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  • Writer's pictureBrittany Major

A New Perspective on Motherhood: From Questioning Why to Embracing What


I have spent so much time pondering this question. But all the sudden, I don’t think I need to keep questioning why motherhood is so hard anymore. Don’t get me wrong, it’s probably still on my list of questions to ask God when I see Him, but it’s not THE TOP question at this moment anymore.ツ I'm starting to have a different perspective. In this blog post, I am sharing my epiphany on no longer asking God why motherhood is so hard to instead asking God WHAT motherhood has to offer me and HOW I am growing in the midst of tears, laughter, and all the food thrown on the floor.  


BUT WHY?


Humans naturally want to make sense of things. We want to know why we went through that trial. We want to make sense of the things we face and create deeper meaning behind them. I’ve noticed that a lot in my motherhood journey. But I think there’s times when we’re not always going to understand why, at least not in that moment. And I've started wondering....what if it’s not my job to understand why? What if I move past that question and instead ask what can come from this experience?


This passage from a book I was reading called, Write Your Story, is really what helped give me that epiphany. The author writes, “When I was writing the story of my divorce, I started by asking the question “Why is this happening to me?” and others like it. That’s fine. That’s where I needed to begin. Over time, however, I upgraded my questions. I started asking “What does this make possible?” And, “How can I see myself as an empowered hero of the story?” When I did that, my life began to change. There was a certain satisfaction I thought I might gain from understanding why, but there came a point when I didn’t need to know why anymore” (Fallon, p.81). The author goes on to explain how our brain is always looking to answer the questions we have and “close the loop”. Let's say you were to read, "The door was wide open and I was standing there frozen", you would have an open loop in your brain with so many questions. How did she get there? What happened? Is she going to be okay? Your brain would actively look for the answers to close the loop.


My brain has spent a lot of time searching for the answer to why motherhood is so hard, because I keep finding myself asking that question. I don't know why, but when my son who dropped down to 1 nap at 10 months, is very defiant, strong-willed, and insanely busy (and has been since about 10 months too)...I just have some questions about my current life situation, you know?! Maybe it's just me, but I'm like, "Excuse me God, is this mic on? Are you listening to me?" LOL.


I've come up with some answers, but I still don't feel fully satisfied with them. But that passage made me wonder if I should upgrade the questions I'm asking. And I notice when I ask a "How" or "What" question, I am spending less time agonizing over why this journey is hard, and spending more time reflecting on how this journey is transforming me. It changes me from feeling defeated to more hopeful and curious as I upgrade my questioning. I'm already thinking about Brittany post-kids to Brittany pre-kids. I notice more empathy, humility, kindness, understanding, and SO much patience. I bet you notice that too. Even on the days where I am not my best self, I can look back and see that I still never stayed where I was, and I am allowing motherhood to change me, even when it's hard. It’s almost like if we were to remodel a house, we wouldn’t keep asking why it was so hard (that’s kind of a given), we would keep talking about how our hard work would be worth it, we would keep staring in awe of before and after photos, and we might learn a heck of a lot of things throughout it all. 


It doesn't always feel good, but motherhood is transforming us. And I'd argue that it stretches us into becoming more and more like the women God made us to be.


TREES CAN’T GROW UP WITHOUT GROWING DOWN


I’ve been in this business class for the last month or so, and we’ve been talking about trees lately. How we as people can really resemble trees full of branches and fruit. And what happens when a tree gets bigger and grows? Its roots grow too. Trees are always growing in twi directions. Meaning they can’t grow up without the roots growing down too. It’s like a mirror. You can watch the reel that blew my mind about this here!


This is kinda silly, but go with me here. So I started to think about this with parenting. When a tree gets big enough, it produces a seed, and sprouts a baby tree, right? Like me, you can probably think of the things the big tree does for the little tree: provides shelter, helps nurture it, provides nutrients, etc..


But what about the other way around? I ChatGPT’ed it (kinda weird) and it’s actually quite beautiful what I learned. Here's somethings it gave me:


  • The small trees, like children, contribute to the biodiversity of an ecosystem. In other words - they bring new life and new perspectives to what was there. 

  • Small trees stabilize the soil, which benefits the big tree. Similarly, children contribute to the emotional stability of a family. Their presence can ground parents, giving them purpose and motivating them to create a stable, nurturing home environment.

  • The organic matter from small trees enriches the soil, benefiting the big tree. Children contribute to the emotional richness of a family. Their love, laughter, and even challenges contribute to the growth and maturity of parents.

  • Small trees help create a favorable microclimate. Children influence the emotional climate of a home. Their presence can bring warmth, joy, and a sense of wonder, making the household a more vibrant and positive place.

  • Diverse plant species protect each other from pests and diseases. Similarly, children and parents protect and support each other emotionally (and I'd argue physically) . A strong family unit can provide a buffer against life’s stresses and challenges.

  • Mycorrhizal networks connect tree roots, facilitating resource exchange. The parent-child relationship is interconnected, with mutual support and growth. Parents guide and support their children, while children offer love, joy, and new perspectives.


THAT”S SOME GOOD STUFF, RIGHT?!


Here’s my point. Motherhood is really hard - no matter what your journey looks like or where it’s at. But when you look at a tree that’s 100 years old, aren’t you amazed at it? You know it’s withstood so many trials. It’s bold, intricate, unique, and beautiful. And that doesn’t even include roots that are on the other side. Remember that it’s been growing down the whole time too. The tree’s strong, influential, resilient, patient….these kind of remind me of the fruit of the spirit. 


Motherhood is rich. Just as the big tree is growing and maturing, so are we in motherhood. I still don’t have all the answers, but I think I’m more on track for the answers I should be looking for. And maybe it’s not even about the answers, maybe it’s more about my journey as I grow to be that 100 year old tree. I know that I have a lot to learn, and also a lot to offer. Motherhood adds more branches onto our tree and produces so much fruit. Fruit of community. Fruit of a listening ear. Fruit of selflessness. Fruit of empathy. Fruit of the spirit. Motherhood is helping us grow to be more and more like Jesus, one branch/root at a time. What an honor it is. 


Much love and I’m rooting (LOL GET IT?) for you, 

Brittany ♡

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Micaela Bouwmeister
Micaela Bouwmeister
4 days ago

I love this encouragement to change the questions we're asking! It sounds obvious, but it was a huge epiphany for me when I stopped asking "why is my baby crying" and focused on what might help instead 😊

いいね!
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