Mother Martyr Myth

I am the mother of two wonderful, spirited, precious, little girls. They are 1 and 3. According to most mothers - this will be an interesting time in my life.

Apparently, it will be close to Dante's seventh circle of hell.

What I find more shocking is that no matter WHAT my children's age, I generally do not get many varying views on the stage of life that my children (or I) am about to enter. It is always the same. Fits, rage, sleepless nights, plague, winged horses...I mean, the way most people describe motherhood one would think it is the never-ending apocalypse.

Why are all stages of childhood (and therefore motherhood) treated with such disdain and loathing and dread and well, as martyrdom?

I was at the post office with my girls the other day (speaking of Dante's seventh circle...). I was expecting the worst. Let's face it, no one expects the BEST when they go to the post office, let alone walking in with two small children. And you know what, it was GREAT. My oldest skipped around quietly singing her ABCs and we played a counting game while her little sister looked on. That entertained us for our entire 45 minute venture. Were we still. No. Were we silent. No. We were content and not a screaming, crying mess. I count this as a win.

The mere presence of my children opened other mothers waiting in line to volunteering that they also had children, their children's current ages, and most often the comment, "'current age' is the worst." The same thing happened to me today. I was minding my own business, enjoying my kiddos' behavior - they have lately been rockstars - and was subjected to unsolicited griping about how kids are X and Y and Z and motherhood is just BLA BLA BLA.

I chose to be a mother. I prayed to be a mother. God has made me a mother.

Is it the easiest thing I have ever done? No.
Is is the hardest? Yes.
Does that give me the right (or everyone else on the planet who has been a parent) to grumble and complain? No.

Moms, stop talking bad about kids and parenting and motherhood.

Hint: Kids have ears and pick up on what you are saying.

When I whisper praises about my oldest to others, you bet your corndog that she picks up on those compliments, feels loved, and acts like the little cherished piece of awesome that she is. When I speak words of anger and meanness and regret over her or near her...well, Dante's seventh circle commences.

So many women today talk about motherhood as though they are martyrs. Oh, the sacrifices. If motherhood is such a huge sacrifice, your priorities might be a bit skewed. These martyr moms generally complain about their life and then crap all over other moms' good days. They think it's some kind of awesome power trip to dash the hopes and dreams and joy of new mothers who look into the grand adventure with glass half full.


Putting down motherhood, your children, and being "realistic," does not make you better - it just makes you bitter.

Today, I will try very hard to look into the face of motherhood and laugh and giggle and dance and sing and maybe cry and be a mess (if that is what the situation calls for). But I will not grumble. I will not try and put myself up on a cross and project that my life as a first world mother of two is SO HARD.

It's not.

I encourage all you other mothers to flee the temptation to grumble or be bitter or make your "hard" life a bigger deal than it is by incessantly talking about it.

Just grow up and be a mom - not a martyr.

* I say these things as much to myself as to my readers. No one is completely guiltless when it comes to griping. However, this is an overall trend I see and experience in our culture (even among Christians) and it is unhealthy and needs to stop. 

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful insight! Thank you for reminding us. Children area a precious treasure given to us by God to protect!