The push and pull of motherhood: Some reflections…

Motherhood – this endless pushing forward and pulling back… this compulsive strain towards an unachievable goal in a world of achievable goals, checks and balances. This is the balancing act of a behind-the-scenes circus performer – the one no one is watching but many depend on. She is responsible for survival, perpetuation.
A mother knows there’s only a short window of time whereby she can press her lips into the back of her baby’s rosy softness… a slightly longer window where she can hold them close without feeling that wrench-away of excited, confident independence.
Yes, we know the unvoiced desire to drown in your child, freefalling into the cushiony-soft yet highly strung world they inhabit. It is a battle between fierce animal mother embraces, unselfconscious saliva kisses and bloodied finger sucking… and the sensible, unemotional decision to teach them independence, autonomy, freedom, apart from you. It’s the delicate push-pull every mother knows, yet never gets exactly right. This job is notoriously lacking in exactness or scientific reasoning and can make us feel like unemployed poets – doing what we love yet not contributing to the economy in any quantifiable, reliable way. It’s a role comprising both art and necessity. We need to paint the picture, messy as it might turn out.


Indeed, the brush strokes of our days are complex and varied, borne of passion and an indefinable purpose.
Parenting is like throwing kites to the wind.
And it’s this drunken, mad uncertainty that we’re both desperate for yet terrified of. It’s a gift and a calling that’s out of our control – and sometimes out of control.
Yet we choose it anyway.


  1. Really beautiful reflections, Ali. Makes me cry tonight, as I feel a little lacking in the mom department . . .well, every department! Thank you!

    1. Debbie, I pray your mother heart would be comforted by the love and peace of the One who sees you and knows you – and is always there to help you pick up the pieces. We’re all lacking, and we need Him so much don’t we!

  2. Thank you Ali for this beautiful reflection on what we experience as mothers. My little ones have grown and all but one of four are making it out there. It was nice to take a moment to look back.

    1. Thank you for your words, and appreciate you taking the time to read it and reflect.
      You’ve done well – parenting sure isn’t easy and I admire those who’ve pushed through and raised well-adjusted individuals (not that we always have control over the ‘well-adjusted’ bit haha) 🙂

  3. Very lovely. What you describe is part of the reason I chose not to be a mother–I didn’t think I could do a satisfactory job, and I doubt I’d have survived emotionally. God bless you.

    1. Thank you. It sounds like you made an informed decision. Many of us just ‘fall into it’ then learn on the job. But it is one of the hardest things emotionally.
      God bless you and great to see you!

  4. We have just started home education – it really started a long time ago – it being a life style – and I find this is a wonderful way to really be a mother, to share with my child, to really BE with my child and to develop a relationship with them – something that they will have to hold onto throughout life when so many others reject you, dont’ understand you, etc. Quite aware it won’t always be easy, but with God’s help, we will suceed!
    Describing motherhood is hard to do, personally I couldn’t put it into words, what it is to me – a responsibility and an enormous priviledge!

    1. Great! I have friends who’ve gone that path, and describe it in a similar way. Yes – He will help you and guide you! It’s a real calling, and I pray he would bless you in it Betsy.
      A responsibility and privilege – yes! Such a task, isn’t it? But God is with us…

  5. Great description of parenting! Kids are awesome, I wouldn’t trade the experience of parenting for anything. It’s a crazy ride that’s for sure haha. Have an awesome day my friend.

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