mother's rights?

for whatever reason i have found that motherhood has aggravated a disproportionate amount of anger in me.  i wasn't sure until now exactly what it was.  it's this weird paradox of loving motherhood & my babies but i am so suddenly angry sometimes.  you know those moments where the only way you are getting to go to the bathroom today is with a clingy toddler on your lap, or the second you finally nod off to sleep after an exhausting day and a baby stirs & demands more attention, or as you go to take the first & only bite of your own lunch & your toddler screams "more! more! me hungry!".  in moments like these, there is a not so silent voice inside me that screams, "what about ME! i am a person too!"

i found this little nugget of wisdom in jean flemings "a mother's heart", a book which i am constantly returning to & culling out more wisdom.  it has really helped me work through some of those 'moments'. that's not to say that we shouldn't get time to ourselves, or prioritize our own health as we all know this is a necessary part of a healthy, happy home.  but it is after all of the proactive, planned mummy time, when those unavoidable moments arise & someone dare demands something else of you, that we die to self.  die to our own rights.

"our society does not easily identify with Jesus' example of giving up His rights.  instead we assert our rights: women's rights, gay rights, children's rights, minority rights... new categories are constantly being added to the list.
mothers, too, grasp for their rights, but sometimes they find their capacity to love is dissipated by their firm resolve to protect those rights.  a mother in one cartoon is seen tacking up a sign: "mother goes off duty at 8pm".  that seems fair enough, doesn't it?  after all, who has longer hours than a mother?  should we perhaps organize or unionize to ensure our right to some time off?

the world urges us, "assert yourself," "fulfill yourself," "liberate yourself," "please yourself," "satisfy yourself."  but Jesus says, "die to yourself."  it seems like a step backward.  our lives are to be sacrificed for others, not in some sort of melodramatic martyr complex, but in following the daily challenge of Christ's example.  listen to Jesus' words:

"i tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. but if it dies, it produces many seeds.  the man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." {john 12:24-25}

Christ commands us to love even as He loves. "my command is this: love each other as i have loved you.  greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends {john 15:12-13}.  love is laying down our lives for others... to love is to die. when most of us think of dying for someone, a dramatic picture usually comes to mind. perhaps you envision yourself leaping in front of a friend to take a bullet intended for him... certainly these are examples of love, but Jesus calls us to a way of dying that is less romantic.  each day we  have numerous opportunities to live for others and not ourselves... perhaps the ability to truly enjoy one another comes in proportion to the unselfishness of our love."

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