Wholeness as a Mother

#WholeMamaMy daughter Erika and some friends are putting together a bloggy series titled #WholeMama. After reading Erika’s thoughts today, I  realized that for me wholeness has to do with knowing I’m in the right place at this moment in my life.  And it’s so interesting how that can change with your season of life.

When I was a young mom in Erika’s stage of life, with only tiny ones at home, I experienced a lot of emotional stress  juggling full time motherhood with part time work as an RN.  I remember calling home to hear a baby crying, and feeling torn, like I wasn’t where I was supposed to be.  Even though it was just part time work, that jagged pain was a hard thing to feel on a regular basis.  When finally I was able to be home full time, it was a great relief– such a feeling of being centered and balanced right where I needed to be.  Not that it was always easy– motherhood is almost always a challenging job– but in my heart I just knew home was where I needed to be right then.

These days, with this new job of mine (again back at work part time, again helping women give birth) I’m not experiencing that feeling of being torn at all.  I love my work.  I’m necessary and useful and I make a difference at a crucial time in women’s lives.  Each day at work, my heart hums with a contentedness, knowing I’m where I’m supposed to be.

But on my days off, I’m equally glad to be home.  Here is also where I am supposed to be.  I think the difference is my season of life.   These days my youngest ‘baby’ is 10– old enough to happily hang out with dad and her siblings a couple of days a week– but also young enough to greet me joyfully and ask for a game of cards or a trip to the store together on my days at home.  Work fits now, where it was ungainly and awkward and sometimes downright painful before.

I think sometimes you have to try things out, to find out what fits in your life and what won’t– at least not without a whole lot of shoving and shuffling.  Other times you can listen to your family and your instincts and with a little luck and a little grace, have the sense to steer clear of what won’t fit.

Remembering also, that some things will fit now and others can wait til later. We don’t have to do it all today.   Or all at once, ever.  Just open your hands, and fill them with what fits today.

That’s enough.  Really.


For more #WholeMama musings, visit the linkup at the bottom of Erika’s blog post.


  1. Thank you for your encouraging words. I will keep them close. Especially “just open your hands, and fill them with what fits today.” Wisdom!

  2. ” We don’t have to do it all today. Or all at once, ever. Just open your hands, and fill them with what fits today.” You are right and we need to remember that. Thanks for sharing your story showing how things are different in the different seasons of life. Shalom can be found in whatever season we are in, we just have to discover it. I’ve enjoyed reading all the posts with #wholemama. I’m Jamie’s mom and I see you are Erika’s mom. I’m glad we can all interact and encourage each other even if we are in different seasons of our lives.

  3. Gary Coryer says:

    Profound and well said. I think though your perspective here was as a mother, this is a lesson that all parents need to abide by. As a Dad I find my experience with work somewhat reversed. When the kids were young, they were safe and warm with mom so working outside the home was fine, although I was able to pepper my schedule with work from home days so I got plenty of time with the kids. Now that the two older are young teen and pre-teen, I found myself drawn to spend even more time with them (which is working because I’m semi-retired now). It’s a different sort of time as they are very busy becoming independent human beings but I find their “check-ins” both interesting and vaguely amusing (that last because of rememberances of learning the very same lessons myself). But your lesson of pursuing what fits applied here too.
    Thanks for the wisdom and all three kids look forward with anticipation to the days when I make one of Mary’s recipes.

  4. So fun to have my mama joining in on wholemama! 🙂 I love seeing the layers of wisdom and perspective from the different moments of mothering. I also loved the idea of just opening our hands and filling them with what fits today.

    Love ya! 🙂

  5. Thank you for these grace filled words – open your hands and see what fits today. Love that image. Yay for whole mama.