By Karilee Aoki

Recently it was Mother’s Day, and I had a chance to reflect on what it means to be a mother. I had to ask myself,

“What is it that makes the role of a mom so special? And what was God’s thought process and original design in creating mothers and women?”

Women from all around the world may have different facial features, different attire, different customs and cultures, but all mothers are so central and important to every culture and every country in the world. With a little research, I learned that Mother’s Day is widely celebrated in many countries with moms being appreciated in many special ways because the world would simply not go on without them. 

If we go all the way back to the beginning and think about the order of God’s creation, the final masterpiece ever made was a woman. He must have put a lot more thought and detail into the design of the woman to complement every single thing that would be needed for the creation and nurturing of a beautiful family. That includes all the smaller details that women often think about and remember to make sure that everyone is happy and cared for. These and the awe-inspiring ability to bring children into the world are the many beautiful aspects that God specifically gave to women.

When I think about when and where motherhood first began, I immediately thought of God, as a parent, and  His heart to His children. When we first experience parental love as a mother or a father, we recognize that it’s something so amazing, eternal and lasting. This is the same impulse of love that God has for all of us. When we experience that “crossing over” from one day not being a parent, then waking up the next day jumping into parenthood, it’s quite overwhelming! But it’s also the most precious experience of our whole lives. As parents, we can finally understand, even if it’s just a little bit, how much love God has for me as His child and the honor we have to participate as co-creators. 

I looked back at some old photos and saw some of me when my eldest daughter was born and I first became a mother. I had to figure out many new things as a young mom, especially how to handle a lot of new emotions and challenges, but honestly, it was very enlightening. I felt like I could finally understand why being a parent is so special and I was able to feel a lot closer to my own mother because I was able to share that same experience with her. I could also feel a new kind of love welling up inside of me for someone so small and helpless, but so precious. It was a life-changing moment for both my husband and I. Like, ‘Wow, we’re parents! This is amazing, and this is going to be FOREVER.’

People often say that a mother is a child’s first experience of love. Yes, this is true. But if we think one step further, a mother really is a child’s first experience of God’s love. God is intangible and invisible. We can’t just go over and give Him a hug or a kiss, but we can do that to our parents. They are a special representative of God to their children. So as we experience motherhood, we feel that same impulse that we want to give our children everything. We want to be unconditional, patient, nurturing, protective and encouraging.

With that said, the role of a mother is not always flowers and roses. There are plenty of hard times that are not pretty, but that is part of the journey of parenthood. I remember countless sleepless nights awake with the newborn, or my sick older children, worried if I’m doing a good job or if I’m enough. Yes, a mother’s job is hard. But in the challenging moments, we need to keep in mind that there is light at the end of the tunnel! The intense moments of difficulty and stress will not last forever. There is something beautiful waiting on the other side, and this is all part of motherhood. By going through the challenges, we build perseverance and the inner strength that we did not have before, and we become more full of love and wisdom. 

As the years went by and I had more children, I had to learn how to multitask. How was I supposed to hold a baby, cook and work on the computer at the same time? At first, it felt impossible. But that’s when I realized that the point was not that mom does everything. There are roles in the family that every person plays. As a mother, I am empowered to also be a teacher. I started to teach my older kids responsibility, to try and be good role models for their younger siblings and experience what it means to be filial sons and daughters. 

As my children get older, the challenges definitely get bigger. It’s no longer about wiping tears from falling off a bike. Once they hit 10 years old, they started exercising their intellect, reasoning, and independence. My favorite is a better ability to talk back or argue, usually with very valid points about my specific shortcomings as a parent. Wow, no one told me about this part! 

So why did God make motherhood so challenging? Perhaps, for a mother to be a good mom, it’s important not to just go through the motions or react to the circumstances at hand, but to consider what is my perspective on all this. Yes, the challenges are hard, but challenges can be a good thing and actually, something to be welcomed. Because that’s how we grow. When we go through a challenge, we are pushed to be better, to be the person that God wants us to be and that He knows we can be. Once we go through that difficult period with a good attitude, perseverance, and wisdom from others that have been through it,  there’s always something beautiful waiting around the corner. God’s blessing is waiting right there. 

From my 14 years of experience being a mom, one big lesson I’ve learned is that a mother’s cup needs to be full in order for her to give continuously to her children, husband, extended family, and everyone around her. When you just give and give, you can reach a point when you have nothing left, and feel so empty and worn out inside. More than the dark chocolate, going out to a cafe, or having time alone, (although those are great too!) I‘ve learned that I need to go to God first because He is the source of all my love, fulfillment, and value. A mother’s cup needs to be filled with God’s love because when we feel God’s unending and unconditional love for us, it is then that we can be that source of overflowing love and warmth to those that need it the most. 

Motherhood is a very big job, but being a mother to all of my really wonderful kids is also the most rewarding experience of my life. Our big family can barely fit in a selfie, let alone a car, but we are learning to figure it out one day at a time. Family life is so dynamic. The process is not always straightforward or simple, but becoming a mother and a parent has been the best and most effective way for me to grow on my way to my full potential. As moms, it’s so important that we take the hard times, learn from the lessons, and then keep growing together with our families and beautiful children. Being a parent creates unmeasured meaning and value and for me, this is the best part of what makes this thing called life worth it. 


Pin It on Pinterest