What Mothers (Women) Really Want (Not Just on Mother’s Day)

If you’re a young mother just starting out, forgive me in advance.

When I was a young mother, and held those first few babies in my arms, I had no way of knowing (and thankful for that) that because of the depth of my love, my heart was now capable of feeling pain like I had never known before children. If you’ve been a mother for a while, you know what I mean.

I don’t think husbands can even identify to what a mother’s heart feels–both the joys and sorrows of living, in a sense, outside of herself now and in another person. You always love “that baby” just as much as when you first held her, but it’s more than that; every pain she experiences from now on, you will feel it with her, for her. To love much is to suffer much.

You will feel an emptiness no other human can feel when he moves out on his own. You will agonize all alone when that child makes decisions that you don’t believe are wise; and you will cry tears that are yours alone, that can be felt by no one else, even by the child for whom you cry, because it isn’t his to know or feel and honestly, he can’t.

The truth is, being a mother is so incredibly wonderful that I cannot find the words, just now, to describe it! I’d be a mother a thousand times again. Motherhood transforms us and we are better for it, it gives us new shades of color to see the world and awakens in us feelings of being alive that were not there before.

But the other truth is that the pain that comes with loving so deeply never ends in a lifetime; it waxes and wanes, but there are always times of grief or change or trials in the life of a mother.

So what does a mother really want and need?

Friends who can walk this road with her, help shoulder the cares of mother-life. Friends who get her.

A husband who understands the differences in the way they love their children (it’s true), the way they process differently, and simply communicates that understanding to her.

Grace. A mother needs a heaping dose of grace, given by others, but especially by herself, because she is her hardest critic.

Love. Garth Brooks wrote, “I could’ve missed the pain, but I’d of had to miss the dance.” We love hard because that’s how we’re made. And it’s very good. Let’s love others with all we have, regardless of the potential for pain.

Transparency to help. I’ve lived long enough now to realize there are so, so many hurting people. There are neighbors, or women who sit quietly beside you at church, who appear to have everything together, who are absolutely broken inside because of some secret they’re harboring, or pain in their lives they are afraid to share with anyone. Sometimes it’s our transparency that gives them the freedom to release that burden to be shared by someone else. And sometimes, all a person needs is one other human in her life to say, “I’m here. I’m with you. I’ve had pain too.”

Celebrate motherhood in its fullness. Embrace all the joy, and the pain, and the realities of life, and entrust yourself to an Almighty God who is the only One who really gets you and can see you through this beautiful roller coaster ride.

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10 Responses to “What Mothers (Women) Really Want (Not Just on Mother’s Day)”

  1. Jodi says:

    Kelly,
    God is using you in a very powerful way! What you wrote and how you described motherhood is so heart felt and so true! I am a 50 year old mother of 11 and expecting baby #12 So many people just don’t understand the calling that God has placed on the hearts of mothers. It truly is beyond words and something only other moms can “get”. Thank you for writing what you do, for taking time out of your busy life to allow God to use you to speak to the hearts of us moms. Kelly, God knows your struggles, your heart, and he is smiling down on you saying “Well done my faithful daughter, well done!” I want you to know that “I am here. I am with you. I have had pain too” , in prayer and in spirit! ❤️

  2. Carla says:

    This is truly amazing! Such an accurate depiction of s mother’s love. I have been blessed with three wonderful blessings and I could’ve never imagine a love like the one of being a mom. I wish I did have a friend to walk this beautiful and sometimes overwhelming journey with. Or a Mother to lean on and learn from. However through it all the Lord has been more than enough and I am blessed beyond measures to have him and a loving husband. God bless you abundantly Kelly. Your blogs has been nothing short of a huge blessing to me. <3

  3. 6 arrows says:

    A lovely piece, Kelly.

  4. Trisha says:

    Just today I went to a friend to ask her to be a mentor/prayer partner with me as I continue to walk this wonderfully hard journey of motherhood. I am 51 with 12 children, the youngest being 3 years old, two of the older ones married, and every other age too!. I am still learning, and still making mistakes. But the Lord is faithful, and the woman I saw today is still on the path of joy and pain herself. It is good to be transparent and not hide the pain. We NEED each other, and to feel alone makes it so hard. We need to share both the joys and the sorrows with our friends and sisters in the Lord. We are all so much alike in our basic needs and desires for our children. We all have so much to share with each other. Praise the Lord for creating us to need others, and to meet the needs of others! And I praise Him for being our “all-in-all” too! Thank you for being so honest about the joys and sorrows that encompass mothering.

  5. Angela says:

    This Mother’s Day after receiving an endearing letter from my first born son, I sat down with tear filled eyes to pen him a send-off letter as he leaves just next week for a 6 month internship. I also rest at home today in the final weeks of pregnancy for the new life God is giving us just after our first born leaves home. Then I checked my email and saw this post. Truly motherhood is full of joys and sorrows! Launching the first born has to be one of the most difficult things to do! In our pain, may we all smile at the future as it is in our wise and loving Lord’s hands!

  6. D. says:

    Hi Kelly,

    Thank you for sharing your heart. More importantly, not making Mother’s Day about celebrating all we do or how amazing everyone should think we mothers are.

    I have been ever thankful for older women to encourage me in the things of the Lord and staying the course with my eyes on Jesus. But I am equally as thankful for younger moms where we can simply be transparent about how hard it is to navigate our own hearts and then our children’s. To stand by at times and feel helpless as to how to react or respond to a sour or continually argumentative child, but just knowing there are other moms out there in the trenches, is a small comfort.

    My pain is not yet in experiencing teenage years or having a child leave home, but in releasing one to the public school system after years of homeschooling. This has been my husband’s decision, hard for me to fully accept or feel excited about, but I can sense the Lord calling me to a deeper trust in Him. It’s the pain and hardships of life that typically cast us on the Lord because we see no other way to try and remedy things ourselves.

    I know I’m not alone and your blog is a testament to our dependency on the Lord for the joys and heartaches of motherhood. Thanks.

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