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In Defense of Motherhood and Homemakers

Eight out of nine of my children with me and my husband after Christmas Mass. My oldest son is married and starting his own family.

This is not a scholarly paper, as the title may suggest. These are just my thoughts based on my experience. And as a mother of 9, I have quite a bit of experience.

I will always defend a guy who respects the role of mothers and homemakers, even if I do not necessarily agree with everything he says.

After all, being a mother does not get enough respect. A women can be a kick-butt girl-boss at work, but I guarantee you, if she is a mom, at some point (or two), she will be crying in her closet that she is not doing the mom thing right!

That is because being a mother is an awesome responsibility that has eternal consequences. The child(ren) she has brought into this world are destined for eternity. It is her and her husband’s “job” to help their little ones come to know, love, and serve God. This is not always easy when dealing with beings who have free will.  

Being a mother can be frustrating, exhausting and definitely requires selfless love. From running after toddlers to staying up waiting for teens to come home, mothering is tiring. At times, patience will be in short supply. A mom’s playlist is no longer her own. Nor is most of her time. Her life is dedicated to her family.

As for making a house a home, that can be quite difficult, too, with those free-will little humans running around. They will cover walls with artwork (drawn right on the walls) using various mediums – markers, crayons, highlighters, that one Sharpie that was not returned to the top drawer, or my (least) favorite, lipstick! At times, the floor will be covered in spilled milk. Books neatly placed on bookshelves will be scattered, and windexed windows will soon be covered in tiny handprints. As they get bigger, there will be sculptures made up of bowls, cups, and silverware on bedroom dressers. And don’t even look under the bed or in the closet! Ironically, though, this is part of what makes a house a home.

A homemaker tries to provide a nice clean place for her family to live in. More importantly, though, she makes the home a loving, forgiving, and fun environment. It is the place where hugs and kisses are given and received, boo-boos are bandaged, “I’m sorry” is followed by “I forgive you,” and friends are welcomed over to play no matter what the house looks like.

If you are a mom (or have a mom), you know all this already. So why am I going on and on about the craziness of being a mother?

One, because sometimes we all need encouragement. A mom elbow-deep in diapers with Legos underfoot (ouch!) and pants being tugged on by little hands vying for attention need to be validated and reassured that this is just a phase. A mom of teens needs to know that they are only testing their wings – and yes, their parents, too. Yet, when they do fly the coop, they will take with them all she has taught them. She will be the little Jiminy Cricket voice in their head. So, stay active in your children’s lives. The days may be long, but the years are short.

Second, there is no more important “job” than mother and homemaker. This is not to take away women out in the work force doing amazing and important things. Still, all careers end in time. Motherhood lasts into eternity.

How do I know that? Because our Lady is still Jesus’ mother and mother to us, too.

Likewise, Saint Zelie Martin remained a mother from heaven. While on earth, she worried about two of her daughters – the strong-willed Therese and the tantrum-throwing Leonie. Zelie passed away from breast cancer while the girls were still young. From Heaven, though, she prayed for them – one of the most important duties of a mother. The results of her prayers: Therese is a canonized saint and doctor of the Church, and Leonie’s cause for canonization has been started, being declared a servant of God. Even in heaven, a mother’s work is not done – not until the end of time.

I have no doubt that there are many mommies in heaven still praying for their children and grandchildren, making ready homes for them there.

Finally, our dignity does not lie in anything we do, but in who we are. This is probably why we are called human beings and not human doings.

We are mothers, yes! But most importantly, we are daughters of the Most High God. Through no merit of our own, we are princesses with the utmost dignity and worth because we are loved by Jesus Christ, the King of kings. Because of this truth, all women are worthy of respect and love.

Therefore, let us love and support one another. Likewise, let us, also, be grateful for the men who respect the vocation of motherhood.


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