Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

6.15.2010

Nature Brought Out the Nurture


I have a lifelong good friend who is double my age. Kelly’s dry wit, unconditional love, and fun spirit are always sure to be an encouragement. Her gaiety, however, belies a difficult life as a single mom with two kids whom she has raised all her life on a small income. She’s taken care of her kids well, but has never had an especially maternal attitude about it.

“Oh! You don’t mean that!” We urge when she gloats about the ever-shortening countdown until her kids go to college.

“Oh yes! Oh yes, I do!” She’ll insist. As far as she is concerned, her youngest son's high-school graduation marks the moment when her kids forever leave her house, and she can see them once or twice a year.

“What about grandkids?” We ask. “Don’t you want to see them?”

She scoffs at that. “Pshaw! Grandkids? Don’t have them!” She says to her kids. “Kids are nothin’ but trouble.”

If she’s kidding us, she’s also kidding herself, because she is in earnest.

One day, though, we saw another facet of her when our families were at the park together.

“Hey, Mama!” One of my siblings said. “Can we go exploring?” She asked, beckoning to Kelly’s two kids to include them. Both moms nodded their heads in agreement. The kids were in their teens, and old enough to wander alone by themselves in the safe area.

“Just take the walky-talkies with you and be safe,” Mama remonstrated.

Within a few minutes, though, the girls called in with an odd message. “There’s a weird guy on the bridge across from us,” they said.

“K…turn around and come back,” Mama radioed back.

After that, however, we lost contact with them. Garbled static came through, and that was all. Papa strode off in the direction the girls had gone, and Mama continued trying to get through on the radio. Kelly ranted about their foolishness and stupidity. But as the moments ticked by and turned into a few tense minutes, her attitude melted into a vulnerability I had never seen before.

“Answer me!” She pleaded into the radio, biting her lower lip in anxiety. Soon her bravado was completely transformed. No longer did I see the mother who didn’t want to be a mother. I saw a woman being a mother like mothers have been for so many centuries—worrying and pacing for the safety of her children. “Where are you?” she called into the walkie-talkie, with rare tears sliding out of her eyes and down her cheeks. Mama was just as worried for her child, but Kelly was getting hysterical as she frantically did everything but accomplished nothing.

Less than three minutes passed before radio contact resumed and Papa reached the girls—all was right in their world and ours, and we went on our way, disaster averted. But in the moment when those two lives that she had helped create were out of her reach, she became a mother again.

It’s all in the attitude, and that attitude should start now. Are you a guy? If men would encourage and inspire motherliness in their wives, daughters, girlfriends, mothers, and sisters, this job would be so much easier and more appealing. Are you a mother? You have the most amazing job in the world! Take advantage of it! Motherhood is a job that is as out-of-style as hoop skirts, that culture has dragged through the mud, despised, and minimized. Yet, strangely enough, it’s a job I want. I’m not a mother yet, but I hope to be someday. I’ve seen the uniqueness of motherhood, the joys of raising children to change the future, and the power one amazing woman can have. Whether I mother my own children, or nieces, nephews, and friends, I know that such a simple, retro, and beautiful role can transform the future.

I’ve seen single mothers courageously raise their children, so that—decades later—those kids honor and revere their mother as if she was the Queen of Sheba. I’ve seen women who’ve never married or never had children nurture and love countless other children. And I’ve seen my own mother raising me and my five siblings, and selflessly setting aside her own priorities for us. If you’re one of these women—kudos to you! You have squeezed tiny fingers, tickled tiny toes, and lived with tiny, trusting eyes. You’ve encouraged a tiny dream, oohed over a tiny picture, and seen tiny sacrifice. If you’re not—if you’ve always thought obliging the caprices of strangers, bringing home a six-figure paycheck, and living for your own whims was more important—won’t you consider a change of mind? Motherhood is one of the highest and most sacred goals in life--it is one of the best ways I know to brighten a corner. Motherhood is a calling worth training and striving for--it can change the world.



Picture Credit

35 comments:

  1. As a mother, I couldn't agree more, and love staying at home to nurture my kids!!!! (not sure they'd agree though!!! :) :)

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  2. Beautiful post, Mika! Our mothers truly are the most amazing and wonderful people in the world - despite all their insistence to the contrary. :) I hope to be as good a mother to my children some day!

