Christmas is around the corner! It is a wonderful time to be pregnant during the holidays. Not only is your entire family around, but you also get a long leave from routine to enjoy the festivities and end the current year on a high note and usher in a bright new year ahead!
In every religion, motherhood is considered a sacred and noble vocation. The well-being of every child is mostly expected in societal norms to be majorly done by the mother, who does so with unconditional love. But, when the child performs exemplarily well in life, it is everyone who is given credit, which is undoubtedly right. But no one can question that the first teacher of every being, is the mother! She is the prime source of learning to a child from the start. It is a daunting task, but one that while transforming the lives of a child, by teaching the ways of the world, transforms the life of the mother. Mothers are our modern-day superheroes and sacrifice a lot in the name of motherhood. One such story of motherhood personified was that of “Mother Mary”, who by being the Mother of God is considered “blessed among women” (Lk 1:42).
So, what can mothers-to-be learn from Mother Mary this Christmas?
- Be grateful: Birthing is a miracle. Mary was “overshadowed by the Holy Spirit”(Lk 1:35); & by the grace of God, she conceived. To give birth to another being is a miracle to be grateful for! Every mother and her partner, thank a higher self/God for the life they created, considering it to be life’s gift. Care for your unborn child with good nutrition, staying healthy, medical check-ups etc.
- Be resilient: As per the scriptures archangel Gabriel appeared and said to Mary: “You will bear a son”. To this, she with unwavering faith and trustingly replied, “Let it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:31,38). What we can learn from this is to be resilient as pregnancy and motherhood throws a lot of curve balls at every mother, worse you barely get appreciated for all the work that you do. So, gear up! Learn to be resilient and do what you have signed up to do. Take things into your stride and march on.
- Be graceful: Mary was“full of grace”. It is believed that “God lived within her”. Mary was guided (influenced by her mother St. Ann) to always be loving and kind and even while carrying and raising baby Jesus, she did so with grace; more so when times were hard.
- Be helpful: After Mary became pregnant, she visited Elizabeth, her pregnant relative. Don’t solely focus on your and your immediate families well being. Instead, have the ability to be of assistance to relatives and friends who are in need.
- Be hands-on: The first Christmas Mary gave birth to her Son, Jesus. She immediately wrapped Jesus in swaddling clothes (Lk 2:7), thus taking care of her newborn, physically from day 1. New mothers can learn to cater to the physical needs of their little ones as they feed, clothe, change their diapers, take them to doctor’s appointments, put them to sleep, and nurse them through illness.
- Be protective: When evil King Herod tried to kill Jesus, Mary escaped (to Egypt) to protect her son (Mt 2:13-15). A mother’s duty is to always protect their young ones from bad influences that could harm them: be it abusive adults, bullying playmates, and improper television/media programs, to name a few.
- Be a role model: The gospel lets us know that Jesus was obedient to Mary (Lk 2:51). This is because Mary lived by example. She was firm and demanding with her Son and only asked of Him to do as what she believed and followed. So, practice what you preach, if you do not want your children to learn then have a set of house rules, and insist upon everyone at home to follow them.
- Be a supporter: When Jesus was crucified, though it was painful, Mary stood at the foot of the Cross and suffered with him (Jn 19:25). She never abandoned her child, even when things were difficult and turbulent. This sort of enduring love is seen in all mothers. We know that children get into trouble, sometimes for the right reasons, sometimes not. So, learn to stand by your child and be their number 1 supporter in the good times and especially the bad, this is a cross all mothers have to bear.
Mary, due to her immaculate qualities was chosen to be the mother of Christ, because of which she is also worshiped all over the world. No doubt motherhood is difficult. But if you learn to keep your mind and heart open (at least) most of the times, it will be a rewarding experience. All new mothers/mommies-to-be can aspire to learn a thing or two from Mother Mary this Christmas. Let there be love, light, and happiness in each and every home this season. Merry Christmas everyone!