Motherhood is not a popularity contest. Sometimes it is just plain hard. I’m sort of a “win at all costs, take no prisoners” type of mom. What I mean by that is I don’t care if you like me, my job is to be Mom. That is one of God’s ultimate callings for me in life, I promised to do everything I could to help my children to return to Him someday. Even when that means a fight.
I am going to do what is best on behalf of my children, even if it is unpopular, abnormal, and my children hate me for it. It would be a disservice to my children to do otherwise. When my children and I stand before the Judgement Seat, I honestly want to say “I tried everything I could” and “They made it back in spite of my personal flaws”.
Due to my own health concerns, and some added short term stress at home and work, we made the difficult call to have one of my children live with my parents for a short time. Not only did they enroll my child in the local school, but when COVID-19 quarantines started my parents ended up homeschooling my child.
They are amazing. I am so grateful for their support. There is nothing easy about teaching this child, and I will leave it at that. Utterly exhausting.
I don’t quit or admit failure very often. Thankfully, I don’t often fail. But having to, in a way say, “Um, help please. It might be my parenting. I might be failing here.” Knowing all the things my siblings could be saying about the situation. Knowing I probably look crazy to outsiders, who don’t live with this child day in and day out. All of it ran through my head.
And yet my love runs so deeply for my baby, that it didn’t matter. I would do absolutely anything to get through to either of my kids. We didn’t know if it would work or if it would backfire terribly, but it was worth taking a chance. Again, “win at all costs, take no prisoners”, including my pride or my heartache from being separated.
I worked hard to get to be a mother. With one of my children, it took 2 years to be approved/found worthy to adopt. Then we waited one year to get the call “there’s a baby boy born this weekend, do you want him?”, and 7 months to finalize his adoption and have him sealed to us “for time and all of eternity”.
With my daughter, it was 2 years for approval, 1.5 years to get the phone call “there was a baby girl born this weekend …”, and 2 years to finalize and have her sealed to us. I can only guess the numbers of years these plans have been in motion on God’s project table.
What I learned through those years of waiting and years of infertility treatments, is that my first job was to fight for my kids. Fight to bring them to earth, fight for their health, fight for them to be raised in a Gospel centered home with two loving parents. Fight to keep my marriage and sanity intact through all those trials, for their sake. A real mom fights for the best interest of her children .. whatever home that may lead them, to.
I realized early on that I would need to keep fighting. Sometimes this meant fighting with my husband as we tried to get on the same page about discipline and other issues. Sometimes this meant fighting with teachers and doctors to get heard, and get our concerns addressed.
Knowing that they had broad experience over a wider sample size of children, but that I had in-depth experimental evidence as I had watched every breath, word, twitch, and gesture my child made since the day they were placed in my arms. And most of all, following my “mom gut” until I was satisfied with answers.
Often fighting for my children means fighting with my children. Fighting so that they understand the importance of and the right way to do chores, why our home shouldn’t be a pig sty to invite rodents or flies, and why they shouldn’t cut corners on their schoolwork. Fighting with them and this crazy world we live in to preserve sanity, respect, work ethic, honesty, and kindness in our home. And fighting to show them that lying isn’t normal, and burping in each other’s faces isn’t respectful or kind.
I don’t care if the assignment is only 2 points, we do all of our assignments and we don’t just skim chapter books for Language Arts. And “if you don’t manage yourself, I will step in and manage your life and you won’t like it”. It is a non-stop, daily battle fighting for the eternal being inside that very temporal, fallible body. It is the ongoing prayer of my heart, that my children will someday “get it” … even if they still criticize my delivery methods.
I am grateful to have parents who sacrificed for me, and have sacrificed for my children — even when my parents are supposed to be retired. And I am grateful to know what that looks like. I am grateful to my friends who let me vent in person and on social media for a few minutes, knowing that my love for my children still runs deep.
Happy Mother’s Day/Month, may you see some unexpected maturity in your children, and have to fight for your children a little less.
Molly A. Kerr
Molly is on a life long quest to figure herself out. Born to be and educated as an aerospace engineer she is also blessed to be a wife and a mom of two in the present, previously served as a full-time missionary, is consistently called to teach the youth in her ward, is eagerly though slowly doing home improvement as money and time allow, all while gradually learning how to be herself and find peace and balance somewhere in between. Despite her attempts to make “the right” decisions in her life, she has learned to deal with some unexpected challenges over the last two decades. Total tornadoes, really. What she has discovered is that her career has taught her a lot about the Gospel and being a better mother, and the Gospel, when applied to challenges at the office, has made her a better professional. She has also learned that it is okay to be herself, and God still loves (and forgives) her for it.