Mothers are the Centre of Life

I WAS sitting on the couch with my nine year old and we were watching our youngest child, a one year old. 

He was so busy, he climbed up and climbed down, crawled away and came back again, turned around, stood up and sat down and nestled in again.

Our nine year old said, “Mum, it’s like you are his centre, he keeps coming back to you.” 

I sit and reflect on this and think, she is so right.

His adventures start off so small – to get up and down, then he will explore the room, the house, the yard and the kindy where we pick up his sister.  

But he always comes back to me.

A child has an inbuilt radar to look for mum, and the child’s little circles start tiny and gradually get bigger and bigger. 

This is practice for his next and greatest adventure, which is to take on his own life’s purpose and to be empowered and respond in his own adult way to God’s call on his life. 

I found my daughter’s observation to be so articulate.  

She saw the pattern of life that is a mother’s – to be someone’s centre.

The famous English journalist, thinker and Catholic Gilbert K. Chesterton, explained that we don’t pity mothers because their job is too narrow, but because it is so broad.  

A mother, he described, “has to be the world to one person” whereas a paid worker is “something to the world”. 

To be everything to someone is like witnessing to what Jesus Christ is for us.

St Paul writes about it so well in 1Cor 9:19 22-23: “To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.”

God came to us as an infant.

He met us in our most vulnerable and weakest moment.

Jesus goes ahead of us and He has sanctified childhood and motherhood, in fact the whole family.

Motherhood is a sacred journey.  

It is a wonderful opportunity to be extended in our discipleship: to follow Jesus, to mature in selflessness by laying down our lives. 

In welcoming the child we learn to be obedient to the child’s needs. 

This is good practice for responding to the mysterious promptings of the Holy Spirit.

The wind blows where it wills. 

There is so much to learn in this vocation because there are so many opportunities to be like Jesus. 

It is a rich unpaid vocation full of struggle, tension, hope and joy.

By Carrie McCormack

Carrie McCormack writes for the Mother Effect blog on the experience wellbeing website for catholic faith resources for teachers and mothers
Carrie and her family