Myths of Motherhood – MBFLP 235

Hal is out of town with the children and Melanie is helping her mother after major surgery, so this episode Melanie tackles some common ideas about motherhood that may not be quite so. Join this mother of eight (five all grown now) as she looks at “Myths of Motherhood”!

“Motherhood” is one of the almost-mystical concepts of our culture. It’s symbolic of so many things, though to be sure, just what it represents has changed as the culture has changed.

But like many “big ideas,” there are some mythical things that cluster around, too. Can we talk frankly about what we see as the myths of modern motherhood?

Here’s a big one to start with:

Myth No. 1 – “It’s hard now and it’s always going to be this way.”

When we had four kids eight and under, Hal accepted a new job in a different town. We couldn’t sell the house before he had to start, so we conceived the not-so-brilliant idea of Melanie and the kids staying in the present home to try and sell it, while Hal moved two hours away to begin the new job.

It was horrible.

One mom and four littles, eight and under. Every time the agent wanted to show the house, Melanie would dash upstairs and down, furiously throwing things in laundry baskets and stuffing them in the car. One of our children couldn’t fall asleep at night; Melanie would get the older two settled, nurse the baby down, and then find the toddler wide wake, feet flailing, talking to himself. She would sit by his toddler bed, crying her heart out to God, “Father! Please – let this child sleep,” unable to leave him because the bedrooms were upstairs.

It was tough and it was discouraging too. And it was easy to think, “This is my normal. It will always be the way it is this minute. And I can’t do this.”

Eventually we decided to just clean the house really well, close it up, and go live with relatives for a month or two until it sold. And eventually, it all worked out.

That little guy who wouldn’t get to sleep? He’s a father now with his own restless toddler. All four of those kids we had then are grown and gone now. We still have children at home, the younger siblings who weren’t even alive back then, but our life is drastically different. When the younger few were born, we had teenagers to help. The older kids can handle most of their schoolwork on their own. They’re helping more than they’re taking time.

Your life as a mother of a demanding young family is tough – no question. But that three-year-old who’s running around like a maniac — in a few years, he’ll be able to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and he’ll help get the toddler out of the toilet while you’re nursing the baby. When he’s 9 he’ll be able to finish fixing dinner when the baby needs Mama (as they do!). When he’s 12 he’ll be able to cook the whole meal, and when he’s 16 you can send him out for burgers when you’re sick with the flu. Your life hasn’t reached a standstill –

Don’t give up!

(There’s a lot more coming up – listen in below!)

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