The Messiness of Motherhood

Originally published Friday, 28 November 2014.

Motherhood is messy. It is filled with spills and stains and grubby marks. All precious, but still messy. I can't count the number of times I've gone to go out (or gone out) and discovered the milk marks, snot marks even on my shoulder. I have repeatedly wiped the fingermarks and the occasional crayon mark off walls.

Last week I had an unusual messy moment. I sat in a salon chair as a hairdresser coloured and cut my hair, enjoying the pampering. Only to have him exclaim, "what happened here!!" as he pointed to a clump of hair only an inch or so long, compared to rest of my longer hair. Rather hard to explain how my 2 year old had managed to find some scissors, come up behind me and cut a fair amount of hair out before I even registered what was going on! The hairdresser told me he couldn't fix or hide this now spiky patch in my recently straightened hair. Hair grows quickly eh?

Motherhood is messy in another way and that is in the unpredictability of it. Yes we have routines and timetables. But we can't predict when the baby will cry (and for how long) or when just before leaving the house a nappy needs changing, or a child needs the toilet while you are on the motorway. Nor can we know the numbers of nights of broken sleep, or days when plans change due to a sick child and doctor visits. Or when tired children needing reassurance and comfort and interrupt dinner plans. Days when nothing on our lists gets achieved and we crumple exhausted into bed.

I am thankful that during these times, I have a good God. One who gives me grace to keep going through the broken nights, strength to get through hard days. I have a loving God who ministers to my mother heart when I worry about my children. I have a kind God who knows my heart when I whisper a prayer as I fall asleep reading the Bible. I have an encouraging God who speaks to me through my daily life. I have an amazing God who blessed me with my children and blesses me with strength, grace and wisdom to be a good mother.

He tends his flock like a shepherd:
 He gathers the lambs in his arms
 And carries them close to his heart;
 He gently leads those that have young.
 (Isaiah 40:11)