About the Author

Anna is the author of A Moment of Christmas and Pumpkin Spice for Your Soul, works full-time at DaySpring, and lives in Minnesota with her husband and their four kids. Anna shares the good stuff of the regular, and encourages you to see the ordinary glory in your everyday.

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  1. Today mothering meant walking my daughter down the aisle to her new husband because her father passed away 10 years ago. It was difficult and a blessing at the same time…

    • Cathy, praying for your heart as your daughter begins her marriage, and your family grows new branches.

    • Oof Cathy, what a day full of emotions. I whispered a prayer of peace for you last night and am hoping you woke this morning refreshed and with a peaceful heart.

  2. This season of mothering to me is having an adult son who has chosen a lifestyle that isn’t healthy . For me mothering today and each moment (during this trying time) is to show the love of Christ , pray and wait.

    • Lisa,
      I hear you….I have been in your shoes. My son is not out of the forest , yet, but I see glimmers of hope. Perhaps the lowest point was picking my son up in jail for a dui and possession and he wasn’t grateful but belligerent….these times tear a mother’s heart apart. Lifting you and your son up right now. Our God is able!
      Bev ((hugs))

      • Thank you for the prayers. I appreciate them so much. Yes…Our God is MORE than able! Prayers for you and your family too!
        Smiles~

        Lisa

      • I too am a mother to grown children and I often yearn for those days when they needed me and knew it. Much like a child of God who seeks the Father in all their ways, we must realize we need saving before we can seek the higher power of God in the flesh Jesus Christ. Grown children making choices that often are not what I would want for them is WAY worse than waking up early and going to bed late and missing that alone time that now comes in buckets. Prayers for all you moms out there who are struggling with your children, whether young or older, it still feels the same. #worthit

  3. Anna,

    I was never a “mother”. But I did “mother/care for ” my elderly parents. Like you said mothering is doing the everyday tasks that make a home run. It is also going to hospital at 3am because they fell & have a hematoma. Visiting them at least 2-3 times weekly & making sure they are ok. Getting them cleaned up. It is worrying about what’s next. Spending happy days with them & running errands. Doctor’s visits, late night phone calls, & just sitting watching traffic. Mothering is hard-very hard. We do the unseen-behind the scenes work. We do the stuff that no one else thinks about or wants to do. It is also a nice hug & thank you. Now it is simply knowing you did your best & gave it your all. They are in heaven.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Beth, I honor you for the investment you made in the lives of your parents. That switch-over from daughter to caregiver is a rough one, and it is such an unseen and unsung act of heroism, because when we’re parenting our children, we are preparing them for independence and a full life without us at the center. Caring for the elderly is just the opposite, and can feel very hopeless if we did not have the hope God places in our hearts.

    • Oh Beth, absolutely. Mothering isn’t always someone older caring for someone younger, that’s for sure. Michele said it best in her words — that kind of transition changes everything. What a gift you gave your parents.

  4. In this season of the empty-ing nest, mothering is about learning when to hold on and when to let go. It’s a time of smiling and rejoicing over plans that are exciting and adventurous, but that move their circumference further away from the center of my circle. And it’s about leaning into unselfishness–against all my natural tendencies.
    I’m so thankful you took the time to think through all the many aspects of our job description, because the world needs all of it!

  5. Anna,
    My mother has a saying, “When they are little, they pull on your apron strings. When they are older they pull on your heart strings.” How true. When my children were little, I had some measure of control. I could put them in time out or tell them it’s bed time and enforce it (granted it could be drawn out lol). Then came the impressionable years when I could instruct, teach, leave an impression, or maybe even inspire. Then come the years I’m in now, when I pray…. A LOT. I can offer advice (usually it’s not asked for). I can watch them make mistakes, fall, flounder, get back up and I can also cheer on their successes. I have little to no control. They are back in the hands of the ultimate parent they belong to….God. I did my best. I made many mistakes. Hopefully, I did some things well and so I watch and I pray. This is being the parent of a 30 year old and a 26 year old. Motherhood is the most rewarding and most heart-wrenching job I’ve ever had….and I still am, always will be, a mother.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  6. Mothering for me in this season is accepting my 3 daughters’ decitions and praying to God for their well being.
    It is very hard for me to see them living life in a different manner as we taught them at home. Thank God they are good professional women, but now a days everyone lives so differently!

