“This is my Body given up for you.” These are familiar words we hear during the consecration at every Mass. Jesus so desired to redeem us, that He allowed Himself to be immolated on our behalf. He held nothing back. In looking at the Crucifix we should have no doubt of the limit of His love, nor the price He was willing to pay. When we look upon a Crucifix, we are reminded of what real love looks like. It is sacrificial.
As mothers we understand this on a very real level. Physically, we carried and birthed our children. Even those of us who have lost children before we ever got to see their beautiful faces, have given our bodies and minds in this gift of self. Fr. Thomas Loya, states that “heaven and earth meet in the womb of a mother.” The flesh of the child from its parents, and the soul from God.
On an emotional level, dare I suggest, that from the moment we know we have conceived to the moment we breathe our last breath; we have given ourselves over as a gift to our children. We are vested in their well-being. We hurt when they hurt. We laugh when they laugh…sometimes. We cry when they cry…unless we were the perpetrator of the punishment. I haven’t met a mom yet, who has ever used the bathroom in private before her kids were teens.
Mothers are mothers for life, always giving, doing, and loving. That however can be incredibly exhausting. It is both unrealistic and unhealthy. So I offer a few suggestions that might help ease the weight we place on ourselves.
Do not compare yourself to other moms. Our kids were given to us because of who we are and the gift of self we must share with them.
“Be good to yourself.” Our kids can feel our vibes, negative and positive. By taking care of ourselves and not trying to be super mommy, we will be a more relaxed wife and mother.
Play and pray. Don’t be so serious. Pray with them and with your spouse. Tell them stories when God did miracles in your life. Sit down and play games now and then. My kids were convinced I didn’t have a sense of humor for most of their young years, sadly.
Foster a spirit of watching for God Moments in the everyday. and share them over meals or at bedtime. Make sure they know they are loved uniquely, and irrevocably. By modeling your faith in God, you show them this.
Give your frustrations, fears, and need to control life, over to the Author of Life. When you do, your life becomes free from having to carry that heavy burden.
This time will pass. We will be stronger and smarter for the next cross, and all the ones to follow. What I have observed is that moms (and wives) and take life really seriously, thus taking on undue burdens that are not ours to carry alone. These small suggestions can help us be a more joyful and peaceful mommy and spouse to be around.