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"A mother grows from self-pity to living in reality" by Melanie Jean Juneau (CatholicMom.com) Pixabay(2017), CC0 Public Domain[/caption] When I was a young Catholic mother, surrounded by a crew of little people, I was overwhelmed by the pressure to raise children who were not only faithful Catholics but polite, well-mannered, intelligent, well-read and socialized. I  faced unrelenting chores day in and day out, with little or no time to even think of meeting my own needs. It was a good day if I managed to brush my teeth and wash my face hours after dragging myself out of bed in the morning. I felt sorry for myself.

A Mother in Self-Pity

Then one night, as I stood at the kitchen sink, with pain lancing my chest, I started to cry, sobbing silently as I tackled a mound of dirty dishes. Exhaustion weighed heavy and my arms felt like a stone. It was 11:00 PM at night. I should have been in bed ... My little ones woke up every morning so early. I felt alone, disconnected from any support system -- Isolated. In my mind's eye, I could see a knife piercing my heart. There was a name carved into the handle of that knife. I strained my inner eye, expecting to see my husband's name carved into the wood because it seemed like he did not support me as a mother of a large family. I felt like he was in the wrong and I was the good one Always trying my best to fulfill all my duties as a Christian mother. Yet, I could not see my husband's name carved on the handle. I was determined to see my husband as the cause of my pain. So, I tried to manipulate the letters, but I could not force them to spell his name. The etched letters clearly spelled my own name. The letters clearly said, Melanie.


My eyes opened wide and I literally gasped in shock as God managed to pierce through my self-righteousness in an instant. His Truth pierced  right to my core self, Dissolving the knife and my sharp pain with it into an insubstantial mist. I saw clearly I was the architect of my own misery. I was simply a dramatic self-made victim, Acting like a pitiful scapegoat. An inner switch flipped. God's truth set me free to see reality. Misery slipped off like a useless rag.

God Taught me How to Be a Mother

The mountain of work I had been carrying on my shoulders was suddenly thrown into the sea by a mustard seed of common sense Because There was no mountain except in my self-pitying delusions of martyred grandeur. Then, I was filled with self-depreciating laughter, which cut through my stress. The Spirit of Truth and Joy had finally cut through my self-pity. I realized Christ is the only sacrifice who can save from me. If I am humble enough to realize I cannot exist as an island, then I  accept that I cannot do it all on my own. I can only live in joy as a child of God when I am wholly dependent on Him for everything. I can only be an effective Catholic mother when I live as a child of God.
Copyright 2018 Melanie Jean Juneau