Celebrating The Mums
As we approach Mothers Day, meet Shell Varcoe, who has been part of church for 4 years. Her little boy’s name is George and she’s married to Matt. We asked Shell a few questions about her personal experience of being a mum. If you are mother, you are especially invited to Mothers Day at Grace City this Sunday at 9am or 11am.
1. What’s been a joy in motherhood?
It’s been an absolute joy watching George grow and develop and learn new things for the first time. It’s amazing to see how many things that are second nature to us take so much thought and trial and error at the beginning. Take eating as an example. To know something is good, be able to pick it up, bring your hand to your mouth without dropping it, but then let go of the food when it is in your mouth, chew it and swallow it is surprisingly difficult! It so lovely watching his personality develop. It’s exciting to think about how that will continue to develop into his own uniqueness. He is fearfully and wonderfully created by God!
The other biggest joy has been watching Matt become a father. He has absolutely loved George and I with a love that is selfless, patient and joyful. It’s been beautiful watching him bond with George.
2. What’s been hard about motherhood?
I have found the uncertainty or little fears/anxieties really hard – why isn’t he sleeping? Is he getting enough milk? What if he gets sick? What if he dies?
Motherhood also brings a strange form of loneliness where you’re almost always with your child, but needing to feed/settle/care for them means you can’t always be with your friends having meaningful conversations.
At times I’ve also found it hard that George is completely dependent on me, and so I can’t just do what I want when I want anymore!
3. What’s one funny thing George has done recently?
George has recently started to learn to crawl, and it’s been super fun, but also funny, watching him figure out how his body works to get him somewhere. Most of the time at the moment his best intentions to move forward have only resulted in moving backwards further away from what he wants.
4. Are there are words in the Bible about motherhood that have helped you?
For me, motherhood has been an amazing insight into our relationship with God, and a reminder of what Jesus has done.
At different times in George’s short life so far, he has often not understood what is best for him and fights what he really needs – whether that’s refusing sleep when he is tired or breastfeed when he is actually hungry. I can get so frustrated at this, but then I’m reminded that we do the same thing with God! Jesus says “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10), and yet we search for life everywhere but through Jesus! This doesn’t necessarily give me the answers in how to help George to do what he needs to, but has helped me to have empathy and patience for him, and helps me to turn to God to repent from rejecting his good gifts, and ask for the strength to accept how He has designed us to live.
The Bible also helps me to recognise that being a “good mum” is actually unattainable in my own strength. I fail every day – at loving Matt, George and others more than myself. I fail to be patient, organised, wise, kind… the list goes on! But the Gospel reminds us that in all things we are not good enough. We can never be perfect in our own right. But Jesus came so that we could have His goodness. His death and resurrection secures our forgiveness for all of our failures. This frees me up to not focus on and stress out about how I fail to be the “best” parent. Rather I can focus on God and His grace and the fact that He is making me more like Jesus. He is helping me to be a better parent.
5. What’s one misconception about motherhood?
I think the biggest misconception about motherhood that both mothers (including myself) and others fall into is making “the mother” into the first and foremost (and sometimes only) identity a woman has. In reality, I’m a child of God first and foremost. I’m a wife, a friend, a daughter, a woman with interests and passions outside of motherhood. I think I forget this – and allow a season of life which is rightly filled up with lots of “motherhood” things to absorb my entire identity to the point where I can believe that some tasks are more important than 5 minutes reading God’s word. Others can forget this (and I do the same thing) by only asking how George is going, and forgetting to ask about how I am, how my walk with God is going or how my marriage is going.
Join us on mothers day at Grace City Church at 9am or 11am.