I think motherhood (and fatherhood to be fair) is one big on-going never-ending lesson in humility.
For example, last week school started. As I’ve said a few times, the decision to send our daughter to school was a HUGE lesson in humility in and of itself for me and it hasn’t stopped there.
Last year we did afternoon kindergarten and it was WONDERFUL! We were together in the mornings and then she was gone for just a few hours in the afternoon. Which was great since my son was still taking good naps and I was pregnant so I got to sleep or rest or do whatever and it worked out real nice.
This year it’s all day, 7:50-3:20ish. This means we have to be ready to leave the house between 7:30 and 7:35 so she is not late. This means I have to wake up before 7:30 or 7:35. Before school started I mentioned to friends my fear of having to wake up early enough every day to shower, dress, dry & style hair, make lunches, breakfast, get boys in car and buckled and get daughter to school on time.
All the suggestions I got were really great, especially making lunches the night before. But God made sure to use this as a chance for humilty when he gave one particular friend who knows me too well a heavy pan to hit over my arrogant head with when she simply said I’d have to “lower my standards” in order to survive the year.
In the middle of writing this post, I got distracted with this one from another friend who dished out a pretty good lesson in humility for me with just that one post. I realized that I needed to really listen to my wise friend’s advise about lowering the bar and not try and be what I just can’t be right now, even if I really want to be. If not for my sake then at least for the sake of my children and husband and for other moms who may be thinking more of me than I actually am.
It’s also been a good lesson in “letting go, and letting God”. When I’m hurrying to get things done in the morning or when I have to wake up sleeping boys I start to grumble and think about homeschooling. “If I was homeschooling, then I wouldn’t have to be doing this!” But then God reminds me that if it wasn’t this, it would be some other stress. Plus, I really shouldn’t want to homeschool just so I can sleep in longer right?
As hard as it has been to let go of homeschool and get used to the routines and pressures of school life (this time as a mom not a student!), there have been some good side affects. For example, last night dinner for today was in the crockpot, breakfast was ready for the week (due to my baking extravaganza on Saturday), and lunches were made and packed and ready to go for the next day all before I went to bed! As much as I would have planned for it, that never would have happened consistently if I didn’t have the motivation of tardy slips and afternoon/evening homework to motivate me. (disclaimer needed here: I know many homeschool mothers who are super-organized and do this but I never was/would be one of those).
One morning last week after one of those hurried grumbly mornings I was driving back home when I heard a voice over the Catholic radio say, “Please join me in praying the Litany of Humility.”
Can you see the saucepan hitting my head?
It was so good I’m sharing it here except I’ve added in some of my own words that apply to me as a mother: I’d love to hear what other moms out there might add to this beautiful litany. Forgive the dumb spacing formatting that I couldn’t figure out
Jesus! meek and humble of heart,
From the desre of being esteemed by my children, husband, and fellow mothers
Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved…by my children, husband, and fellow mothers
From the desire of being extolled …by my children, husband, and fellow mothers
From the desire of being honored …by my children, husband, and fellow mothers
From the desire of being praised …by my children, husband, and fellow mothers
From the desire of being preferred to others…by my children, husband, and fellow mothers
From the desire of being consulted …by my children, husband, and fellow mothers
From the desire of being approved …by my children, husband, and fellow mothers
From the fear of being humiliated …by my children, husband, and fellow mothers
From the fear of being despised…by my children, husband, and fellow mothers
From the fear of suffering rebukes …by my children, husband, and fellow mothers
From the fear of being calumniated …(ok what does that mean?)
From the fear of being forgotten …by my children, husband, and fellow mothers
From the fear of being ridiculed …by my children, husband, and fellow mothers
From the fear of being wronged …by my children, husband, and fellow mothers
From the fear of being suspected …by my children, husband, and fellow mothers
From the desire to always be “all together”
From the desire to be always on time and never late
From the desire to always appear in control
From the desire to always be in control
From the desire to accomplish everything on my to-do list
From the desire of having a to-do list
From the desire of being always right and never making mistakes
From the desire of making delicious and healthy food for every meal
Fom the desire to make sure everything always goes as planned
From the desire to have a schedule
From the desire of never having to repeat myself
From the desire to never lose my patience
From the desire to have perfectly well-behaved kids all the time who obey my every word quickly and always with a smile and never do anything wrong
That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I …
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease …
That others may be chosen and I set aside …
That others may be praised and I unnoticed …
That others may be preferred to me in everything…
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…