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Lisa Stover and her daughter

May 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Last night, after my daughter went to sleep, I found myself cleaning the day’s mess from our house. It’s funny how my idea of “unwinding” at the end of the day has shifted into processing my thoughts and prayers as I scrub the floors because it’s the only time I get to do it without interruption.

As I cleaned the counters and washed dinner off the dishes, I thought about just how much my perspective on motherhood has changed since I recently became a mother. It has been a learning experience. To be quite honest, no matter how many books on parenting I read, I often wonder if I will ever truly have this whole motherhood thing down.

I wonder if Mary, the mother of Jesus, a perfect woman of the deepest possible faith, ever questioned “why me?” or how her decisions as a mother would affect her son.

I wondered this especially as I was staring at the melted watermelon piece that had been on the kitchen floor since lunchtime (my daughter discovered how fun it is to drop snacks from her high chair and feed the dog).

Recently I was asked what I want for Mother’s Day. It’s an interesting question. At its core motherhood is a sacrifice, and how do we truly appreciate such sacrifice?

How can we best celebrate a woman living out her vocation as a mother – as she selflessly gives everything she is and has to her children, and often feels like there is nothing left for her?

How can we best appreciate the breastfeeding mother who gives herself physically to her baby all day and night? She sacrifices sleep, energy, and time. She is sometimes frowned upon and judged for feeding her baby in public when there is no discrete place to do so.

How can we best show love to mothers who only get to participate in bits and pieces of a church service on account of their little ones? They manage to get themselves dressed for church knowing they’ll be pulled away to change dirty diapers and calm their fussy babies amidst judgmental glances across the pews.

You see, some days as mothers we wonder if we are “mom” enough. We compare ourselves to other moms, wondering why we can't look like that, cook like that, parent like that, or why we always feel like we are simply a mess just hanging on by a thread.

In a world plagued by abortion and the mindset that children are a burden, it’s imperative that we truly celebrate the beauty and blessing of motherhood. It’s the beauty and blessing of someone who gives without counting the cost, who sacrifices all she has for those she loves, who welcomes, cherishes, and nourishes new life.

To all of the beautiful moms out there: you are good enough. You are mom enough. Know that all you are doing for your children and your family matters. Who you are matters. God did not make a mistake when He created you, and He certainly didn’t make a mistake when He chose you to be a mother. You are absolutely mom enough.

On the days when all you can manage to eat is a protein bar and some leftover pureed fruit from your baby’s fruit pouch, know that you are mom enough. Celebrate the little victories. Celebrate all that your body and mind are capable of as a mother, and embrace who you are. So, be you. Just you. Know that you are mom enough.

This Mother’s Day, celebrate a mother in your life knowing that all you need to do to appreciate her sacrifice is to hug her a little tighter.

Take an item off her to-do list. Learn how you can return the favor and sacrifice some of your own energy, time, and needs for hers. Tell her that she is enough. Tell her that she is doing a good job and that she isn’t failing at this whole motherhood thing. Tell her how much her sacrifice inspires you. Silence the critics. Thank her for being her.

May we as mothers find our strength in God when we need it most, and remember who and what this whole motherhood thing is really about.

May we never forget to look to the example of the ultimate beautiful and loving mother, Mary. Let us ponder these words of Pope Saint John Paul II: “From Mary we learn to surrender to God’s will in all things. From Mary we learn to trust even when all hope seems gone. From Mary we learn to love Christ her son and the son of God.”