"Motherhood is a crash course in self denial."
I wrote a whole post about this quote yesterday morning. I began feeling sick in the middle of it and ended up not being able to post it. I got to feeling so badly that my parents took the kids to their house so that I could rest. I laid on the couch and watched TV (I can't remember the last time I did that!). Believe it or not, there was nothing on. I ended up watching Oprah...again, there was nothing on. Well, it was a show about women that had "let themselves go" and were getting a "getting my sexy back" makeover. I had several issues w/ the premise of the show, but continued to watch the transformations. It really was incredible...and the change in their attitude and self confidence was amazing. Anyway, during one of the makeovers (it was a former model now mother that let herself go) a lady w/ the group of people that did the makeup, etc. said that it's so sad that women have been so "inculturated" to put others before themselves. HUH? First of all, is inculturated a word? And even if it is, I would certainly not say that was the message our culture was sending us!!!!!
I realize that many women "let themselves go" after having children. But I think that if we are truely denying ourselves and putting our children and husbands before ourselves that we won't let this happen. I kind of think it's more of a form of laziness and selfishness? Maybe I'm way off. However, the point I'm trying to make is that I was sitting there listening to Oprah and the stylists talk about putting yourself first and I just think that is very counter to God's message. Yes we need to take care of ourselves. No we don't need to be sloppy and lazy (all the time ;) but "putting yourself first" isn't the answer to finding your "Mojo"!!!!!
We are called to deny ourselves and to put others first. All these "self" messages are ruining our society. So, here's the post I wrote earlier.
I read a great quote awhile back, "Motherhood is a crash course in self denial."
How true it is. How true it is! Think about it. It all starts when you are hoping to get pregnant. You begin denying yourself certain foods and drinks that wouldn't be good for the baby. During pregnancy you deny yourself various activities that could be harmful to the baby and begin to force yourself to eat things that you wouldn't normally eat b/c they are beneficial to your baby. Your body is no longer your own (not that it really was to begin w/!).
Then the baby is born. Where to start!?!?!?! Nursing in and of itself is a HUGE denial of self. Not only do you watch what you eat and your hydration level, but now your time is not even your own! And if you have trouble nursing....you are not only denying yourself, but actually allowing something very painful for the sake of your baby (oh yeah, speaking of pain...I didn't even go into the fact that by mearly carrying a baby you are committing to the pain of childbirth!!). I can't begin to cover all the ways that a mother denies herself, aka dies to herself. They are many! And it's not easy! But I've noticed something sad. As my kids have gotten older, I have found myself listening to the world and what it tells me that I deserve. When I start listening to that I start focusing on ME...and that's a dangerous thing. My children are a gift from our Heavenly Father. Intrusted to me, not for my benefit (*though I do benefit from them greatly) but for HIS eternal purpose. It's not about me at all! So, when I read this article my heart was resoftened to the needs of my children. I was determined to continue to daily die to myself, deny myself and serve my family. Every time one of my kids needs something (physical, emotional or spiritual) and I'm tempted to be lazy or selfish, I hear that word echo in my ear. "Pluck." Pluck the feather, do the hard thing, deny myself. Please don't hear me saying that we should raise self absorbed children that are spoiled b/c their Mother waits on them hand and foot. NO! Actually, the opposite. Sometimes, plucking that feather from my own breast is taking the time to train and instruct them so that they will not grow into selfish adults. "Plucking" can be putting forth the extra energy and effort to learn about and give my kids healthy things to eat. Sometimes it's taking them to the park when I'd rather say home. Sometimes it's teaching them how to do things around the house, even though it slows down my progress, b/c I want to help them learn how to do homekeeping so they will have an easier time when they are grown and in charge of their own houses. Sometime it's as simple as smiling at them. There are so many things. It can be exhausting and overwhelming at times. But God is faithful. He has given us these precious babies and He will help us raise them. So be encouraged to deny yourself and do the things your heart tells you to do. God is w/ us through this journey of motherhood and is helping us all the way!! :)
Every day I have to get up and make the choice to do what I know is right. Putting others first is the right thing. Denying ourselves is the right thing. Letting ourselves go has nothing to do w/ putting others first. I'm not surprised that self first was the message on Oprah....But I hate that so many well meaning mothers watch her and buy into that worldly way of thinking. Let's take care of ourselves b/c we are a Holy Temple and have the indewlling of Christ. And let's love and enjoy our children and be willing to put their needs before our own.
If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me.