26 Apr 2019 Welcome to ‘the Motherhood’
by Laurie Green
Across my hall bathroom mirror, in big bold letters, is written “1/24/19 – ‘If I confess you are good Lord — then I shall remember your goodness daily!’”
I wrote these words two days after saying goodbye to my son and watching him walk away alone to board a plane. He was headed to Fort Benning, Ga., to become a soldier in the U.S. Army. Matt is “the baby” of my twins, even if only by two minutes. It was difficult on this mom heart of mine to watch him leave. Feelings of pride and sorrow overwhelmed me.
So, there I was a couple of days later, standing in the hall bathroom. This is where I went to cry. Why the hall bathroom? Well, this was where I could still smell the mix of his shampoo and body spray in the air. It made me as close as I could be to him in his absence. I remember looking down in the sink where he had failed to rinse away his toothpaste remnants (the very thing that used to drive me crazy), and it broke my heart that morning. I stood there looking at his toothpaste and cried like a baby! This was the moment I looked in the mirror and realized I had become a “military mom.”
I’m not here to discount anyone in their season of motherhood. As a mom of two sets of twins, I have an instant kinship with other moms of twins. This world is full of all kinds of motherhood memberships. I can clearly remember being a member of “moms who sent their children off to kindergarten for the first time.” I was a wreck! I was certain life as I had known it was gone. I officially had “school-aged” kids. Life would never be the same (lol). The truth is, that IS the truth.
Next season, I became a member of two motherhood groups, the mom of “high school seniors,” which instantly allowed you access to the second group, moms who shake their heads in disbelief when they see all the “kindergarten moms.” Come on, admit it senior moms, you laugh a little at the kindergarten drama and convince yourself no one has the feelings like a high-school senior mom.
There’s a pretty good chance at that very moment there is a college freshman mom shaking her head at the high-school senior mom, and so on and so forth. As time marches forward, we move on to each new stage that it brings us in this crazy ride called motherhood.
As I write this article, I am officially a member of the “military moms.” Personally, this is one of the toughest seasons of the motherhood journey I’ve walked through. When my son left for the Army, I received a crash course in what the term “Army Strong” meant.
From the instant he left, life changed. There would be no text messages, phone calls would be few and short, and your main communication would become good, old-fashioned letter writing. Even though that is a nice tradition to bring back, the truth is it still remains difficult. You are always weeks between each other on communications. With a letter you can’t high five them on their accomplishments nor can you hug them in their lonely times. You have new expectations to uphold. After all, they are now a part of our military, and you must cautiously guard what you say or post online. As I said, you definitely learn to be strong.
On the plus side, this motherhood membership comes with a fabulous support group full of other military families — a group that completely understands the frustrations, pride, loneliness and even a bathroom breakdown over left behind toothpaste in the sink.
So, there I stood in that hall bathroom, tears burning my eyes at the realization of this new journey in motherhood. I realized at that moment that this was where I really had to mean it when I say that I trust God totally. On a daily basis I have had to accept that I don’t know where my son may be or if he is okay, but I also have to remind myself that God does.
I realized at that moment that my son was so much more important to me and certainly to God than left behind toothpaste in the sink. I turned on the water and washed away that visible memory left behind from my son in a rush to leave for MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Command). I bawled like a baby as I did it, but I trust God, and I believe that His ways are higher than mine.
In Romans 8:28, it says that “all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.” I grabbed a dry erase marker, and I wrote the date and those words on my mirror — “If I confess you are good Lord, then I shall remember your goodness daily.”
The truth is every phase of our motherhood journeys has moments where we feel like we need a daily reminder that God has our back. I make light-hearted jokes, but I fully believe that each season of motherhood is just as important as the last one and matters just as much as the next one. We all need others in the same walk with us to encourage us and keep us strong. I urge you to find those people, that support system who has a “been there, done that” sort of attitude.
The thing is, motherhood is no easy feat. It is demanding and stressful, yet rewarding and beautiful. Thank goodness for a God who equips and provides and carries us through each journey of motherhood. I will remember his goodness daily!