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  3. A wonderful post, so true, I think you will make a wonderful mother one day, and I hope I will too. I think many women including me get scared of motherhood, by the fear of the unknown, and if we will be good enough...

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  4. Amen! I think motherhood is the most holy calling a women can have! I hope to have many children, God willing!
    "To be a mother is a woman's greatest vocation in life. She is a partner with God. No being has a position of such power and influence. She holds in her hands the destiny of nations, for to her comes the responsibility and opportunity of molding the nation's citizens."

    - Spencer W. Kimball

    Motherhood is priced
    Of God, at price no man may dare
    To lessen or misunderstand.
    ~Helen Hunt Jackson

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  5. What a great post! I have always thought I would rather not have kids... But God's will, not mine right?

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  6. I have always ached to be a mom. I'm in law school and not everybody there gets that. Everyone is eager to start a career and get a paycheck that makes law school seem worth the time and effort they put into it. I'm just wired differently- I love where i am and what I'm doing right now, but the BEST payoff I can imagine is being a Mom. I wish more people were passionate about family--my mom LOVED staying home and raising us, and it made such a difference in our lives.

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  7. First off, congrats o n being named a Blog of Note.

    Second, We all put of facades, some of us build larger ones than others. It's a defense mechanism. I cannot say what your friend is hiding behind the facade for, but I bet it was nice to see it torn down, if only for a few minutes.

    My Blog: The Virtual Sink

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  8. I believe that motherhood is the Godliest vocation any woman can have. I hope some to have many children, God willing! It's encouraging to know there’s more out there like me!

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  9. I'm a new blogger and yours was the first I happened upon. I really enjoyed the story and really shows that loving another-whether that other is a child, a friend, a lover- can truly change a person.

    -Tor

    http://anuntoldinspiration.blogspot.com/2010/06/introduction.html

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  10. Motherhood is one of the most complex roles a woman can play. There's such a delicate balance between what to discipline and what to let slide, what to give full attention to and what to put off until later, what to be concerned about and what to wait out, what to do and when to do it. I'll tell you, I have my days when the more stoic, God-this-is-a-hassle me comes out.

    At the same time, I have those nurturing days. I wouldn't say good mothering is impossible, because of course it is with God (as all things are), but it CAN sometimes be a pain.

    I agree; support is key!

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  11. Beautifully written, Mikaela! I couldn't agree more.

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  12. HandmadeHarry--I think your kids will realize how blessed they've been eventually!
    Sarah--I don't think I can ever touch Mama, but I sure can try. You know what they say: "Aim for the stars, and you might reach the treetops." ;-)
    Queen of Rant--aww...thanks for saying that. It IS an overwhelming prospect at times, I must admit. The best we can do now is to make good use of our time preparing so we aren't suddenly faced with a newborn, wondering "what next?" (Though, I know preparation can't cover everything!)
    Marie--such great quotes! Thanks for sharing!
    BK--I'm glad you are not only honest about your feelings on this, but also open to God's leading. You are off to a great start--I hope that He will open your eyes to it's preciousness and importance, whether motherhood is in God's plan for you or not.

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  13. Wow, one of the best read posts so far.

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    www.bestmobilesview.blogspot.com


    and please i wanna ask you how u added your blog on http://blogsofnote.blogspot.com

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  15. hi can i add you to friends list

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  16. Thank you for writing this, I am newly married and struggle with the thought of becoming a mom and sacrificing my dreams and goals for kids...you have challenged me to think bigger than myself. Thank you!

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  17. Chelsy--Please do not be ashamed of your desire to be a mother! Law school is awesome, but motherhood is NOT lesser than being a lawyer, no matter what anyone says. Motherhood certainly is the quieter, less exciting route, but as you yourself have been so influenced by your mom, I think you can understand how much you could influence your own children.
    TommyMac--It was nice. It's only ever happened once, and that moment has been indelibly inked into my memory.
    Victoria, T. James-Moss, and Charae--Wow! I love all these honest, thoughtful comments! Thanks so much for reading and adding to the discussion.
    Beaner--you do not know what an honor it is for me to read that I have perhaps challenged your thinking. I am so grateful that you read with an open mind! Please don't think of motherhood as sacrificing your dreams and goals--try to incorporate your dreams and goals into motherhood. I will be praying for you!

