By Patty Schneier | Author & Speaker
I was warned that they “grow up so fast.” Kind, elderly strangers once looked at me in the grocery store with little ones in tow and advised me to enjoy every moment. I remember thinking at the time, “I’ll never get out of this stage of exhaustion!” Yet, in the blink of an eye, I find myself the mother of young adults who are all making their way in this world, and I am overwhelmed by the passage of time. Now I’m the lady in the grocery store, smiling at young mothers with cute babies and telling them, “You have beautiful children! Enjoy every moment. They grow up so fast!”
This Mother’s Day, I want to stop and pause—really reflect—on this tremendous gift of motherhood. First and foremost, I am reminded that motherhood is indeed a gift. As with any true gift, we should not grasp at it, nor insist upon receiving the gift as if it were a “right.” It seems we have lost this perspective in our culture. Often, I forget that my children do not really belong to me. They belong to God, who is their beginning and their end. My children are simply given to me for a short time here on earth to nurture and to love, to raise and then release. Reflecting on these truths frees me to surrender my will, my dreams, and my fears regarding my children to the one who parents them best—God himself.
Secondly, I want to ponder motherhood as the great equalizer of society. Whether rich or poor, young or old, educated or uneducated, mothers want the same things for their children. We share the desire for our children to live in safety, with food, clothing, shelter, opportunities to thrive, and most importantly LOVE. We also know and understand the universal “ache,” when our children suffer and our hearts are pierced by the same “sword” that was predicted to the Blessed Mother. This leads me to pray for mothers who are sitting at the bedside of a sick child, for those who are grieving the loss of a child, for those whose children suffer from mental illness or addictions.
Finally, I am reminded to reflect on the awe and wonder of motherhood. I want to ponder the genius of God’s design for humanity, especially woman’s ability to conceive and bring forth new life. Pregnancy is a miracle! Labor and delivery are a miracle! The fact that we all lived and grew inside our mother’s womb is mind-boggling—and oh so beautiful! I can’t help but praise God for His incredible plan…and be grateful for my mother’s sacrifices.
Whatever your state in life, stop and ponder motherhood during this month of May. Let it lead you to prayer and gratitude.
Patty Schneier is a Catholic author and national Catholic speaker. Her book, Love Letters From Mom on What Matters Most is available at Pauline Books and Media in Crestwood. She and her husband Larry are parishioners of St. Ferdinand Parish in Florissant.