  7. This is beautiful, so helpful and healing to me. My daughter is 54 and mothering has been so difficult the last few years. Your words instilled in me a great deal of confidence to keep going and loving because that is what we do. Thank you dearly for this brilliant thought provoking essay. Peace

  8. Mothering right now is finally leaving an abusive relationship but struggling to figure out the relationship that my daughter should maintain with her father.

    • God bless you Elizabeth…may the Living and Loving Lord wrap you in His Protective embrace. May you hear Him speak gently over you, tucking you in.Go gently and allow His strength to give your the courage you have already displayed to desire something heathy. Abide in Him. Ask God for the Answers and He will give you the Wisdom you need. His gentleness will make you strong! “Be strong and courageous; do not be dismayed for the Lord your God goes with Elizabeth (and her daughter) wherever you are.

  9. Mothering is neverending from the time they are born to when its time for me to leave. It isnt easy. Every child is different and mothers always know what to do no matter what. They grow up and they always still need you. Then if our parents need to be cared for they become our children.one of the most rewarding time of our childrens lives is when we become grandmas. That is the best thing ever

  10. Mothering is shuffling my boys to and from after school sports, music lessons and spending weekends cheering them on with their fall baseball and soccer games. It is running errands to help get activites for Cubscouts set up. It is being referee to two very stubborn boys who are brothers who can’t seem to stop fighting, name calling or antagonizing each other. It is getting hugs, prayers said at night, going over what the next days activities will be. Mothering is the toughest job there is and under appreciated. I can’t thank God enough for my two blessings who I fought to have. Infertility treatments, water breaking at 22 weeks, bed rest in the hospital for 10 weeks with a baby arriving 7 weeks early. Gestational diabetes and bedrest at home with my 2nd pregnancy. It was all worth it for my miracle children. I pray God helps me to love them through all our turbulance. May God keep them on a straight path and help them to know Him well. Blessings to all those tired, stressed, overwhelmed Mamad out there.

  11. Today, in this season of life, mothering is sitting on the sidelines and watching my daughters be moms. Letting them make the mistakes and learning for themselves what works best for them and their children. Sometimes, I want to jump in and show them how to do it. It’s hard sitting back and biting my tongue. I’m not claiming to be the best mom, I did my best. But, I’m learning that I need to trust I did well enough in teaching my girls how to be moms. The best part of being a mom is God’s grace is abundant and His mercies are new each day.

    • You grandmothers amaze me. I’m sure my own mom does her fair share of sitting on her hands when she wants to offer advice or knowledge! What a treasure you are to us who are still in the thick of it; we sure do look up to those who made it through!

  12. Thank you for soul-bathing words. So true and this makes it joyful even in the midst. Mothering in the middle season here. Dear son in college and two sweet teen girls at home. Learning to let go and encourage them across to the next step. Just as God went before the children of Israel and parted the waters so they could cross in the middle, I know He has gone before each of my children and made the perfect way for each one. Praying I will not miss the moments. Thank you, again, for sharing your gift of words to encourage all momma hearts. God bless you, sweet one.

  13. Mothering is the only career I ever wanted. I am glad God allowed me to be a Mom. However: with 3 girls, one who was diagnosed with Borderline Personailty Disorder at 13,it’s been a wild journey. Our girls are adults now, and with the exception of our BPD daughter, married with families of their own. I dreamed of our girls being close and tightly bonded, like I am with my sisters, but BPD leaves marks and brokenness.
    That being said, Mothering today is still my greatest Joy but also my deepest heartbreak.

