Motherhood is a Cursed Blessing

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“What would your High School Self be surprised about you today?” my friend once asked.

I required no lengthy pondering: “My High School Self would be surprised by how hard it is to be a mom.”

I always knew I wanted a family, but I can’t say that beyond snuggles and smiles, I anticipated all the blood, sweat, and tears:

The way my body would be physically strained, stretched, and torn open wide, only to be left more saggy and floppy than before.

The way I would function in a foggy exhaustion, day after tedious day – while years passed by in a blink.

The way my spirit would at times feel crushed by the weight of caring for tiny humans relying on me for their wellbeing.

The way my toddler would refuse to wear clothes but then demand to wear a pink stocking cap.

The way I’d doubt if I’m doing a good job or just racking up reasons for them to see a therapist some day.

This fatigue has occasionally led me to bitterness toward the daily work of motherhood, lamenting how such a miraculous gift could also feel like it was the source of my breakdown.

But during a social media scroll, I came across a headline that made a lot of sense: “Your Work Is a Cursed Blessing.” To that simple statement, I wanted to raise a glass of moscato and cry, “Hear, hear!”

Genesis 3 records the aftermath of our first sins and the consequential curses that left nothing untouched: pain in rearing future generations, frustration in our relationships, and toil in our work. For moms, it’s like an ancient fact sheet, clearly announcing that when one strives to faithfully bring a child from infancy to adulthood, there will be pain and frustration and toil. 

And to be honest, I’ve allowed many ordinary days of raising precious little minions to be ruined by those facts, becoming discouraged by the truth that being a mom would not be the source of my ultimate fulfillment and happiness.

But one of the many blessings surrounding this cursed miracle is that with our merciful Father in the equation, the daily pain and frustration and toil of motherhood is never meaningless.

Rather, it becomes an avenue to learning holiness; it sanctifies.

Paul didn't make a sexist statement by saying women would "be saved through childbearing.” {1 Timothy 2:15} A woman doesn't earn her salvation by becoming a mom, nor is motherhood a holier title than that of any woman who is single or married without children.

But moms can be encouraged that, as with any work that requires sacrifice and sheds selfishness, she is a laborer being saved from herself as she learns to exemplify Christ's humility. {Philippians 2:1-11} As she kneels down on behalf of the tiny feet she will metaphorically wash each and every day.

The acknowledgment that motherhood is filled with different kinds of pain won't magically make our discomfort disappear in every season, no matter how you dress up that title with Pampers and a fancy bow.

But we can be sure that Christ is sufficient enough to meet us when we feel weak. {2 Corinthians 12:9} 

We can be confident that as our children follow us following Christ, He is doing a good work in us too. 


Grace and Peace,