Rushing around in the days leading to Christmas, I heard my daughter lament her failure to send Christmas cards out to her friends with perhaps a picture of the baby wearing a Christmasy outfit. A nursing mom working full time at a job which requires she be away from the office quite a bit, she is scurrying from place to place; meeting to meeting, back and forth from the house to wherever she is needed. Just keeping up with the baby is job enough, but to be on the move constantly day after day is a challenge of proportion since she relys on half time paid help and whatever time I can contribute.
“I blew that, I am a horrible mother,” she said.
It struck me that she felt so defeated, and yet I could completely understand what she meant. The more I thought about it the more I could relate to her feelings, in rememberance of my own shortcomings when I first juggled a new baby and job.
I kept thinking about this and wondered how many mothers have muttered these words at one time or another?
As I prepared for Midnight Mass and made my rounds to all the little candles I will light afterward to keep vigil with the new baby in the manger, I stopped to look at the figurine of Mary. I wonder if she ever said, I’m a horrible mother?
And when she said yes to the Lord and consented to carry a child out of wedlock, did she think she would be a horrible mother?
When she rode to Bethlehem, heavy with child, did she worry that she was a bad mother?
When she labored to deliver the babe among the beasts, did she rebuke herself for her choices?
When she lost her child among the crowds at the temple, did she blame herself for losing track of him? Did she question her ability to raise her child in the manner expected among her peers?
Did Mary care what others thought of her? Did she care about defining her “motherhood”? For herself? For others? By others?
Mary lived by faith and faith alone. She was obedient and trusting of God. And she was busy. She was too busy to worry about what others thought about her. She was too busy raising a child to worry about the lesser aspects of her extraordinary life. She was busy absorbing the short time she had to share with her child.
She was present to Him always, and by that virtue alone she was a superb mother.
After all, that’s really all our kids want from us; that we be there for them….everything else is unnecessary fluff.