The term “working moms” is redundant. – Jane Sellman
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in truth.” (3 John 1:4).
At the moment, I am sitting in a hotel room in Chicago playing “nanny” for several days to my nine-week-old grandbaby girl while her mother attends a company sales meeting. I haven’t hit the Magnificent Mile at all, and I have left the hotel just once in five days. Although a bit sleep deprived at the moment, I have relished every second with my daughter and granddaughter and have had no desire to change a thing—except—I have wished a million times that my mother could be with us. There is something about the sorority of motherhood that bonds us in inexplicable ways. The miracle of that tiny person who has changed every aspect of life for the rest of one’s days is now a too-deep-for-words kind of love that we share.
Nurture and caregiving come instinctively to most women. I can remember my son, who was six years old at the time, pleading with me to tell his sister (who was three years old) to “stop mothering” him. That memory makes me smile as I watch my daughter “mother” this little girl as though she is her very own baby doll.
Watching them together gives me a fresh perspective on the whole idea of how one generation has the almost sacred opportunity to pass on to the next generation the intangibles, the eternal, and the really, really eternal values that keep a society thriving and healthy.
“Dads are not moms,” our “All in the Family” columnist, Dr. John Cox, has pointed out in recent years. Of course the reverse is equally true because moms are not dads either, and by God’s all wise design, we are really not meant to be interchangeable. In an ideal world, which, of course I realize we do not have, every child would be so fortunate to have one of each close at hand. As politically incorrect as that may sound in our present culture, I will just accept being labeled old-fashioned or something worse and be fine with it.
This, our annual women’s issue, honors mothers specifically, but speaks generally to women in various seasons of life on topics that matter to women. From practical ideas about creating margins in your life to profound examples of the selfless brand of love that can only be described as Christ-like, there is comfort and inspiration and encouragement in spades here! I could take a highlighter and mark at least one sage comment in every one of our contributing columnists’ heartfelt renderings.
We have given voice to many mothers—from the ones like Robin O’Bryant who are still in the throes of figuring out how to transfer those important values to her three daughters who are like little sponges watching her every move, and the ones Marla Baker speaks to in our “Education Connection”—those overwhelmed women who are shouldering a full plate with children who live at home and aging parents who need a lot of time and attention.
In between the urgent, most of us have at least a fleeting thought about our legacy. “Does anything I do matter? Does anything I do make a difference?” So often, as we go through the grind of what is right in front of us—we do influence and make a difference in ways that we do not immediately see. If we are, as my son tells his children, always trying to do the right thing, well you never know how far your influence might stretch.
In different seasons of life, there is a sense of being overwhelmed by the demands of family and job. I think most women in today’s world feel kind of torn between the desire to use their talents in the marketplace and the passionate longing to keep the home fires burning brightly. My hat is off to them. It is hard. If you relate at all to this struggle, read Dr. Donna Breeland’s words in “The Doctor is In.”
As I watch my daughter multi-task like crazy, I want to do something to make it easier for her, and maybe that is another reason I have so missed my mother this week. I can remember when her remarks to me were the same ones I am now reiterating to Betsy.
My mother could not “fix” my life, but she did set before me an example and she did instill in me a mindset and a heart to look beyond myself for wisdom and resiliency. She taught me to love God, to lean on Him, and she demonstrated a faith that made Him real to me.
Some things are temporary, and some things are eternal. If we just hold on to the eternal through every season of the temporary, we will do more than survive—we will flourish, and so will our children after us. What an encouraging thought in my old age!