Sunday Snippet: Mothers Day for Real Mothers…

So Mother’s Day is looming, the whole day fills me with very mixed feelings. You have to know I love a celebration but Mothers all over the world are made to expect that their children are going to tell them how wonderful they are. And I know so many mothers are going to be disappointed that their kids forgot or that their husband didn’t even get the kids to make her a cup of tea. Mother’s Day is one of those awkward times where we have raised the expectation of a given day so high that it is bound disappoint.

I am not one of those incredible moms that fill every second of every day of their children’s days with joy. Of course I do my best, I am in the business of making memories and we have made more than a few together. But just as I don’t have perfect children… I am far, far away from being the perfect mother. Honestly, I do feel the pressure when I read posts that gently enquire: “What will your children remember you by this mothers day?” Do I appear in enough of their photographs? How many bed-time stories will be enough for my children to know that I love them? Because I so do love them, more than I can breathe and when I see them across the way my breath literally catches at how wonderful they are.


Put on a spot if some-one says to any of my kids: “You must have such a great mom?” there is always a kind of a silence… the silence, while they try to recover themselves and the gap in time between the words being out there and their response: “Um, yeah!” Throw in a dozen glitter smeared cards and it becomes something to live up to. Suddenly all the silly little things I do for them are no longer just a loving service… there is an expectation that I am going to be this great mom and that they are going to reward me on Mother’s Day.

So where do we get these inflated mothering ideas from… where oh where does the idea come from that we have to be totally perfect mothers… I know there are brilliant moms out there… These moms manage not to appear rumpled and crumpled, tired and cranky and even have those days when they are just getting by. Turns out if you dig a little deeper even these moms slope around in sweat pants and eat ice-cream out of the tub when everyone else is sleeping.

So I turned to the Bible to see just who the perfect mum was meant to be and why it was so hard to be that mum. Now mothers in the Bible it turns out were far from perfect and yet they were all instrumental in fulfilling God’s perfect plan. Let’s begin in the New Testament and work our way back in time:


  1. Salome: Was the mother of the disciples James and John. She was so proud of her sons and she so desperately wanted them to get a head start that she asked Jesus that when he arrives on His throne that her sons may be seated immediately to His left and right. Nothing shy about this mom, she didn’t even wait for a quiet moment to ask Him on the side!!!
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  3. Mary: Who needs no introduction and mislaid her child for a few days before she found him teaching in the synagogue. It wasn’t a couple of minutes he was ought of sight, we are talking days here. All this during the very busy time of the Passover. I am sure she was beside herself with grief and terror and imagine the headlines: “Mother mislays child for two or three days while on vacation.”
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  5. Bathsheba: Was the mother of King Solomon. She married King David, but only after he had arranged to have her husband Urriah killed… Yes she was married to another man when she and David began their relationship.
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  7. Hannah: Who was so desperate for a baby, and I can so understand that, then promised to give her child to the temple and followed up on it… Not exactly the picture of today’s ideal mother. Can you see the article: “Mother waits years to conceive, then leaves child at the temple as a servant.”
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  9. Jochabed: She was the mother of Moses… she set him adrift in the Nile River… No we don’t know how close he was to the pharaoh’s daughter at the time. But it was a river filled with crocodiles, snakes, not to mention hippo’s. Pretty risky action to take for a loving mother… and yes the story did turn out to be more than satisfying with Jochabed raising her own baby for the Pharaoh’s daughter. But it could have been disastrous.
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  11. Rebekah: Sarah and Abraham finally had a child together… Isaac. When he grew up he married Rebekah. Rebekah had two sons, Jacob and Easu, she didn’t just slightly meddle in the lives of her sons, she interfered and it cost them all dearly.
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  13. Sarah: Abraham’s wife took after her husband, she was incredibly faithful, she left her home and followed her husband all over the countryside – it can’t have been easy. Faithful as she was she couldn’t quite believe that she would ever have a child, let alone be the mother of a great nation. In fact when she heard about her impending motherhood she laughed about it.
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    And the Se7en + 1th mom…

  15. Eve: Let’s not forget the first mother, the mother of all mothers… turn out she ate forbidden fruit and got her family and all subsequent families ejected from Paradise. She went on and raised a son who killed his brother, I know she didn’t do the killing and she must have been devastated. Not exactly the picture perfect image of the mum that we are aiming to be.

If you look at these moms, all of them had failings of one kind or another. And we don’t know too much about their parenting styles or their discipline techniques. In fact we don’t know much beyond what was the cultural norm of the day. What we do know is that they were far from perfect. God has chosen to use these far from perfect moms to paint a picture of motherhood for us. None of these moms appear to have been terribly glamorous or about to win “Mothering award of the year.” Not exactly the shining examples you would see gracing our parenting magazines… Not exactly the experts that would be publishing multiple “How to be the best parents ever” books.

Now I know culture and circumstances in Bible Times were very different to the times we are living in now. But these were the mom’s of the day. Frankly I am so grateful to God that when he wrote about mothers in the Bible he showed us these moms. He showed us real moms, with real issues who made real mistakes. There was no fluffing up or pretending they were more glamorous than they were. I have a feeling that these mothers were all too aware of their mothering failures and yet they kept on faithfully, they did do their best and I am willing to bet you they had to hold a few hands as little people drifted off to sleep. I bet you that they had their fair share of sloppy wake-up kisses and little people saying I love you.


So while I am all for celebrating and rejoicing in the everyday, I am a bit weary of mothers day… which appears to be about mothers being far more awesome than they actually are. Maybe I am super lucky, because daily my kids might toss an “I love you” in my direction or leave me little creative offerings on my keyboard and they freely supply me with hugs. For me that is love enough, I am just so thrilled that they want me to be part of their world… thrilled that they want to tell me their hopes and dreams. For me that is more than enough!!!

