Thursday, May 21, 2009
example for all mothers...
unknown Flemish master, C. 1550
My son wails and moans every time he's punished for misdeeds. Once he accused me of being mean because, as he put it, "I bet Mary never spanked Jesus!". The first thing that came to mind in reply was "well, if you can turn my water into wine we'll call it even."
"Mothering like Mary" is a common phrase I used to hear tossed about in my mommy circles. Before my divorce I was a good stay at home wife and the only pressures of the world I shouldered were the judgments and critiques from the other perfect moms in our little circle. I will be the first to tell you, women can be very mean and nasty, that's why I have so few of them as friends. Nothing can make you feel like an inferior mom than another mother's un-approving glare.
I'm sure my old friends would be horrified to know that, yes I use corporal punishment and have found a good dose of public humiliation to be quite effective. I don't think soft handed parenting where consequences for actions are never learned is what that phrase is supposed to mean.
When I contemplate the words "mothering like Mary" I think of being unceasingly prayerful for my son, teaching him our faith and preparing him for the spiritual battle that is the secular world. Yes, the Blessed Virgin was a woman who rarely spoke but that doesn't necessarily translate into a meekness. She stood at the foot of the cross and endured all Her sorrows as prophesied. She traveled on a donkey through the desert nine months pregnant and gave birth in a stable! That's tough. Most importantly though, She was obedient and faithful to everything God asked of Her and when we look to model Her motherhood it is these qualities that "mothering like Mary" exhorts us to do.