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Danielle Bean ponders how mothers are called to self-sacrifice as we love and serve our families.

I’ve never heard an actual person suggest that moms can’t pursue talents or passions outside of motherhood, but there’s been some discussion recently about what good moms do. As in, do good moms “put their lives on hold” while their kids are young?
At first glance, “putting your life on hold” sounds like a terrible idea. I mean, no one should put their life on hold, right?
But I wonder why, when we talk about a woman “putting her life on hold,” the understanding is that outside pursuits are her life, and that caring for her family is somehow not?
mom playing with baby and small child
And then there are the uncomfortable words Jesus speaks in the Gospel:

“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake
and that of the gospel will save it.” (Mark 8:35)


Deny yourself … Take up your cross … Lose your life …
Turns out “putting your life on hold” is the Gospel. No wonder it stirs up controversy.
Jesus spent His life on earth focused on loving and serving other people. So much so that He wound up beaten, tortured, and bleeding on a cross, pouring out every last bit of Himself for the love of others. Every one of us, male and female, is called to imitate that kind of self gift — loving and serving others, even at the expense of ourselves.
mom helping toddler walk across a field

Click to tweet:
Turns out “putting your life on hold” is the Gospel. No wonder it stirs up controversy. #catholicmom

Of course moms can do other things besides care for our families, even important other things that might pay the bills, improve the world, and bring us a sense of fulfillment. But let’s not do other things in ways that deny the fact that for those of us who are mothers, our husbands and our children are our vocation. We are called to sacrificially love and serve them. No one should ever dismiss the value and importance of focusing on doing exactly that, and doing it well.
In the 26 years since I first became a mom, I’ve stayed home full time, worked part time, and worked full time. I’ve waited tables and I’ve written books. I’ve run meetings and published magazines. I’ve done many things outside of loving and serving my husband and children, but this much I am sure about: I have never done anything more important.
mom with baby 

Copyright 2021 Danielle Bean
Images: Canva Pro