May is Mary's month. And whether you're Catholic or not, whether you're a mom or not, whether you think you care or not, you have to admit: there's something about May.
Here in Ohio, May brings relief. Especially this year, after a winter that I'm conservatively calling grueling, May feels like the fulfillment of a promise.
For the next ten days, we'll be featuring a post taking a look at the new highly anticipated movie Moms' Night Out from one of our writers. These will NOT be reviews. You'll read plenty of those in the next few weeks, and probably even here at our site.
This series, instead, is a real life look at how this movie resonated with us, with how it touched us where we are right now, with how we found a glimpse of the priorities and beauty we sometimes overlook in the midst of the daily grind.
So, which of the following was true of the day I tried to sit down with my BFF and watch this movie:
A. I had a "moment" wherein I threw out my coffee, locked the bathroom door, and ignored the noise in the other room.
B. I texted said BFF and told her to forget it, because there was just no way I could endure the whining. (I didn't specify if it was mine or theirs.)
C. I realized that I broke the screener and used up all my chances to watch the movie, thereby ruining all of our chances to even see the movie (and my shot at writing about it for today).
D. My car broke down, people broke into my house, the kids ran around naked, and the internet was down.
The good news is that the answer's NOT "all of the above," but just barely.
It's all too easy, as moms, to downplay what we do. It's also all too easy to demand a perfection of ourselves that no one else expects, or sees, or imagines. We place a burden on ourselves that no one can carry.
What mom among us doesn't recognize that feeling of failure that comes from the chaos of dealing with the unpredictability that is family life? What mom hasn't looked in the mirror and failed to recognize the blessing that woman on the other side is to someone else? What mom hasn't felt the ongoing challenge of humility, learned over and over and OVER, and looked back at who she was when she started and...sighed?
I needed motherhood. I didn't know it, but God did. And the version of perfection he has in mind for me is, I've gathered, quite different than the version of perfection *I* have in mind. There's an ongoing battle in my mind between what God wants and what Sarah wants.
Motherhood has been the crucible that's tested me and forced me to do the things I would have never done otherwise: like making dinner every night, like matching small socks together, like getting up without complaining, like smiling and saying "I love you too," like caring about sports, like any number of other things.
Motherhood has made me a better person. Motherhood is making me a better person.
As I watched Moms' Night Out with one of the women who reminds me nearly every day to become the woman God wants me to be, I couldn't help but realize that, though this motherhood thing was never ever something I wanted, it is truly all I want now. It's part of me, like my name or my eye color or my fingerprint.
Motherhood is real. It's not a greeting card or a Pinterest board. It's not a snapshot or a movie reel. It's the moments that weave together in a tapestry that I could have never imagined when I dove into marriage, trusting God in a way I never had before. It's the smiles that come from the memories we're making in the here and now.
Tune in tomorrow for another installment of our Moms' Night Out: A Real Life Look series!
Copyright 2014, Sarah Reinhard
About the Author
When she’s not chasing kids, chugging coffee, or juggling work, Sarah Reinhard’s usually trying to stay up read just one…more…chapter. She writes and works in the midst of rural farm life with little ones underfoot. She is part of the team for the award-winning Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion, as well as the author of a number of books. You can join her for a weekday take on Catholic life by subscribing to Three Shots and follow her writing at Snoring Scholar.