Motherhood is a Dirty Business

Except for the first Mother’s Day after each girl was born, I’ve tended to write Mother’s Day off as “greeting card holiday.” You could blame it on my cold heart and staunch distaste for anything sentimental, but that wouldn’t be a fair assessment (at least on most days). Boxes bursting with the girls’ art work, awards, handwritten notes, and so much more tell a completely different story. Hours spent at horseback riding lessons, soccer games, dance recitals, swim meets, tennis tournaments, road trips, family dinners, bedtime stories, science fair projects, girls’ trips, and random Thursdays can’t be caged into one celebration. Dare I even mention – the scraped knees, bumped heads, trips to the emergency room, trips to the principal’s office, and sleepless nights for one reason or another that don’t fit into pretty vases and pithy verses.

Motherhood doesn’t happen in a day. It may start the day you find out a precious one is on the way, but that is hardly the beginning. Like a dirt dauber’s nest, motherhood is built up in layers. It takes time and you might get your hands muddy along the way.

And, maybe that is exactly the reason why ticking a day off the calendar has never seemed that important. When the girls were little, I happily shared the day with their Mimi who was starting to get older. After all, I used to think, “there’ll be plenty of time…”

Now, I’m reminded just how precious all of the time has been and what a gift each day is. (No, I didn’t lift that from a greeting card). Just like most things, we don’t fully appreciate everything we have until we are faced with a reason to take a closer look.

On closer look – I’m the luckiest mom ever! God has blessed me beyond measure – even on the days that didn’t feel so blissful. I treasure every moment of being a mom – including the time that Megan and Brooke got sick – at the same time – while on five-hour road trip – just the three of us.

On the first Mother’s Day after Brooke’s accident, my Girls made the day incredibly special. If a day isn’t big enough to capture the enormity of that which is motherhood, then you’d think it would be impossible to reduce it to a few words. But that is exactly what they did. “I Love You” on a simple bracelet. Not just any “I Love You.” They “lifted” it from a note that Brooke had written me several years ago. (The note was buried in one of those boxes that I mentioned earlier.) Even though it is Brooke’s handwriting, my wrist carries a sweet reminder of the love that flows to and from all of my girls.64862C08-2938-430F-88EC-001C6573D7C4fullsizeoutput_1e53

So, to all of you moms out there who think you are the luckiest ever – Happy Mother’s Day (Sunday and every other day)!

To my own Mother – Happy Mother’s Day! If I ever got your hands muddy, I hope it was worth it.

To my girls with babies of their own – Happy Mother’s Day! The days of mud pies will pass all too quickly. Don’t worry about getting a little dirt under your nails.

To all of my Girls – thank you for making me a mom, momma, step-mother, mother, s’mother, like-a-mother, supplemental mom, Mo-Mo, Momma Mo, and mommy! I look forward to layering on more memories – even when it means getting my hands muddy.

To all of the moms whose hands are stained by the dirt of an early grave – hang in there. Life has dealt us a dirty hand indeed. The world will now know our children through something stronger than death – a momma’s love.

Heavenly Father, You crowned motherhood with a special place of honor when you blessed your creation and instructed us to “be fruitful and multiply.” When we messed up your original plan, you elevated motherhood to an even higher honor – assuring evil that its final defeat would come through an offspring of the woman. Thank You for cursing evil and pouring out your grace onto your creation. May your Spirit guide us to fulfill your high calling. Help us to honor you in the way we raise the children placed in our care.

Father, motherhood is not an easy road for everyone. Some struggle with issues of infertility and miscarriage. Some struggle with raising children with chronic (and sometimes severe) disabilities, addictions, or mental health issues. Some struggle with children who have become estranged. Some of us have been called to send one (or more) back home to you.  Send your Spirit to comfort us all.

Father sometimes the grime of daily living can become a grind. May your Spirit strengthen us all when situations gets so messy that we just want to “wash our hands clean.” 

We pray this through the name of your Son, Jesus Christ! 


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