I’m An Accidental Mama

I’m an accidental mama, I had no plans of motherhood. Content in my skin, loving marriage, figuring out life; I was surprised by motherhood.

Not My Call

I don’t live for my kids. I made room for them. But they don’t define me. I don’t relate to mothers who declare they were born to be have babies, that it’s all they ever wanted. I can’t taste it, don’t trust it.

I worry about mothers who say their children are their lives. From my own experience I know the gaping wound that’s left behind when a child grows up, claims their life for their own and leaves you. The bitter taste on the tongue of the heartbroken mama and the frustrated young adult. When I left home, I watched the slow bleed in my own mother’s heart until Jesus healed it and gave her a new and right passion, himself. 

Some days I look at my children and wonder how I got here, covered in peanut butter and washing mounds of laundry. How did I become the mommy, where did my youth go? I don’t resent it, usually. But I do marvel at the fast moving pace of time and it’s slippery march onward, taking me farther away from youthful dreams and deeper into the heart of motherhood.

I don’t live for my kids. I live for Jesus. But I do love them. I wasn’t born to be their mother, they were born to make me one. And I’m thankful, because nothing has shaped this selfish heart with compassion like motherhood has.

I’m amazed to see their little personalities and opinions emerging; unique, wonderful. I see God so clearly calling, drawing, loving. It makes me fall in love with him all over again, the way he loves my babies even more than I do.

My Calling

I don’t understand motherhood as a calling. Perhaps it is and I just missed the memo. But I do know it’s a privilege, and my responsibility, to usher these little lives into their own faith, their own place in God’s family.

No, waking up to referee fights, cook another meal, read another book, make another bed doesn’t set my heart racing with purpose and passion. Being a voice for the broken, mentoring women, praying bold prayers of faith, taking a risk for the gospel, pounding out words that bleed grace; that makes me whoop and holler!

I know who I was made to be, a voice, an advocate for truth. Being a mama is a tool God is using in my life to refine me, to remind me he knows what we need better than we do, to put a magnifying glass on the way of grace. I’m not at the place in my life where I can say motherhood is a calling. It’s a refining, a breaking, a rebirthing.

The beauty is that if you see motherhood as your calling, a divine purpose for your life, or if  like me you don’t, God still has grace for us all. Our end goal can be the same, children rooted in the love of Jesus, growing in truth. Our source of strength and help is the same, Jesus’ mercy and power for this day. This moment. Mercy for now, mercy for each other.

Is motherhood your calling? Or are you more like me, pursuing your calling in the midst of motherhood?


18 thoughts on “I’m An Accidental Mama

  1. I came about being a momma when I married their daddy. They lost their “momma Kim” to Leukemia and honor me by letting me be in their lives in her place. I wasn’t born with the mommy gene but I’m getting it through trial by fire.

  2. Thank you SO much. I can totally relate to what you shared in this post.

    For His own reasons, God has given me eight children, so I “know” He has “called” me to motherhood. But I struggle to reconcile where I am with what I dreamed of growing up. It is difficult to embrace this life, at times.

    I know this is a season, and I am trying to “bloom where I am planted” but I yearn for opportunities to invest in lives beyond my children. It is refreshing to know I am not alone. Thank you again for this post.

    • I am so glad you were encouraged and took the time to say so! Eight children! That’s a special kind of blessing and need for grace. I had dreamed of being a missionary when I was in college, in just the last year God has allowed me to live in that dream so creatively, and in ways beyond what I could have imagined almost twenty years ago. I trust he will do the same for your heart, revive dreams in ways you never could have imagined!

      • My dream was to be a missionary nurse in India or Africa; I completed my nursing degree right out of high school. If I married, I figured I’d marry a doctor.

        Instead, God gave me a single-minded man who wanted to tell people about Jesus in his home town. We are now serving full-time with a faith-based non-profit, working to connect people in our home town with the heart of God. It is a wonderful place to be, but not what I dreamed of. And God has given a special grace to parent my brood. He is SO good.

        Your words are encouraging. Thank you again for your post.

  3. love this post. Thanks to Tara Lake, who directed me here. What an honest and reaffirming post. I feel very similar-I love both my kids, but being a mom doesn’t define me-doesn’t make me who I am. It’s a huge part, sure. But like you said, there is a life beyond children. I have one grown daughter and one young son. Getting to do it all has proven to be wonderfully interesting 🙂

  4. If God didn’t intend to call you to motherhood he wouldn’t have given you children. I’m not saying that to minimize how you’re feeling – I’ve very much been there and motherhood didn’t come naturally to me.

