Motherhood Isn’t Your Highest Calling

I used to think motherhood was my highest calling. I don’t anymore.

I know people say it with great respect for the role of being a mom. I appreciate that. But I’ve spent many years struggling with what it means to be a “good mom” and often felt like I was in a position where I was failing at my calling. I felt like I had looked forward to being a mom my whole life, but when I actually became one, I found out I was really bad at it. How does it feel to carry the weight of failing at the highest calling a woman can have? Not good.

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For many years, I wore my calling like a heavy weight around my neck. I felt guilty that I felt restless in this “highest calling”.

I read something a few years ago that made me evaluate my picture of my calling and how that fits with being a mom. The back cover of Max Lucado’s “Cure For The Common Life” says this “God made only one version of you. He custom designed you for a one of a kind assignment. Cure for the Common Life helps you discover how your ability unveils your destiny. . . and how to find your uncommon call to an uncommon life.”

I started to realize that my highest calling wasn’t to succeed at my stereotype of a “good mom”.

Do you think it’s possible that we’ve painted a masterpiece of expectations that’s not at all what God intended and excludes things He never asked us to exclude?

When Jesus was asked, “What is the greatest commandment?” He didn’t say, “Stop doing all the things that brought you joy before and concentrate on housework and changing diapers.”

I was acting like He did.

Author, Bob Goff, says it perfectly:

I think God’s hope and plan for us is pretty easy to figure out. For those of you who resonate with formulas, here it is: add your whole life, your loves, your passions and your interests together with what God said he wants us to be about, and that is your answer. – ” Love Does”

Some seasons of parenting require  great personal sacrifice, but the calling of motherhood doesn’t have to mean giving up your gifts and passions. Have you discovered this? Yes, motherhood is a high calling, but the highest calling? You’ll find that where your life circumstances and your passions meet.

15 thoughts on “Motherhood Isn’t Your Highest Calling

  1. So true, Amy. After the kids are grown and gone, what you have left is what you are. Don’t throw that stuff away just because you’re a mom, or a wife even. Jesus gave us talents and passions, to be used by us for our pleasure and His glory. Someone else, while you are changing diapers, etc., needs our friendship, mentoring, or just a listening ear. Life is not a dress rehearsal. Thanks for the great words, Amy. Blessings on your day!


  2. Well put, Amy. I never really thought about it that way. I just figured that when I was being a mother, that was what I was doing for that season. But I was going to move on to something else later. Still, when it came time to move on, it was VERY, VERY hard, because after about 23 years, whether I liked it or not at the outset, being a mom had become my highest calling, just by virtue of doing it for so long. Sure, I’d done other things as well. But being a mom was that one constant, so when that role was taken away by all the kids growing up and moving away, there was a huge hole in who I was. Even today, when I look back, I consider giving birth to and raising my 4 children the most important thing I’ve done with my life, even though I’ve started the youth center and turned the senior center around and helped all those choirs and taught all those piano students, remodeled all those houses, etc. etc. So maybe it will look more like a calling in hindsight!

    1. Oh, I do think it is “a” calling and something very important. I just think it’s not meant to look one particular way. I think that’s where a lot of us women get hung up and we feel guilty because it doesn’t inspire us like some other things that we’re passionate about.

      Also, I kind of wonder if the referring to motherhood as the highest calling any woman can have makes women that have not been able to have children feel like the life that they have is “less than”. Just a few things I’ve been mulling over.

  3. Thank you, Amy, and well said. I’ve struggled with a tendency to anchor my identity in whatever i am doing. But my calling in Christ is a place of being. As my tasks in mothering eventually and necessarily decrease, my calling in Christ remains. I appreciate your perspective and your writing. Glad to call you my new friend!

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