I’m talking to you. Yes, that’s right, you:
--the working mama who feels sick on Sunday afternoon because you report for duty Monday morning at 0800 and the thought of leaving your baby makes your heartache,
--the mama sitting in the oncology ward next to your sick child, helplessly watching while toxic chemicals are pumped through your baby’s veins,
--the mama whose husband just left you with a slew of hungry mouths to feed and a mortgage you know you can’t pay,
--the nursing mama who is so tired you fall asleep sitting up because that baby eats and eats and then eats some more,
--the overwhelmed mama with a house full of kids and school work and laundry and dirt and dishes,
--the mama who drives hundreds of mile a week to and from sporting events because God gave your kid a gift and you want him to use it,
--the addicted mama who wants to quit but can’t find the will or the way,
--the widowed mama who misses her best friend, especially when you look into the face of the child, who looks just like him,
--the mama with the handicapped child, who has learned more from your kid with “limitations” than from any “normal” person,
--the mama who longs for more children but knows you won’t have them,
--the dying mama who knows you won’t see your child’s next birthday,
--the estranged mama who can’t or won’t forge a new relationship with your child,
--the old mama who somehow found room in your heart and space in your house for just one more, and the young mama who has no idea that you are in for the ride of your life,
--the homeschooling mama and the mama whose children attend private or Catholic or public school,
--the worn-out, burnt-out, bedraggled mama who loves your littles so much it hurts, but admits they drive you crazy too,
--the worried mama with the Prodigal child you can’t stop praying for,
--the mama who buried your child, but yet can’t seem to bury the ache,
--the mama who grew up poor or abused or abandoned or neglected and is determined to break the cycle,
--the mama who conceived a child or many children but lost them to miscarriage,
--the mama who has no biological children of your own, but counts the blessings of tens, hundreds, or even thousands of spiritual children,
--the mama guilty of hurting your child with words or fists or neglect,
--the desperate mama who couldn’t see a way out so you aborted your baby,
--the mama who couldn’t have your own so you adopted and now your heart overflows with a love you didn’t think was possible,
--and the physically ill mama who wants to keep up with your kids but who is limited by your body.
You, mama, I’m talking to you. Here’s what you must know; here’s what all of the mothers of the world must know and why we should refuse to participate in those vicious mommy wars:
You are good, so very, very good and you are loved, so very, very loved—not because of what you do or how you do it but because of who you are. And you are a child of God, created in His image.
The care and concern you feel for the children entrusted to you?
All of that pales in comparison to the care and concern your heavenly Father has for you. His love is everlasting (Jeremiah 31:3), He has called you and you are His (Isaiah 43:1). How can you question your significant worth when He remembers to feed even the tiniest birds of the sky (Matthew 6:26)? You are precious to Him; He has counted the hairs on your head (Matt 10:30).
He has written your name in the palm of His hands (Isaiah 49:16). He formed you in our mother’s womb, knew you before you were born, and foresees all of your actions (Psalm 139: 13-16). Nothing can keep you from His love--not death, not life, nor principalities (Romans 8:38). If this isn’t enough, He gave you His only Son to save and redeem the world (John 3:16). You have a God who loves you passionately and intimately.
Those imperfections you worry about it, the moments when you fail with your kids, the burn out you often feel?
God knows. He knows all of it and yet...He loves you anyway. He never asked you for perfection, He asked for you—your heart, your mind, your soul, and yes, even your children.
Give those things to Him. Give it all to Him. He’ll make good what you can’t.
He sees you trying. He sees you fumbling and falling and He sees you getting back up. If you clapped and cheered and celebrated when your baby took her first steps, He’s cheering for you because He knows what it takes to get up from the mud and take another step.
Like you, He’s so proud.
Mama, he knows the heavy on your heart and He has not abandoned you, even though others might. Turn to Him; beg Him to be your food, to comfort you in your pain and your worries because He will.
Don’t listen to the voice, taunting and tormenting with lies:
“You are a bad mother.”
“You are worthless.”
“You are lazy.”
"You'll never change. “
“It’s all your fault.”
"Your work and service are pointless. No one cares."
"You don’t work hard enough, try hard enough."
“You’re family uses you, manipulates you to get all they can. “
"They never listen. No one ever listens."
Lies. These ugly words are all lies. The Father speaks love; listen for His voice.
Beg His mother, the only Perfect Mother there is, to help you. She loves the child most in need--you. She bleeds for her children when she sees them cut open and gushing--you. When she hears your voice, she won’t be able to stop herself from running to her Son and begging His grace for--you.
I’m praying for you, Mama. I’m praying you experience God’s love in a way that transforms you forever. Please, pray for me, too?
With much love from another mama in the trenches,
Copyright 2014, Colleen Duggan
About the Author
Colleen Duggan is the author of Good Enough Is Good Enough: Confessions Of An Imperfect Catholic Mom, published by Ave Maria Press. She is a Catholic writer, teacher and speaker whose work has appeared in Catholic Digest, Creative Catechist, CatholicMom.com, Aleteia, and Integrated Catholic Life.