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  18. Thanks for this post. It made me feel appreciated as a mother of two girls, who I hope will one day become mothers themselves!

    http://surfacingintheafterlife.blogspot.com/

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  19. well done for getting blog of note and keep up the good work

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  20. Thank you for what you've written. Sadly, it seems out culture doesn't respect or appreciate motherhood nearly enough. Children, in fact, are perceived as an inconvenience, a roadblock on the path to your dreams, and not the blessing God intended them to be. Being a mom is the toughest thing I've ever tried to do, but I don't look at it as a sacrifice. It's a privilege to be a mom to my four kids and no career in the world and no six-figure income can offer the kind of fulfillment I receive in being my kids' mom!

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  21. Victoria and T. Holt--Thank you for all you do as mothers! There should be much more than one day of the year set aside to appreciate the most important job in the universe. Well-said, T. Holt, that nothing in the world could "offer you the fulfillment you receive in being your kids' mom"--it's because God made us that way!
    And thanks, martino, for stopping by!

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  22. Amazingly written and what a perspective! I believe that motherhood is one of the most incredible callings God can ever give a person, and I hope to live up to it to the fullest someday! Keep up the great writing... I love it! :)

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  23. Sadly, it seems out culture doesn't respect or appreciate motherhood nearly enough. Children, in fact, are perceived as an inconvenience, a roadblock on the path to your dreams.

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  24. Thanks, Jacqueline! You will be a tremendous mother someday--we need more women with your viewpoint!
    Jesson and Rey Ann--Tanya Holt's comment certainly was worth repeating! Thanks for visiting and commenting.

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  25. Beautiful post, many thanks from France
    Virginie

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  26. first, i admire your blog template ...

    and second your article is so deep and meaning, i love it

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  27. AWESOME POST!!!

    Keep up the great work!!!!

    Steve
    Common Cents
    http://www.commoncts.blogspot.com

    ps. Link Exchange??

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  28. Great post, but I think that people need to remember that moms who work outside the home, are moms 24 hours out of every day, just like moms who stay home. And for many of us, staying at home is a luxurious choice that we aren't given. I hate being made to feel like I am less of a mother because I have a job.

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  29. "Motherhood certainly is the quieter, less exciting route"

    ROTFLMAO

    Motherhood has made my life increasingly exciting and noisy. As my boys get older my life has been filled up with all sorts of new things.....there's spiders and bugs and birds and swords and skinned knees and loud fights. There's stomping just to shake the house and impromptu arias.

    Most assuredly my life is made richer by being a mother. It has also been the hardest, frustrating, terrifying, challenging time of my life. Keeping them safe and teaching them to do right while still allowing them to be strong individuals.

    Motherhood is NOT to be entered into lightly!

    Thank you for your blog, that post made my day :D

    Jamie
    www.yunoga.blogspot.com

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  30. This post follow a simple story--but it rings so true. =] I have a friend whose mother lets her teenage children go hungry and even invites them to make the wrong decisions. She has no job, and doesn't seem to even try to take care of her kids. All she does is yell at them. If I was four years older (I'm only 16) you don't know the conversation I'd have with that woman. You make a very good point--being a mother should be a job that you can enjoy--not a commitment you don't want to make. There are certain responsibilites that come with motherhood--I just wish everyone could see it our way.

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  31. This is so true. I once work 2-10 so I never saw the kids until the morning to get them ready for school. They was with family and I still worried about them. After 15 yrs I got laid off and I felt so relieve that now I can take care of my own kids. It a job that give you stress, heartache, hurting toes, smelly clothes, dirty face and so much love all you can do is cry. :)

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  32. LOL, quieter--noisier--less exciting--one crisis after another. It's all relative, eh? I meant that it is a "background--'quiet'--" job in which the mother does not often get the glory or praise. But you're right, Jamie--especially with boys in the house, how could motherhood ever be "quiet"? ;-)
    I'm so glad that you are there for your friend, Keeper; I'm sure she needs you right now.
    How amazing that God worked it out for you to stay home, Mangofruit! Your last sentence was truly beautiful and wonderfully encapsulated motherhood.

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  33. great article,thanks for sharing ^^

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  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  35. What a beautiful article. I have been blessed that many nurturers have been placed in my life. We fail to realize that the only thing of value are the positive things we impart to others.

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