Several years ago, when I was knee-deep in my parenting role, someone told me, “As a mother, I give you a B+.” Although a B+ is actually a pretty good grade, I was trying so hard to be a good mother, that I became distraught when I heard my rating wasn’t an A+. As the initial sting of my less-than-satisfactory grade wore off, I began to realize that as mothers, even when we have the best of intentions, sometimes we fail. No mother is perfect. The good news is that it is actually through our failures that we deeply experience our humanness, learn to love and accept our whole selves—faults and all—and, in the end, become a better version of ourselves.
Luckily for us, our children are far more resilient than we give them credit for. Even when we fail them, they bounce back. Through our mistakes, our children learn forgiveness, become more accepting of us and others, and end up stronger and more loving in the process. Because of this, it is important for us to remember not to judge ourselves on how well we mother, but instead look at how we love.
Motherly love runs deep. We need only look to Our Mother, Mary, to see an example of this. When the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her she was going to be a mother, Mary said, “Be it done unto me according to thy word.” Even though Mary was undoubtedly worried about being unmarried and pregnant, Mary’s “yes” proclaimed that she was more than willing to take on the role of motherhood regardless of the challenges she knew she would face. She decided she was ready to love as only a mother could.
I always marvel at Mary’s “yes.” How did she get past the anxiety that was surely gripping her? The answer is really quite simple. Despite her uncertainty, Mary trusted the Lord and knew that whatever the future held for her and her son, she would truly be okay. She knew that God would be with her to guide her along the way. This is an important reminder to all of us as we deal with our own insecurities and anxieties.
Just because Mary had trust, doesn’t mean she never worried. There isn’t a mother on the planet that doesn’t worry about her children at one moment or another. Mary is no exception. When Jesus was twelve years old, Mary and Joseph took Jesus to celebrate Passover. When the festival was over, they left Jerusalem, but Jesus decided to stay in the Temple. Three days later when Mary and Joseph finally found Him, Mary asked Jesus, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” (Luke 2:48)
This shows us that Mary experienced all that we experience as mothers. She understands our fears. When we are feeling anxious, we can turn to Mary for help and guidance; we need only to pray for her intercession.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there who are giving your best each day to your kids, despite the difficult circumstances we are facing.
Deb Egan grew up in a Catholic family. Throughout her adult life, she has participated as a church volunteer in many capacities, including teaching Religious Education, being a Eucharistic Minister and Lector, Ministering to the elderly and homebound, and Facilitating Small Faith Groups. She has been trained by Evangelical Catholic and became a member of the Build the Faith Team in April of 2017.