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The Merits of Motherhood

It’s an impressive thing to command a boardroom of executives. But it’s still far better to engage a bored room of toddlers.

It’s also much more needed.

The proper raising of children (which involves both mothers and fathers) will solve more ailments of our time than any government program, school system or equal opportunity ever will. It will also bring more joy, satisfaction, meaning and purpose to anyone who is so blessed to be called to such a vocation.

So many moms feel inadequate if they don’t have a successful career or a college degree or some other achievement to go along with their title of “mom.” All of those other things are great. They truly are. And it’s wonderful if anyone is blessed to achieve them. They may even make someone a better mom.

So by all means pursue them if you are called, but remember that no amount of other titles will ever be “enough” for your child, other than that of “mom.” (This applies uniquely to fathers, too. More on fatherhood soon.)

I’m in constant awe of my wife. She has the most prestigious job there is (mother) and she continually sacrifices her own interests for those of her husband and the tiny souls we’ve been entrusted with. Every single one of us are called to such sacrifice.

When you begin to live in this way, shoving all of your selfish interests aside — when you get your own selfish ambitions out of the way — you begin to see the simple and miraculous life God planned for you.

That life looks a little different for each of us. But I’m not sure if there’s anything more glorious than the life of a mother.

“A mother cannot claim the honor of having built Notre Dame Cathedral. She need not. She has built something more magnificent than any cathedral—a dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby’s body. The angels have not been blessed with such a grace…God joins forces with mothers in performing this act of creation. What on God’s good earth is more glorious than this—to be a mother?” – Cardinal Mindzenty

We so greatly value people who are able to maximize their productivity and accomplish so much with so little. Well, motherhood is the epitome of both.

The mother produces the most from the least. From nothing (and all by God’s grace), she helps bring forth something unlike any product: A human person. An eternal being. She produces not just things, but producers. She grows not just things to love, but lovers. What’s more glorious than that?

Published in Popular Essays