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This afternoon I am taking my boys with me to a memorial service for a dear friend’s little boy who passed away in utero.  She was able to deliver her little one and hold him in her arms for seven sweet hours.  My heart breaks for her and her husband.  I cannot imagine the agony of losing a child.

This tragedy has led me to many long embraces with my boys and frequent reflections on motherhood.

No one told me motherhood could be so hard.

I always viewed motherhood as a job for the weak.  Women only stayed home if they weren’t capable of getting a paying job; real work took place outside of the home.  As a teenager, I viewed stay at home mothers as women lacking in intelligence, ingenuity, and somewhat as riding on the coat tails of their husbands.

As a mother, I would now like to call my teenage self an idiot.

From the moment of inception there are so many new things to worry about, new responsibilities, changes, and emotions.  The expectations are never ending and never fulfilled.  The research is extensive and always changing.

What other job requires constant responsibility for the formation of another human being physically, emotionally, and spiritually?  What other job requires full participation and no sick or personal days?  What other job requires that you learn to use the restroom while holding one child on your lap and preventing the other from touching anything in the filthy gas station bathroom stall you had to stop at on a long road trip?

What job requires that you hold the object of your adoration and have to say goodbye?

Lord, may my friend know that you are with her.  Remind her that you share in her pain because death was not a part of your original plan for creation.  Remind her that she is not weak; she is a mother and those two identities are not compatible.