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7 May 2021
"It can be messy, it can be loud, but it can also be so much fun."
Words Rebecca Moore
I didn’t have many expectations for Mother’s Day. I generally like to enjoy it, however it comes – but I did have one request: that there be no arguing among my four children.
I say this with a grin. Mother’s Day can be hard on the family when mum has a day off. It means that everyone else has to do what mum normally does for a day. Thankfully for them, it only happens once a year.
Admittedly, it was going to be a busy Mother’s Day this particular year, with commitments at church as well as family to pick up from the airport. So, when I was able to sleep in for the first time in months the day before, I was very pleased.
Sunday morning came and initially began well – then not so well. A trigger from one child sent another one of my children off like a train, letting off steam with passion! As I slipped out of the room to find a quiet space, I noticed in the laundry that my washing machine was flashing an ‘F3’ error code at me. I also noticed dirty washing was already piling up in the basket and, as you can imagine, that’s not good news for a family of six.
The turbulent start to the day meant we didn’t get the annual family photo, something that was made even more obvious as I scrolled through social media looking at the beautiful Mother’s Day photos of my friends.
My children scurried to pull together whatever was left of the day, and it did improve, but my request for no arguing had long since gone out the window.
While not everything in life is meant to be easy, I was hopeful that the one day of the year meant to be my day off, would be just that. It ended up, however, requiring more mothering skills and calmness from me than usual, while also fighting off the temptation to feel sorry for myself.
Though the day wasn’t perfect, it was real. Families are not always picture-perfect, they are not always ‘insta-worthy’, and special days don’t always run as planned. Families are, however, a gathering of different personalities that often complement each other, but can also clash. It can be messy, it can be loud, but it can also be so much fun.
What’s wonderful is that families are all in it together. Despite differences, whether it be a clash of wills, stubbornness or tiredness, the love doesn’t have to change, it just needs to bear with each other.
My children know that in this house they are safe, they belong and are loved, even with their imperfections – especially in their imperfections, because we all have them. They know that even when we fail or make mistakes, it doesn’t affect our love for each other, though a little gentle shaping may be in order.
Often we don’t measure up to our own expectations and, although we may have the best intentions, sometimes we mess up. In God’s love we are safe, we belong and we are loved, but we are also shaped.
When God redirects us and gives us a nudge in the right direction, sometimes the nudge is uncomfortable, but he loves us enough to show us. He never rejects us but, in our imperfections, he still lavishes his love on us. And he wants us to do the same to others.
For all the mums out there who spent Mother’s Day looking for a silver lining, I just want to say thank you for loving your family through the glory days and the not-so-glory days. And hey … there’s always next year!
Author Rebecca Moore blogs at rebeccamoore.life. Her book Pizza and Choir, and others, are available through Koorong.com.