  14. This was a joy Anna, thank-you for sharing your meaningful words this morning. I also enjoyed the other comments, thank-you to all.
    Mothering is, remembering I am not in control, having trust, faith and hope, not easy, joyful, gut wrenching, smile sharing, sleepless nights, worrisome, reflective, unconditional love, teaching, learning, having to let go, and so much more, and for all that I am grateful to the Lord.
    Have a blessed day all,
    Penny

    • I am loving these comments too! Such wonderful affirmation that we are not alone, but rather a part of a big body of women trying their very best to love well. So thankful!

  15. Anna, oh my goodness… this was so refreshing and good! Thank you for putting words to what we are all feeling as mommas. Right now I am battling my three-nager about tv time and naps, and I’m losing. LOL. Blessings to you fellow mommy warrior! You are doing great.

    Becky 🙂

  16. This article says everything.
    It’s been hard month for me and my family.
    I have been sick and unable to do anything.
    And I need this encouraging word.
    Thank you for sharing it.

  17. Being a mother when your child is gone to another country and has no time for you (or God) and loving your child through the hurt and sadness of your empty heart and praying for a word from your child that acknowledges that they “know and appreciate you” as their mother. Then I realize : that’s what God wants as my Father, a word, that acknowledges my love and appreciation of Him! To sum up being a mother “unconditional love”………..

    • Trina:

      I am so sorry for your hurt and sorrow but I thank you for your fresh and fragrant insight to “thanking our Heavenly Father”…I hope you will have a continual JOY feast praising and thanking Him when you are in sorrow or sad over neglect from your child. “ The Lord God is in Trina’s midst; the Mighty One will save. He sings over you with gladness; He will quiet you in His Love; He will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah)

      May He trade your spirit of heaviness for a garment of praise- and you will make a JOY love quilt with God. As he dances with and over you. May His Peace give you sacred Splendour. Blessings Trina!

  18. Mothering is the most rewarding job that I feel so inadequate at. I pray daily that God will fill in where I lack.

  19. What I would give to go back and live the baby years again! The smell, the total dependence on you, yes it was hard. Sleep deprivation and post natal depression were not fun! But now as they grow into tweens and with gaming, social media, YouTube…it seems the answer no is more prevelant. The hugs are less and their need for Mummy is less. Yes the need is still there but not as much and I’m discovering we have less control and can’t easily fix the hurts they encounter in the school yard or with friends. It’s a new space and I’m so glad the Holy Spirit intercedes in motherhood prayers on our behalf as I don’t know about you but I never received a book on ‘how to raise children’ we try all different things but I praise God He is with me every step of the way! For without his mercy, forgiveness, guidance and love I could not do the most important job I’ll ever have….raising my babies! I have made mistakes plenty of them but I ask Hod to help me be a better mum, better than the one I was yesterday.

  20. Mothering to me being 56 and having to be a Grandfamily to our 3 year old grandson. Praying we ( my husband and I ) can live and be able to provide until he’s grown.

  21. Anna,
    Mothering to me at this moment means stretching thin in every possible way.

    It’s helping my adult children balance low incomes with bills and groceries and emergencies.

    It’s making sure my 7-yr-old’s teacher knows he won’t ask to go to the washroom.

    It’s making sure my 7-yr-old transitions from baby of the whole family to uncle of my first grandbaby in a manner that leaves no room for doubt about how loved he is.

    Motherhood is about filling up all the space in my home while simultaneously making more space in my heart.

    It’s longing to spend a full night in my own bed while treasuring every second with my little one’s legs thrown over my tummy in his bed each night.

    Motherhood is the biggest blessing and toughest challenge with which I have ever been graced.

    Blessings,

    Vicki

    • Yes, yes, yes. Such an act of delicately balancing each and every choice, word, and action we take. It’s a lot for our brains and hearts to handle! Loved your words today, Vicki. Blessings.

