Easing the stress of motherhood

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As Mother’s Day approaches, I wish a Happy Mother’s Day to every mom out there!  The demands on today’s moms are great.  Babies and toddlers need constant care, and as children grow there is homework to supervise, sports or dance activities to take kids to, counsel to offer regarding college choices, etc., not to mention meals to prepare, laundry to do, and financial obligations to meet!

But motherhood does not need to be overwhelming or frustrating, even during stressful situations.  I remember a flight I took to Los Angeles a few years ago in which a young mother was struggling with her crying infant.  The baby eventually fell asleep, but when he awoke, he began crying all over again.  Because of delays and rerouting, what was to be a four hour flight turned into a seven hour one, and the baby was not happy!

Many of us felt compassionate toward this mother, but others were visibly upset.  You could tell she was doing the best she could, but the stress level on the plane was rising, especially that of the dear mother.  Finally one man took out his little dog who was traveling with him.  He walked the dog near the child, who became enthralled with this little creature.  A much calmer, quieter flight continued to Los Angeles.

I’ve often thought about that in the years since.  It certainly was a caring and loving action this man and his dog took, but could it be, even without realizing it, that the man was acting under the impulse of divine Love, God’s mothering care?  It is an interesting aspect of God, one not often discussed.  The Bible relates God’s fathering nature and shepherding care, but this verse from Isaiah opens thought to God’s mothering identity: “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you:” (Isaiah 66:13).

God’s mothering affection can be felt by anyone, and that often happens as one identifies God as his or her divine Mother and learns what that means. This tender, divine endearment is a supporting, guiding, and intelligent influence that strengthens us and enables us to meet our parental demands, or any situation, with joy and buoyancy.  In other words, the all-encompassing, reassuring, unconditional, mothering love of God is a healing power, and it dissolves worry, fear and stress. I’ve seen this proven true.

My mom was widowed when my sister and I were young teens.  Her stress level rose overnight as she needed to find a job, become both mother and father to her two children, and overcome her grief.  She told me one day that as she turned to God as the Father and Mother of herself and her children, she realized that stress did not have to characterize her life.  During these years, especially when faced with overwhelming fear, she often sang the words of a loved hymn which speaks about God’s mothering love: “O Love, our Mother, ever near/ To Thee we turn from doubt and fear! / In perfect peace our thoughts abide/ Our hearts now in this truth confide: /Man is the child of God.”

This hymn taught her that she could trust God’s mothering love to give her the strength and intelligence to take care of herself and my sister and me.  That trust replaced her stress with confidence, as she found God’s guidance, affection, and peace enveloping her.  She became a much stronger woman.

I’ll never forget the time I came home from school and she told me, “Thank God.  Go ahead, thank Him.”  When I did, she told me that she had been worried about a real estate tax bill that was coming due and had prayed for the intelligence to find a way to pay the large amount.  That day, a dividend check from some stock she had from my father’s workplace came in the mail, covering the tax bill completely.  She said she would never worry about finances again, knowing she could trust God’s mothering care.

All three of us really learned to trust God during those years.  His/Her guidance led all of us to employment, and both my sister and I graduated from college.  In her later years, my mom always had more than she needed financially to meet her needs.

Whether a parent or not, we all have God’s mothering love to comfort, guide, protect, and care for us, to bring divine healing into every aspect of our lives.  So as we approach Mother’s Day and think of our own mom or another mom who has helped us, let’s remember to honor our divine Mother this weekend and thank Her, too.  We can never be separated from the divine Father-Mother God.

©2017 Christian Science Committee on Publication for Illinois

This entry was posted in Notes from Thomas Mitchinson, Prayer, spiritual healing, Spirituality, The Bible, Tim Mitchinson and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Easing the stress of motherhood

  1. Connie Turner says:

    Truly a beautiful article, Tim. We can each experience and reflect God’s mothering in many ways.

  2. JK says:

    This is a wonderful expression of God’s complete control and why Mary Baker Eddy referred to God as Father-Mother God. Thanks so much, Tim, for the examples shared and the love emphasized.

  3. Harriet Shaikes says:

    Thank you, Tim. I was looking for a way to justify motherhood and you hit it on the head. I love the hymn you cited and have had similar circomstances when my children were young.

  4. Rob Scott says:

    Thank you for this, Tim.

    Today is Mother’s day in Mexico.

    An idea came to me which I wanted to share.

    It has brought me healing since I have had no contact with my biological mother for years and usually fall into despair on Mother’s Day.

    So I had an idea come to me to expand my involvement in the community this Mother’s Day by promoting peace and love from my students to their moms.

    A relationship with the mother should be the most sacred one in the world to the human sense.

    First, I asked some questions to confirm that that they all lived with their moms and wanted to do something good for them on mother’s day. They were all in agreement.

    Next, I asked my students in a couple different classes to write a Mother’s Day card to their mom in English. They were all excited and asked me to write something to get them started.

    I wrote the following on the board:

    “Thank you mom for giving me the opportunity to learn English and I have the best English teacher at my school.” This got lots of laughs as they started writing away.

    Some asked me for help with their grammar and some even shared their cards with me.

    For example, one student wrote about how he fell into depression in his earlier years after a breakup and expressed gratitude to his mother for loving him right right out of the despair.

    Several others talked about how their mothers helped them get through the difficult times in their lives by being there for them.

    I was truly happy for them as they all had great moms and were extremely grateful for this exercise.

    Knowing this will have a ripple effect when all their moms receive a hand written card tonight from their child brought me great joy. After all, who sends a “hand written” card now a days expressing love and gratitude?

    If you want to know where the “hope” is in the world look no further than our youth as Obama so eloquently stated in his quote above.

    Love is reflected in love and it FEELS healing.

    Truth, Wisdom, Love and Sincerity, to ALL Mankind,
    Rob Scott
    Oaxaca, Mexico

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