Momicry

No, that is not a word. I coined it myself because I practice it myself, sometimes in a healthy way and sometimes in a not-so-healthy way.

Mimicry is the act, practice or art of mimicking.Therefore, in my mind, momicry is the act, practice or art of imitating other mothers.

Women are gifted at so many things. I am constantly amazed when I go walking at the sheer numbers of pairs of women walking, talking, sharing and connecting. We are natural at connecting. We are also natural at comparing. We are good at looking around at everyone else to see how we measure up.

If you are like me, you pick a mean, an average, if you will, and try to at least hit that on a consistent basis. This is the unhealthy version of momicry, whereby we get our cues from every other mother around us. If she had intricate goody bags at her party with homemade baked goods, I must at least make a boxed-good in mine. If she runs five days a week, I should at least run two. If she teaches her children baby sign language and yoga (I do the former, not the latter; I am making fun of myself, lest you get your feelings hurt), I should do at least one with my children. This side of momicry needs to be repented of and run from. God does not desire cookie-cutter mothers, He desires mothers walking under His gaze and in His grace.

But there is also a positive side to the art of momicry, one that I intentionally try to cultivate. I purposely pick the brains or books (if they are not people I can meet or talk to in a flesh-and-blood kind of way) of mother’s I admire. I am not looking for practices so much as principles. Practices often vary according to the personality, talents and situation of each mother and family, but principles span a broad spectrum of differences. I have often tried and failed at the simple cut-and-paste model of momicry that tries to just do exactly as so-and-so did or does. The principle path is much more transferrable.

That being said, two mommas have been stuck to my mind like static lately.

The first is the mother of a Southern writer named Eudora Welty. In her autobiography Eudora writes about the early influence of her family of origin on her life and future.

“I learned from the age of two or three that any room in our house, at any time of day, was there to be read in, or to be read to. My mother read to me.”

Oh, how I long to be a mother who reads to her children in every place and every moment possible.

The second mother is the Albanian peasant woman who was the mother of Mother Theresa. When the girl who would become Mother Theresa was twelve, she felt a call to the sevice of the Lord. She wreslted with this calling because it was so hard to leave her loving home; however, when she was 18 her calling was solidified. Her only hesitation was leaving her mother and sister alone, as she knew that to leave initially most likely meant to leave indefinitely. Her mother gave her blessing on this costly call on her daughter’s life. Looking back on her mother’s response, Mother Theresa said, “But mother could never say no to Jesus.”

Oh, how I long to be a mother who can never say no to Jesus.

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