Mother’s Day, the time of the year where there are more spent in card shops and flourish shops than any other day.
You know being a Mother in our culture is extremely stressful.  There are these constant time demands.  There are unrealistic media images.  There are these condensing cultural attitudes toward mothers that create a lot of additional pressures.
In a Book entitled “Motherhood Stress”, Deborah Lewis wrote, “I have talk to rich mothers and poor mothers, brand new mothers and grandmothers, mothers of one and mothers of nine, stay at home mothers and mothers with 2 careers, single mothers raising their children all alone and happily married women with wonderfully supportive husbands.  Though whatever the mother’s circumstances, when it comes to stress, we all feel it.”

Let’s be more sensitive in ways that we can relieve some of the pressures that modern mothers face.  Because the hand that rocks the cradle is getting tired and needs some relief.
Read about Sarah, Abraham’s wife who had a baby at 92 years of age. Paid the doctor and pediatrician with her social security check! She had 4 pressures. i want to touch on 2 of them.

A Mother has the pressure of INSECURITY.  
You know security is more important to most women than to men.  When men lose their jobs, it’s often the wife is more anxious than the husband.  The husband is confident he will be able to get something, but the wife is restless till he does.  In his Book, “His Needs, Her Needs”, Willard Harley Jr.  says that the need for financial security is one of the five basic needs of every woman.
Teenagers when your mother asked you where are going, whose driving, how long will you be there, what are you going to be doing, when are you going to be coming home,  DON’T resent that as an intrusion on your independence.  Share that information with her so that she will have a sense of security and she’ll be supportive.
Husbands when your wife asks, can we really afford this new computer, or how are we going to afford the children’s education, or how much life insurance do we have, you share that information with her to provide the necessary security.
I can think of 5 primary threats to a mother’s security.  One is criticism. Words are like throwing a stick of dynamite into the foundation when we are critical.  A second is temper.  When you lose your temper, and explode and swear or throw things or God forbid, hit her, you may dismiss it as just a flash of emotion but it creates a very shaky foundation for her for a long time.  Laziness is a third enemy of security.  She’s often to go along with tight funds and self denial as long she is confident the husband is making the effort, but if she senses the husband is lazy she loses respect and develops a sense of insecurity.  A fourth enemy of security for the woman is lying.  Trust is so important for her sense of stability. And if she discovers you are not telling the truth she loses confidence. So tell her the truth.
But the most devastating enemy of security is infidelity.  Unfaithfulness destroys the wife’s sense of stability for a long time.  Even after we repent and receive forgiveness, it takes a long time for confidence to be restored.
Nothing undermines stability like infidelity.  So husbands that mean we frequently verbalize our love.  We reaffirm our commitment.  We listen carefully to her concerns.  We find ways to reassure her that she is the most important person in our life, and we make ever effort to be faithful.  I always heard the best thing that a man can do for his children is to love their mother.  That is the best thing we can do for their mother too.
And I will challenge young husbands to make that your vow too,  and in so doing you provide security to your wife…LOVE ALWAYS PROTECTS.

A Mother faces the pressure of Child Rearing.  A mother of 2 young children wrote, “The other day it took me an hour to get ready to go to the grocery store.  We had to search the entire house to find Andrew’s shoes.   No sooner had we climbed into the car that he had to go to the bathroom again. As I buckle Matthew into his car seat, my nose told me he was messy.  So we go back into the house to change his diaper.  Then the phone rang.  I talked to a friend briefly and felt like I cut her off short.  Again we go out to the car. I buckled both children again and began backing out of the driveway only to glance at the dashboard clock and realized it was nearly noon.  I knew better than to attempt a long shopping trip with two hungry children.  So I got the kids out of the car, headed back inside, hung up their coats, sat down and cried.
Some days I feel as if no one notices or cares about what I am doing with my children.  Other days I feel that everyone has a different standard that I am not living up to.
And then she added, “I never realized how much time I’d spend changing diapers, washing clothes, and more clothes, wiping up spills, picking up toys, driving children everywhere, pinching pennies between paychecks.  I never imagined yelling at my kids in frustration.”