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27 Replies to “Sunday Snippet: Mothers Day for Real Mothers…”

  1. Hello my friend at All Things Beautiful, I had an idea that we would be on the same page!!! Hope you are having a great week with all your kiddos!!!

  2. And again – I know why I enjoy reading your blog every day – and miss it terribly when I can’t. You have a wonderful way of keeping life in perspective . Thanks

  3. Thank you for posting this. I would love it if my children could say that I always made them happy but I don’t. My responsibility is to train and mentor them, love them and make choices that are for their own good. And sometimes in the process I might not even be someone they like very much. But some of my value and appreciation in my children’s eyes, will not be until they are older – when they have their own children.
    As a mom, I now soooo appreciate my own mother because I only now understand the price of mothering and the sacrifices paid. Willingly and lovingly paid but it costs dearly, every day.
    I trust that Mother’s Day will be a day of revelation for your children to see you as God sees you – your heart for them, your service and your love.

  4. Hi 3GoatMom, Thrilled that this post spoke to you, I am so glad you enjoy our blog so much!!! Thanks for taking the time to comment and stopping by again and again!!! Have a great day!!!

  5. love this post! It’s just so true. It’s easy to get caught up in the whole “bless me” thing of mother’s day and father’s day. The expectations are great. And it’s too easy to be disappointed. Throw in all the various mothers within the extended family and who gets to bless whom, it often just becomes a day of obligatory work! Thankfully, our blessings really are every day and that’s something worth remembering. Thank you for the reminder too of who God has made us, warts and all! 🙂

  6. Hay Mel, Isn’t that the truth!!! Mothering isn’t as easy as some folk make it look!!! Sometimes we have to be the bad cop…much as we would like to be the good cop!!! Hopefully our kids will look back and see the time that we spent with them and recognize it for what it is – lots of love flowing their way!!! Thanks so much for the link-back – what a fabulous surprise!!! Hope you have a great week!!!

  7. So glad you liked it Lillian, and your mail is almost in the mail!!! Have a great weekend, nearly there!!!

  8. Hay Taryn, What a nice surprise to have you stop by!!! And thanks for the great comment – it is so true: Our blessings are indeed in the everyday!!! Hope you have a wonderful week!!!

  9. Such beautiful and WISE thoughts on mama’s day. You have such a wonderful way of articulating exactly what so many of us think! :):)

  10. Motherhood is certainly not for the faint-hearted! With its’ great blessings, come fears and sorrows, but we are thankful that the Bible puts it all in perspective! Thank you again for reminding us of that!

  11. Katherine Marie, Thank you so much for your comment – all your comments, you are such an encourager!!!!!! And that photograph of your littlest one on your last post – is just breathtakingly cute!!! Have a fabulous day!!!

  12. Hay Aunty Muffin, Thank you for all the endless long chats and discussions… They keep me ticking over and enabling my brain to come up with posts like these ones!!! Hope you have a great week!!!

  13. Thank you Jacqui, Glad you liked it and thank you so much for taking the time to comment!!! Hope you have a great day!!!

  14. I never cease to be amazed that our kids love us, what a gift. So lucky.
    Thank you for a breath of fresh air as the day draws near!

  15. Oh Corli, How true is that!!! Complete unconditional love… they love us despite our mothering learning curve!!! Hope you all have a great weekend!!! Lots of lekker love…

  16. Oh, I like that! We make such a big deal about Mother’s Day around here. But it just makes me sad … our family can’t afford the special things like fancy flowers, new dresses, and outings. It has been especially hard since my mom died on mother’s day 3 years ago.

    Thank you for the encouragement!

  17. Hi Rachel R, That is a hard mother’s day memory, especially when everyone wants a huge celebration. I am so sorry for the pain you must be feeling. Sounds like the perfect case for celebrating a little bit every day or a walk in the neighborhood rather than aiming for the whole commercial deal. Wishing you all the best this weekend, I know it is going to be a tough one. Thanks for commenting, I so appreciate it!!!

  18. you are amazing! you always have a different take on things.

    I confess I was a bit annoyed this morning when I got nothing but cards (!!!) and was told it’s cheese rolls for lunch! I think God did a little something on me at church though as for so many years I hated church on Mother’s Day.

  19. Found this post via Marcia, loved this! Thank you for making me see what was a highly dissappointing mothers day in a very different manner.


  20. Oh Marcia, You got cards!!! You did!!! Oh our hearts get so confused by all the media marketing… Honestly gifts have got so ridiculous, if my little guys were going to gift me they would probably get me an ice-cream… but the stores would have a whole lot more to say – since when did a toddler get their mom new shoes or pots and pans… it has become ridiculous!!! I reckon that if I stick to the things that count and focus on the things that matter, that everything will be okay in the long run… our kids will know they are loved and in their way will love us right back!!! I couldn’t ask for more!!!

  21. Oh Sam, I am so sorry for your mother’s day and glad that you enjoyed the post… Right now think about the mother’s day that you really truly want – not what everyone else says you should want, and make a little plan to making that happen. I really wanted a good dinner with my whole gang… I won’t even glance at the rest of the day – the dashing and rushing to get to church on time, the far too late lunch, the unexpected cleanup for visitors I forgot about… and the laundry – oh my… all on a Sunday!!! But I nice dinner with my kids was achieved so as days go, I count it as a galactic plus!!! Wishing you all the best and treat yourself… sometime this week. I bet you deserve it, just because, and not because it’s mother’s day!!!

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