Saturday, October 23, 2010

A (Fairly Lame) Ode to Mothers

I'm the "mentor mom" (can I just say I hate that title and it almost made me run in fear?) for my local MOPS group this year. Part of the bounty for the $90 yearly fee was a book called, Out of The Spin Cycle by Jen Hatmaker. While the cover was cute and enticing, I shoved it in my quiet time bag to read when I found time which I assumed would be never.

My husband has been gone for four days. We have four "spirited" children and this is day four of five that he has been gone. AND it's a Saturday so I had them to myself ALL day long with no school to break things up. I did however ship half of them out for play dates and brought in friends for the half that remained at home. Which took us until about 4 p.m. before I had a meltdown. I sent the kids to their rooms for "quiet time" and myself to my room for a much-needed time out. I read the Word and then dug out the aforementioned book. Can I just say I've been LAUGHING my head off?

I've been accused of being "real" and maybe a bit too honest at times, but I believe strongly that there is freedom in vulnerability and imperfection. I feel like I'm a walking mess and that's WITH a daily dose of the Holy Spirit's power to work through my imperfections. God used this book to help me gain perspective and engage with these four precious treasures that were hand-picked for me to love and train.

Here's a tantalizing nugget from the start of the book. I suggest you run out and get your own copy.

A (Fairly Lame) Ode to Mothers
by Jen Hatmaker

An ode to the marvelous woman called "Mother"
Though not one of us is exactly like another.
From the second we're born to the minute we die
Our preferences are as limitless as stars in the sky.

We might have been perfectly gracious before
But childbirth entered us in the Mommy War.
Rather than letting everyone else be
We criticize parenting that isn't exactly like... me.

So once and for all let me put this to rest
None of us owns the title of "best."
Natural childbirth does not make you a hippy
Epidurals are not just for women who want to feel trippy.
In a bathtub with a doula or in a hospital bed
We all got a baby with limbs and a head.

Nursing is great if nothing goes wrong
But some nipples turn inward and refuse to play along.
This is a choice for each mom - it's her route
So it's just A+B and everyone else can C their way out.

Schedules and timers do not make you cruel
Feeding on demand does not make you a fool.
In the nursery with a monitor or in the family bed
Every chick gets to pick where her baby lays his head.

If I see one more mom roll her eyes at "organic..."
"Partially hydrogenated" throws some of us into panic.
But neither judge Sonic burgers and fries
Some of us just want to enjoy food before we die.

Preschool, home school, public, or MOntessori
Listen, my friends, and I'll tell you a story;
Two moms differed on favorite school trends
their kids turned out pretty much the same. The end.

If a girl gets the title of "mom" accidentally
The worst thing we can do is treat her judgmentally.
How about some love, some help, some advice?
She needs our love and we shouldn't think twice.

Discipline through various methods will prevail
Look, we're all just trying to keep our kids out of jail.
These things are just preferences, not right or wrong
What matters more is teaching our kids to get along -
To love and to share, to speak gently and kind,
To obey so that mom won't go out of her mind.

Showing them Jesus is our common ground
Teaching them how he can always be found.
He's present in the public school and Waldorf (so trendy)
He's over at Whole Foods but also at Wendy's.
Jesus never cared about these sorts of things
It's our hearts that he wants and the worship we bring.

It's time for us moms to declare a truce
Regardless if we buy Capri Sun or 100 percent juice.
My way is not your way, and your way isn't mine
But both of our kids will turn out just fine.

Rather than judging and looking down our noses
Let's enjoy the common ground motherhood poses.
As believers, we all love the same Lord
We all have children who tell us "I'm bored."

We all need more sleep than these tiny five hours
Most of us struggle to find time for a shower.
We haven't been to the bathroom alone in an age
Our mothers have all told us, "Relax, this is just a stage."

We all love our babies so much we could die
We'd take a bullet for each one without batting an eye.
Though we are different, we're in the same tribe
Motherhood requires a similar vibe -
love and affection, sacrifice and grace
laughter, which keeps the whole mechanism in place.

Though different, by the grace of God, I suspect:
ALL our children will rise up and call us... collect.

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