. Everyday we have opportunities to grow in simplicity, authenticity, creativity and generosity. And whether or not we say yes to these opportunities may have more weight than say, learning to cook the best pot roast ever. Because these are the very gifts our children will take with them now, and long after they leave home.