Yesterday I read a post by Laura at Heavenly Homemakers. A reader, struggling with when to start a family, asked the question, "Why are kids a blessing?" You can click on the link to read the article in it's entirety, but the comment of her's that hit me the hardest was this one: "I know that the Bible says that children are a blessing from God but honestly sometimes I look at my friends with babies and think, 'Honey, you don't look blessed, you look haggard and tired'." Well, that's putting it out there clear as crystal, isn't it? Laura did a good job answering the question, and many of her readers also commented.
While there may be nothing we can do to keep from looking run down occasionally (I have flash backs of the time 3 of our 4 girls and hubby, all contracted chicken pox when I was 8 mos. pregnant with T.Lynn), there is much we can do about the over-all perception we give others with regard to motherhood. The whole thing made me think that we need to always be mindful of what we say. I've mentioned on the blog before that one of the things I disliked about our previous church was the number of women milling around, constantly complaining about their children. Don't get me wrong, I complain about mine from time to time, and I'm all about not sugar-coating stuff, so I would never lead a woman to believe that being a mother was all about sweetness and light, nursery rhymes and cuddle time, and sweet baby kisses. Oh, my heavens no; I agree with Laura; it's hard, exhausting, frustrating, etc. As a matter of a fact, I've admitted to many people that there were days when, if Attila the Hun had magically appeared on my door-step, offering up babysitting services, I'd have jumped at the opportunity. But, as Laura and many of the other women mentioned, the blessings you do receive from having them are indescribably wonderful. I just think we should keep this in mind when we are talking to other women. It's easy to get with another mother and pour out all the bad things that happened that week, but we should be mindful of others that we may be influencing. We should try to at least keep a balance of things; telling of some of the weird, crazy, often frustrating things (because, lets face it - after the fact some of that stuff is pretty dog-gone funny), and throwing in a lot of the positive, beautiful, wonderful aspects of having children. If we really need to sound off in order to regain sanity, or ask someone else's advice on how to handle something, it would best be done in a priviate setting anyway.
Let's all make sure we're setting a good example for all those mothers yet to be.