    There’s an old saying…
    God doesn’t call the qualified,
    He qualifies those he calls.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts Elizabeth. I imagine that it depends on how you define calling. I love my children and have grown to be very comfortable with my own style of motherhood. I think that every person who has children and follows Jesus should raise them in a way that honors him, just like as they should honor him in all areas of their life. But I think of a calling as a specific role I was designed to fulfill in my life with my gifts and talents. For some women that truly is motherhood. For me it is not. I am most satisfied, most alive, most me when I am mentoring other women, building relationship bridges, and communicating the truth of Jesus. Thankfully God’s grace is enough for me, for all of us, and it’s okay if we hold to different perspectives.

  5. I am crying! My heart is pounding! You wrote my heart, my mind, the thoughts I am often too scared to speak out loud because the people pleaser in me fears being misunderstood and judged. Oh brave friend – I support this new blog and journey and say that I too am an accidental mama and am thankful for the beautiful children God has given me. I hope and pray that I raise them to live a life that follows the calling God has laid on their life and that they too raise their children to do the same. I pray that they know to follow hard after God and what he has created them for because of the example that I have set.

    • Yay, thanks for joining the conversation Steph! Being a mama is a profound work and it takes bravery to say the honest truth about every messy, tight corner of it. I trust our love for God will be passed down from generation to generation, not because of our faithfulness but because of his!

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  7. We are so much alike in how we came to be where we are. I understand the “I don’t like; don’t trust” comment – that puts a lot of burden on a child. I do understand the call, though, to spiritually mother those who need spiritual mothers – which is to pray,support, love and mentor – I only understand because of the women who spiritually mothered me – outside their walls – and taught me how to mother those outside my walls. I. totally. get. your.heart.!

  8. Yay, thanks for your encouragement! It’s so comforting to find a like minded sisterhood flung across the country and collected here on the internet. It takes the edge off of loneliness or being misunderstood.

  9. I very much always wanted to be a mom. I got married at 23, at which point my husband wanted to wait a little while to have kids, and so we did. After a year or maybe a little more, I said, “so, about those kids…” and he made excuses, many excuses, a new one every time I asked. Then, one day, when we had been married for 6 years he said, “it’s time.” So we tried…and nothing happened. Month after month went by…and nothing happened. A year, and then some testing that came back inconclusive. So, we kept trying for two more years. Still nothing. My sisters, both of them, volunteered to surrogate for us. We prayed, God said, “No, this is not what I have for you.” There were many, many tears, of sadness, of anger, of hurt. There was a resignation, that it was not to be. Then, one day, a couple more years down the road, when my husband had been out of work for four months…there was that feeling…I need to test…and I did…and there were 2 pink lines. I was pregnant! It was an easy pregnancy physically, hard emotionally and spiritually many because of doctors’ negativity. It was a terrible labor that ended up in an emergency c-section and the first thing said to me after my son was born was, “Your son is fine. He’s scrawny, no, that’s mean, he’s really skinny. But, he shouldn’t have made it. I have no explanation. Congratulations.” in a dead-pan voice by a NICU nurse. With the pregnancy I awoke an auto-immune disease that 7 of 8 doctors that I saw had never seen before which made the challenges that the moms of every newborn has just that much harder. Even still, I am enjoying motherhood, even middle of the night feedings (most of the time). Is this the ONLY thing that makes me happy? Not on your life, but it is fulfilling. You know what, though, we weren’t all meant for the same thing. Hallelujah! God gave us different gifts, different talents, and different ways of thinking and relating to others so that we could each serve Him in the ways that He had for us, so that we could be His hands and feet (and mouth) to a lost and hurting world and that’s a good thing. 🙂

    • Nikki, thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts! God is so wise to give us each a story and gifts to use for his glory. My pregnancy with my daughter was difficult, she was born early and a little small. Shortly after I also started having symptoms of an autoimmune disease. It is as of yet un-diagnosed other than to be identified as autoimmune. But I’ve found there is grace for that. Congratulations on your little boy! There’s nothing like the gift of a child, whether desired or not, they are precious. Bless you.

  10. Pingback: Finding magic in ordinary days | The Accidental Mama

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