Welcome to Mom Motivation Mondays where weekly contributing writers share their motherhood experiences to encourage you to find the joy in being a mom.

{This week: Post by Jaimi}

Motherhood is more than the act of being a mom, the birth of a child, yes, it is a shared experience that involves many more lives than our own.

Your family sees you at your best, your worst, your beautiful moments and the ones that you wish you could do over again. They see you in your pajamas with bed head, in your fancy dress before a night out, and even in your birthday suit when you just want 5 minutes in the shower alone,…but that is just too much to ask.

Your family is what is built when you step into motherhood. It is not just about you. The shared experience of motherhood that grows from this one leap of faith to become a mom, are the most important ones you will ever have in your life.

Whether you take motherhood seriously and want it to change you into a better version of you than you could have imagined, or you wish it would hurry up so you can get back to being the version of you you enjoyed before you ever dreamed of children, motherhood will stay with you forever.

You know what blows me away? My kids tell me I am beautiful more than anyone else in my life. Specifically my oldest daughter. She will rub my back gently and say, you are a good mom, or you look pretty, just out of the blue.

After the initial shock that after the 20 minute tantrum she shared earlier that day, she still loved me enough to say something so unbelievably kind, it dawned on me that my experience of motherhood is not just about me. Of course it is not.

It is about the life I share with my children and husband, it is about the role I play in the lives of moms who are struggling to seek joy, it is the chance I take on sharing my story with another in case they feel the same. It is the risk we take in sharing our heart about how we parent only to lose a friend because they cannot accept our parenting choice. (Yes, this happens.)

When we set all of this aside. When we block out the stressors of being a mom, the moments that make us question everything about ourselves from life philosophy to meal choices to discipline strategy, we have this beautiful collection of moments that show us what we are made of.

The Experience of Motherhood

The moments when you want to be left alone, but your children want to show you love and soak up your presence anyway.

The moments when you want to move in one direction with the plan of the day, but every single challenge that could develop does to completely derail what you thought was a train you were driving.

Silly mom, your life is not in your control.

It is the philosophy of our world today to teach moms that we alone are in control-of our lives, of our families and of ourselves. While I think we can make choices that affect all of those things, I do not think for one minute that there is any choice I could have made to prevent my child’s temper tantrum. There is no choice I can make that will inspire my children to love green vegetables. There is not a choice I can make to make my parenting strategy feel easy any-let alone all-of the time.

This is a chapter of my life that will show not only what I am capable of but will fill my soul with the nourishment I need to live out the rest of my life in peace.

These shared experiences that are never perfect or even lovely all of the time, but are tinged with frustration and struggle and deep breathing exercises…

These moments that I share with my children…

These moments of precious soul food involve the people who challenge me the most and will fill up my soul with the food I need to give back as I grow old.

Because this shared experience of motherhood plants seeds of love.

The more time I take to cultivate the seeds of love I plant in my children’s hearts, the more I reap as I see them grow.

When my five year old gently strokes my back in such an unbelievably tender way, it moves me. It moves me past the moments of children screaming that make my nerves rattle. It moves me past the tired moments of sleep deprivation. It moves me past the lessons I try to teach my children to help lessen their weaknesses.

Only then do I arrive at a place of peace that only God can guide me to experience. A location of peace saved for those who seek joy, who sacrifice for love, who dedicate their life to growing and cultivating love in the hearts and lives of others.

Those shared experiences that start in motherhood, sustain me through every day. The small, tiny moments that could go unnoticed do not. They can’t, because it is the reward for hard work. It is what God hands out to the weary mamas who just want a pat on the back from someone.

Often it comes from our children, because they are the ones who see us in the real moments. They see us as beautiful and strong and good. The no makeup days to the days when we actually blow dry our hair and wear a bit of mascara. Because we are here and living for how God needs us to care for them.

Motherhood-the act of being a mom-is not just about us, the moms. It is not a role we can accept without the accompaniment of a whole array of others’ lives included. Motherhood is not just about having kids. It is the time in your life that you show exactly what you are made of whether you like it or not.

The shared experience of motherhood is about us, about our children, about our husbands, and about God. He guides this train. He has set the compass to take us to peace and joy. My soul is content.

Motherhood is more than the act of being a mom, the birth of a child, yes, it is a shared experience that involves many more lives than our own.

A weekly series of motivation for moms brought to you by stay at home mom bloggers at The Stay-at-Home Mom Survival Guide.