When we sign up for motherhood we know that things will change. We understand that we will be giving up pieces of our former lives…spur-of-the-moment weekend getaways, possibly careers…
For me, parenting young children is challenging because my basic human rights are frequently violated. The rights to: eat, sleep, and even go to the restroom.
I completely freaked out the other day when I sat down on a wet toilet seat!! Seriously? How much effort does it take to lift a seat and put it back down? What made even more upset was realizing I am about to have another one of these “seat pee-ers”. 5 of them. 1 of me. Can’t I just go to the bathroom respectfully?
In the middle of the night I am awakened by a child who can’t find his water…I stumble into his room to find it right next to his bed. Really? This preggo momma needs her sleep!!
Before I sit down to eat my first bite of lunch, requests for more food start coming. I protest…”Mommy needs to eat!! (and feed the brain I’m currently growing).”
Is it wrong for me to set boundaries on how the boys treat me? No.
Is it wrong for them to expect me to meet their needs? No.
Is it wrong for me to get so upset when they make demands that affect my basic human rights? mmm…
Once again it’s in my attitude. I don’t want to give up my “humanness” and “suffer.” My inner person screams: “I HAVE RIGHTS YOU KNOW!!”
In seeking to live humbly I read about the perfect example of humility and how he handled suffering:
“But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
22 ‘He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth.’
23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” 1 Peter 2:20b-23
In becoming a mom I gave up weekly date nights & my career as a Speech-Language Pathologist.
-He gave up a seat at the right hand of the Father.
Being a mom I don’t always sleep through the night and soon sleep will be something I don’t do much at all.
-Jesus didn’t even always have a bed to call his own. “Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.'” (Luke 9:58)
I may have to wait to eat my lunch for longer than I would like.
–“where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.” (Luke 4:2)
I give up some of my basic rights.
-Jesus gave up his life! He gave up the right to breathe.
Yes, motherhood is hard. Yes it requires sacrifice.
But, the next time I have to give up food, sleep, comfort for the sake of loving and caring for my children (those God has given me to minister to) in this season…my goal is to remember:
“He suffered for me. He did not retaliate. He did not threaten. He endured, even to the point of death on a cross”.
Of course I will continue to train these boys to lift the toilet seat…to wait for me to eat before asking for seconds…to only wake me in the middle of the night in extreme emergencies.
BUT I will also try to change my attitude. To see this as a short “blip” in my life. An opportunity to identify with the sufferings of Christ. To respond without retaliation, guilt, threats…and maybe, just maybe, consider it pure joy!
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
How will you respond today when someone violates your “rights”? When a car cuts you off? If a waiter isn’t as “speedy” as you’d like? If you don’t get the discount you thought you were promised?
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