Today, TKM contributor Anni Harry is continuing my #LoveRebelMom series with a reflection on her vocation as wife and mom. In a world that looks down on motherhood, she is a proudly radical wife and mom who puts her family first.
Being a Christian in today’s society is a calling to live a pretty radical existence. Christ Himself alluded to the struggles of living a Christ-centered existence when He gave us the Beatitudes found in Matthew 5:1-12. In that teaching, He foreshadowed an existence which would indicate how difficult the Christian lifestyle would be, and offered us a glimpse of hope. He offered us hope of a time where we will be joined with like-minded men and women, together as (hopefully) the Church Triumphant.
Lately, I have been reviewing how my vocation of motherhood impacts me, and to a greater extent, how it defines me. I am first a wife. That is my sacramental vocation, and as such, I am happy. Throughout our marriage, I have learned the importance of upholding my spouse. I strive to hold more things in my heart than to air my grievances about petty matters with my husband to others.
I have begun to notice I have little in common with peers at outings. I try very hard to build my spouse up and affirm him, even when he is not present, instead of relying on cliché stories of the husband who is a lazy, bumbling oaf. My husband is none of those—he is the hard-working, intelligent, problem-solving head of our household. And he is my children’s father.
Which leads me to my radical view of motherhood—radical by today’s standards. I have noticed many societal norms resting on the fallacy of children cramping mothers’ styles. Many mothers, and articles addressed to mothers, complain of feeling stifled, as though children are interlopers—little creatures infringing on the independence of mothers. Sure, many days are long and tiring, leaving me
slightly starved for adult interaction. There may be days where I do feel stifled.
But here is the radical difference between societal norms and the light through which I view motherhood: I don’t feel stifled because of my children!
Instead, I feel stifled because I am afraid of failing them. I worry I am not doing enough for them. I worry I do too much that infringes on their access to me. Not their physical access to me, but their mental and emotional access.
I love being a mother. I love my side-kicks. While I am eager for my children to one day grow up and go to school, it isn’t because I want some downtime from them. Instead, I look forward to watching the lessons of life they will learn as they get older. I am eager to watch them grow and step onto the pathways that God has paved for them.
My view of the vocation of motherhood, which is a gift meant to enhance my vocation of matrimony, is pretty radical by today’s standards. Believing my children to be another avenue for me to work to obtain God’s loving grace and mercy? That is a pretty radical belief today.
And yet, this is where my faith leads me… to a pretty awkward, lonely place at dinner parties, where my children are often uninvited. My children and my husband don’t complete me, nor do I live my life for their benefit. However, my roles as wife and mother do define me.
Being a wife and mother are my most important roles in life, giving me all the opportunity in the world to achieve my seat among the Church Triumphant.
Because of that belief, I proudly wear the title of “Rebel Love” and proudly bear the accusation of being a radical wife.
Anni Harry is a proud Catholic, Army wife, and mother to a three-year-old boy and five-month-old girl. She currently stays at home, but has a BA in History and a Masters of Social Work (MSW). She is a cradle Catholic who spent time exploring various other religions and reverted back to the Catholic faith. She blogs about her faith, parenting as it pertains to her family and her professional experience, and the adventures wherever the United States Army sends their family! You can follow her blog or find her on Facebook.
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