  22. Mothering 3 sons right now is: 33year old son who is choosing a wrong path/partner and trying to raise a daughter by himself. A 30year old son who is deployed overseas with a pregnant wife and 2year old at home. A 12 year old Autistic son that I homeschool with financial therapies that I can’t provide. Woohoo, life is good and God is GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m 54 and have experienced a lifetime of joy!! Let the good times roll…..

  23. Ahhh…Mothering is tough and there are days I am not sure I can continue. Every day, I feel as if I had failed. I am not equipped with this mothering and am not about to lie to myself that I am a supermom. Kudos to all those who have achieved this. I will never be close to being a supermom. When my kids were younger, I was just trying to make it one day, sometimes hour by hour kind of mom. I sound awful I am sure of this but I know being a mom is such a blessing to me. There’s no greater job than being a mom. We are raising the next generation and it is up to us to show them how to be a better person. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  24. Mothering today is listening to my adult son’s woes of car troubles, of pulling in to the gas station on fumes only to discover the debit card is declined, of worry over a paycheck when he missed work due to illness. Today mothering looks like reminding my adult son and his wife that I’m here for them regardless, that I’ll fill the gas tank to get them to payday, even though it feels hard to ask for help when you’re grown and trying to be responsible. It’s making sure they know that any request for help comes without judgment or lecture, that a meal is there for them if they need it, that we can help them budget and plan if they want. That even we, big adults with lots of experience, still fall short and need help and crunch numbers to make it all work out. Parenting an adult, as an adult, is still painful and hard when struggle is present. But what drives us to be there and do the right thing is always the same.

  25. Mothering is hearing harsh and hurtful words from your grown children but always being there for them and never turning your back on them. Never saying no when they ask for help, but never getting a thank you in return.
    Having some hard days lately.

  26. My first baby is two months old! So, motherhood to me is waking up every 2 hours to cries at night because she’s in a growth spurt. It’s going from a full time job where I was getting 50 things done in a day to sometimes in the evening realizing that ALL I did that day was rock and feed a baby. It’s feeling like I’m living in a stranger’s body. It’s being so happy and in love and so tired and frustrated at the same time. It’s “rocking” when she’s not in my arms and not even realizing it. It’s tears unknowingly falling from my eyes and dropping on her face while she’s sleeping because I am so grateful to God for this gift. It’s the most difficult and most wonderful thing I’ve ever done.

  27. Learning to trust in God when you move your child 6 + hours from home to their first real job and you do not know when you will be able to see them again.

  28. Being a grandma raising two boys since birth I experience the getting up to do beds and wake up a teenager to go to middle school It is not an easy task. Putting toys away sometimes with help.

    I agree with you. We are the doers of small tasks.

    Hugs,

    Marinalva Sickler

  29. This Season of Mothering to me & My Sons is Listening,Encouraging & Support for My Oldest. For My Youngest is helping him Understand God’s word. Watching him Bloom in All of God’s Goodness! I work with Children 4- 10 Mothering to them is Comfort, Encouragement & Boundaries. I Am So Very Blessed!!! Thank you Jesus! Praise you Lord!

  30. “Mothers are the unseen do-ers. We are the people of hidden service, who have learned to do things swiftly and silently in a second-nature sort of way that is often only seen and celebrated by God.”

    I needed to read every word! Recently, mothering, wifing, teaching, organizing, and all the -ings have felt overwhelmING! Thank you for reminding me that God sees me, is with me and is celebratING me.

    Shalom
    Lucretia

  31. Today mothering is finding the right learning environment for my 5th grader who we adopted after having been born severe drug addiction/exposure in utero. It’s realizing she tries so hard to succeed, but the gaps are so hard to fill. My heart breaks for the struggle she has to face daily to accomplish any educational tasks, yet I realize that I need to push her to reach for her best because she will be grown one day and will have to navigate this world on her own.