Tough job to raise children.  Women think it is going to be the thrill of their life but are soon overwhelmed with the responsibilities and constantly picking up.  I watched a young couple with a 2 and 4 year old eat breakfast this past week.  I counted the mother got up and went to the breakfast bar 9 times for her kids before she sat down. The kids spilled all over the floor and themselves.  It was very frustrating.
There is the peer pressure, Is my child doing as well as others?  The disciplinary questions, Which end of the spectrum do I listen to when I get advice?  It is not long before the stress can get grind them down.
Della Elfrom suggests, if you could tape a mother’s conversation during the day it would sound something like this:  Don’t leave it there take it upstairs.
Is that yours, don’t hit your brother.  I am talking to you.  Just a minute please, can’t you see I am talking?  I said don’t interrupt.
Did you brush your teeth?  What are you doing out of bed?  Go back to bed.  You can’t watch it in the afternoon.  What do you mean there is nothing to do? Go outside, read a book.
Turn it down, get off the phone, Tell your friend you’ll call her back.  Right now.
Hello, No she’s not home, she’ll call you when she gets home.
Take a jacket, well take a sweater, well take one anyway!
Get the toys out of the hall, get the toys off of the stairs, do you realize that could kill someone.  Hurry up hurry up everyone’s waiting.  I’ll count to ten then we’re going without you.
Did you go to the bath room?  If you don’t go we aren’t going.  I mean it.  Why didn’t you go before you left?  Can you hold it?
What’s going on back there, I said stop it, stop it.  I don’t want to hear about it, stop it or I am taking you home right down.  That’s it we’re going home.  Give me a kiss.
Make your bed, clean your room, set the table, I need you to set the table, don’t tell me it’s not your turn. Please move your chair into the table and sit up.  Just try a little you don’t have to eat the whole thing.  Stop playing with it and eat it, would you watch what you’re doing.  Move your glass, it’s too close to the edge, watch it.  Just eat one bite of salad.
You don’t always get what you want, that’s life.  Don’t argue with me, I’m not discussing it with you anymore.  Go to your room.  No, 10 minutes aren’t up. One more minute.  How many times have I told you, don’t do that.  Is your homework done?  Stop yelling.  If you want to ask me something come here.  I said stop yelling if you want to ask me something come here.
I’ll think about it. not now.  Ask your father when he comes home.  We’ll see.  Don’t sit so close to the television, it’s bad for your eyes.  Calm down.  Is that really the truth?  I’m sorry, that’s the rule.
Hi honey, welcome home!””
One little six year old boy said that his mother prayed for him every night.  Somebody said, what’s she pray for.  He said, she said Thank God he’s finally in bed!
You know when mothers are asked, how can other people in the family help you?  There are a number of answers given but there are always two that bubble up above the others.  One is TAKE THE INITIATIVE TO HELP OUT.  Don’t wait till I have to beg you to help.  Open your eyes and see that I’ve got two kids on my arms or that the table needs cleaning or garbage taken out or the toys need to be picked up.  Take the initiative to help out.
The second way Mothers say we can help… VALUE WHAT I AM DOING.  BE APPRECIATIVE OF MY TASKS.  DON’T TAKE ME FOR GRANTED, ACT LIKE YOU ARE THANKFUL.
That’s why children and men,  mothers get a little edgy on mother’s day if nothing is said, no gift is given, no thanks expressed because they feel taken for granted all year round and here’s one day when somebody is reminding you to say something and you say nothing at all… it looks so ungrateful.  The Bible says encourage one another and build each other up. Jesus even though He never married nor had children set example for all of us.  He was a humble servant.
And he was dependable.  He created security wherever he went.  He’s the same Yesterday, Today and Forever.  He never broke a vow, he said I will never leave you nor forsake you.
He loved children.  Apparently his earthly father Joseph died and Jesus had to help rear his brothers and sisters, while working in a carpenter’s shop until he was 30. But he loved children and they loved him and came and sat in his lap and he blessed them.
And Jesus was part of a blended family.  Mary was his Mother but Joseph wasn’t his real father.  And he had to relate to half brothers and sisters from the time He was little.  And even though they criticized him, Jesus loved them and in the end… they believed in Him.
Jesus, the Bible says, is our example that we should follow in his steps, and if we follow in his steps, then the hand that rocks the cradle will not only get relief, but reinforcement.

Happy Mother’s Day!
whit
P S and i didn’t even mention the pressures of Infertility and a Blended Family.