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To the moms of big families: you are superheroes!

By Kathryn Tardieu
General Manager, Camsel

When people look at big families, very often they ask the moms in particular, “How do you cope with all that it entails?”.…. the meals, the laundry, the trips, the homework, the raging emotions, the different personalities, the sharing, the fighting, the teasing, the different schools, the projects, the pets, the extra-curricular, the different stages of childhood and adolescence, the adulting, and the list goes on! It must be pretty overwhelming!

Well, growing up as number six in a family of eight, I never felt like it was a stressful situation for my mom. It is only now that I’m raising a family of my own that I understand just how much she was actually juggling at any point in time.

Her calm, warm, very accommodating disposition made it seem easy and her organisational skills were so effective that we never knew anything was a challenge (amazing how a simple analogue system like a diary next to the kitchen phone where we all wrote our ‘To-do’s’ in, could beat any modern apps).

As I got older, I wondered, how did she do it? That’s when I got to understand that her 4.30 a.m. wake-up call was more than just ‘me-time’, it was her time to get connected to the source of all sustenance, our triune God, who carried her through and by extension carried all of us through the day.

I recently did a retreat contemplating on Mary and Martha (Lk 10:38—42), Martha busy in service (and grumbling), and Mary at the feet of Jesus, attentive in His presence, receiving His words.

Jesus says to Martha: “There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her” (v42).

In knowing that one thing that she ought to be concerned about, mom was and still is able to draw close to Jesus daily, to receive His Word, and be renewed by His loving presence like Mary, and then she could be busy the rest of the day serving all of us, like Martha did, but without the grumbling, without the stress.

For many of us mothers, we struggle with balancing our lives, there is never enough me-time when you have a family to serve, big or small. But the lesson is the same for all of us: remember the one thing worth being concerned about,

Jesus, who want to draw you closer to the Father, who wants to open you up to the power of the Spirit, who loves you without condition. The rest will flow naturally.

Happy Mother’s Day!