So, last Sunday was Mother’s Day. As I get older, I find the day is a cornucopia of mixed emotions for me. On the one hand, I’ve been very blessed to have some incredible ladies in my life. Mom, aunts, grandmas, friends. These ladies deserve to be honored and celebrated.
On the other hand, I want to be a mom, and the older I get, the more I understand the sadness childless women feel on Mother’s Day. Until I was twenty-two, I firmly did not want kids. Absolutely not. Kids terrified me, and I didn’t think I’d stand a chance of being a good mom. However, something started changing in my heart, and the next four years I found myself in the mode of, “I do want kids, maybe not this instant, but I’m thinking I’d like to be a mom.” Then, my brain moved to the point of, “We live in a psycho world, it’s an absolutely insane idea to want to bring children into this world, but I don’t care. I want to be a mama.” It’s true. I don’t have the vaguest idea of how to be a mom, but women have been moms since the beginning of time; so there’s a good chance I wouldn’t be the worst mother ever. And yes, I know you don’t have to actually go through pregnancy and labor to have kids and be a mom, but I find myself praying that one of these days I’ll get to go through that experience as well.
And, while I usually pep talk myself that should a miracle happen and God gives me a little rugrat, there are some days, like today, where I worry I’ll emotionally scar the future rugrat for life.
I’m an internalizer. When something upsets me, I lock it inside, and let it fester. It’s a totally “healthy” way to deal with things. Unfortunately, when things fester, they tend to eventually explode. Like I did. Tonight. The situation isn’t really that important. Yes, something needed to be done. Yes, I was just as good a candidate to deal with it as anyone. However, I handled it wrong. I fully accept the responsibility for handling it wrong. I’m still not sure how I should have handled it, but I definitely should not have done so in anger.
Later, after I started to calm down, I got really sad. Here I am, wanting to be a mom, and when a mothering situation came along I totally screwed up. I found myself berating myself for asking God to let me have a go at being a mom when I struggle so much to handle even basic confrontation situations. (As you can tell, I’m clearly emotionally mature.) In the midst of this inner fight/pity party, I suddenly had the first verse of What a Friend We Have In Jesus pop into my head.
“What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.”
Joseph M. Scriven
I’m not trying to get all preachy here. In fact, I’m not one hundred percent sure why I feel compelled to share this sad little tale of my lack of emotional maturity. I do know, though, that the more I thought about those words, the calmer I got. It also occurred to me that I talk a good line about loving Jesus and believing in God, but I rarely take anything to Him because I don’t want to bother Him with my measly little problems. After the disaster of today, though, it occurs to me that I really do need His help. As long as I try to handle things without help, doom is inevitable.
Dear Miss Malia, I was so glad to get your posting tonight! I thought that this was one of your very best columns since I discovered you, a couple of months back. I felt just exactly the way (s) about having – not having children as you expressed so beautifully and thoughtfully today, and, as a result of some of the same feelings of anxiety and lack of confidence (“I’ll never be able to be a good mother, I’m too impatient, (insert ‘nervous’, ‘selfish’, ‘caught up in my career’, blah, blah, blah”) I never did have children. As I look back on various decisions and paths that I took, that ended me up somewhere, I have realized that I regret this decision more than anything else in my life and if I could tell you anything at all it would be to not let your doubts as to your abilities or lack thereof concerning mothering affect your decision as to whether to have a child or not! I assure you, if you want that baby, you are going to be able to provide for it to have a wonderful, loving place to call home, and an upbringing that you and only you can give it, to send (him/her) out into the world in joy! Nobody ! knows how to be a mother, but it’s something that I know now is within us, if we wish to access the part. All people get angry. All Mamas get furious! But their children of a loving, caring, “Mama-Bear-Mother” know that, no matter what she might be screaming at them at that moment— they are still loved, and that’s unconditional. Period. You are such a special person. And your babies are waiting. Don’t worry that you won’t “be good enough”, like I did. Just trust your heart, and the Lord will honor your heart, and give you your heart’s desire :). In His Time. And don’t feel bad about getting mad! I’m just the same / Still can’t express my anger without feeling all bad about having done it! But the alternative (and I’m sharing this for free, although I paid a butt-load for the same information, over years, some time ago, before I realized that psychologist really were just people, albeit highly educated, but with their own weaknesses and lack of all the answers !) is : Anger Plus Frustration = Depression!!! And I don’t want you to go down that road, so…. Let ‘ER rip, Missy! Love to you, and keep writing:)