Mom, I Need to Tell You Something.
Monday, October 1, 2018

Mom, I Need to Tell You Something.

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October 1, 2018

I am a licensed attorney. However, the difficulty I overcame in achieving my degree and obtaining a job pales in comparison to the difficulty faced in a more fundamental identity of mine: mother.

This past June, I gave birth to my daughter. The pregnancy was uncomplicated, as was the birth. My daughter received a perfect bill of health. When put on paper, I marvel at how easy it sounds.

I thought being a mother would be easy because there are so many of us.Every person who has ever existed had a mother,” I tell myself when my daughter refuses to latch on for feedings. “People much less educated than I am, and with far fewer resources, have been mothers,” I remember as I look at my list of chores and wonder how I will ever get dinner on the table. “There are women in impoverished countries who are mothers,” I wonder when I expedite a Miracle Blanket to our apartment or give infant Tylenol to my daughter, luxuries without which I could not imagine raising a child.

I thought being a mother would be easy because there are so many of us.

When people ask me what I do and I tell them I am an attorney, they are usually impressed. When I ask people what they do, and they mention they have children, I am impressed.

“What a completely irrational choice—to have children,” I mused aloud to my husband while I sat in a warm bath, recovering from delivery. “They demand everything.”

In his Letter to Women, Pope St. John Paul II describes motherhood as “a unique experience of joy and travail. This experience makes you become God's own smile upon the newborn child, the one who guides your child's first steps, who helps it to grow, and who is the anchor as the child makes its way along the journey of life.” (emphasis added)

Joy and travail. God’s own smile. Anchor.

I worked hard to earn my law degree. I labored to land an important job in an impressive office. I did not work hard to get pregnant. However, being pregnant was hard work—the most difficult thing I had ever done, in fact, until my daughter emerged and began making demands I did not understand and could not fulfill. “God gives me the strength to do what He asks of me,” I remind myself. Heroic virtue, heroic virtue—I am cultivating heroic virtue. This is my new mantra.

I am a licensed attorney. But, much more impressively, I am a mother.

I am a licensed attorney. But, much more impressively, I am a mother.

Mom, I need to tell you something: please do not let the world tell you that you are unimportant. That you should do more. That you are not enough.

I see you. I rejoice with you. I grieve with you. I stand in awe of your strength.

Mom, you walk a difficult road. Mom, thank you for saying yes.

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Maria Lyon

Maria Lyon is wife to Will and mother to a child in utero. In her final year of law school at the University of Wisconsin, she enjoys struggling through contemplative prayer, eating apples, and watching Netflix. You can follow her fairly dull life on Instagram at @maria__lyon.

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