I don’t presume to think I am “cool”.
Any type of “coolness” I may have possessed in my younger years has most certainly gone flying out the window with motherhood. I finally spoke this truth out loud to my still cool, unmarried, currently living in Nashville (the epitome of hipster/music/coolness) about to go to awesome music graduate school younger brother. “Yeah, there’s pretty much nothing we do as moms that will become an ‘in’ thing. In fact, if something becomes a trend for moms & kids, it is probably on it’s way out,” I said.
The reality of my motherly uncoolness became even more pronounced today as I was sitting in Barnes & Noble visiting with my pregnant friend while her son and my two kids played around with a group of other children (most of whom were accompanied, also, by moms of various ages and stages of pregnancy). We chatted and laughed about potty training (yes, discussing poop), baby food, sleeping habits, toys & interests of our kids, pregnancy, and motherhood in general. Probably the most boring conversation ever for my girlfriend’s unmarried friend who was with us, too.
Yes, motherhood is unglamorous and totally uncool when it really comes down to the nitty gritty of it.
On the ride home, this realization got me thinking about the Blessed Mother. Our Most Holy Mother Mary, who is always depicted as beautiful, serene, demure, hair perfectly coiffed, the “coolest” woman who ever walked the face of the earth in all her holiness and Immaculate Conception-ness, was also a mom.
Did she do the “mom” things?
When she was pregnant with Jesus and went to visit Elizabeth, did they talk about all the unsavory things of pregnancy like morning sickness, constipation, feeling exhausted (which she must’ve been if she WALKED all that way to be with Elizabeth!)? Did they talk with excitement about how they were preparing the babies‘ rooms and cradles? Talk about how their husbands were feeling, their financial situations, their fears about motherhood?
And, once the babies came along and they were in mothering mode, did they swap secrets about potty training and their favorite games to make their boys laugh? Was Mary ever harried because Baby Jesus cried all night long and just wouldn’t settle down? Did she cry because it was really challenging at times and she thought she’d never get through that phase?
Did Mary and Elizabeth compare notes on eating (“For some reason, John is always sticking bugs in his mouth!”) or what their boys were into (“John is alway dunking his little wooden people into the well!” “Jesus is always building things and playing with hammers and nails!”)?
We don’t have any documents or writings about the day to day business of raising Jesus during his baby and childhood years (other than when he got lost, as an older boy, see Luke 2:41). But, I’m going to guess that, YES, Mary, Elizabeth, and their other women friends probably spent a lot of time having the “uncool” discussions that I have with my mother, sisters, and friends.
Though I pray often to be humble, gentle, pure, and loving like Mary, I often find myself just talking to her, mother to mother. When things get stressful with the kids or the crying won’t subside or I am just overwhelmed with what motherhood entails, I ask our Holy Mother to intercede for me in a way that only another mother knows how – because she’s been there and she gets it – uncool as it may be.