As Catholic women, regardless of our vocation or state in life, we are all called to motherhood.
Whether we are single, married or a religious, we are still expected to be fruitful and maternal.
Some of us are called to be biological mothers and some of us to be spiritual mothers.
Motherhood is not just limited to biological maternity; there is also spiritual maternity.
Not only was she receptive to biological life in her Fiat, she also became a spiritual mother by nurturing and fostering the development of the early church, and she continues her role as spiritual mother through the years to us all today.
To those who are married, but have never had the chance of adopting or birthing our own children, you are and you can still be a mother.
It is VERY important for you to access and indulge your maternal side.
A woman whose maternal side is suppressed becomes depressed, angry, aggressive and toxic in every way. Just take a look at feminists.
Feminism an ideology which encourages women to focus on themselves and their careers at the expense fo their families and children has resulted in generations of hateful, toxic and very ugly femininity.
There is no further proof of the diabolical influence of feminism than to google search images of feminists or Social Justice warriors..
Any ideology that takes a person away from their God-ordained gender role is demonic and as it takes hold on the person, he/she becomes more hideous every day – the evil within beginning to manifest
Our religious sisters understand their calling to be spiritual mothers.
They live their consecrated life to the fullest through spiritual motherhood. Religious sisters have mothered countless of souls in orphanages, classrooms, shelters and more.
When you look around, you can see lots of people desperate for a mother, for someone to listen, to care, to share motherly advice, love and nurturing. Some people grew up without a mother; some lost their mothers at a young age; some had mothers that were not there, physically or emotionally. Many of them are lost souls, in need of compassion, nurturing, mothering, YOU.
We all have opportunities to be mothers because God brings people into our lives in order for us to fulfil our calling as women to be mothers.
He brings these humans into our lives in several different ways, whether through pregnancy or through the people who interact with us at work, college, in the parish or in our local neighbourhood. The important thing is that we are receptive and open to human life.
You see, motherhood, biological or spiritual, is the very essence and core of femininity. Our very feminine nature is innately life-giving and this is such a beautiful gift.
You will find motherhood to be extremely fulfilling because when you give life to others (biologically or spiritually), you will discover that you receive life in return.
If you are unmarried or childless and you feel empty because you do not have your own child, pour out that love, that natural empathy, that natural maternal urge into volunteer work for the vulnerable (orphanages, hospices or old peoples homes) or perhaps serving in some ministry in your local parish.
You may even feel called to marriage, but while still waiting for your Joseph, pray and ask God to send you spiritual children. You will be surprised at the positive impact being a spiritual mother will have on you when your time comes to be a biological mother.
One of the reasons why feminism can be so toxic is because it views softness, feminine beauty, feminine receptivity, and motherhood as both weaknesses and obstacles to being equal with men.
The Core Traits of Biological or Spiritual Motherhood include:
- Nurturing life, by helping another develop into who God wants them to be,
- Being actively receptive to human life and to the human condition,
- Wanting the best for those under our care,
- Offering guidance and affirmation,
- Having empathy, patience and inherent compassion
- Practising sacrifice and service to others
- Bringing peace, joy and beauty into the lives of others
You will see these core traits in both biological motherhood as well as spiritual motherhood.
My own mother, who was named Mary just like Our Lady, had 6 children, of which I am the youngest. By my early teens, most of my siblings had grown and flown the nest, leaving just me with my mother.
Even though my mother was now past the age of being able to biologically reproduce and she was not actively parenting the majority of her biological children, who were now adults having their own families, my mother still cared for and nurtured her spiritual children.
To the single women in the church at the start of their careers and unable to afford accommodation, my mother would offer them a room in our house until they could find their feet.
To the single men in the church and the church pastor who were on a limited food budget or simply had limited cooking skills due to the absence of female presence, my mother would have them round our house on Sundays and cook up a huge Sunday lunch for them all.
She cared for the poor, fed the hungry, clothed the naked and always had a ready listening ear and an open welcoming door. Our home was always filled with music, laughter, joy and visitors, a lot of them her spiritual children and a lot of them who have remained in contact with me, years later.
My mother had so many spiritual children, that upon her death, hundreds of them attended her funeral and paid their respect.
Perhaps through a combination of genes and the example that my mother set for me, nurturing and receptivity towards others has become second nature to me as I spend a fair amount of my non-working hours in volunteer work, caring for little children as a Brownies and Girls Guide Leader and offering an open heart and listening ear to the many women, youngsters and teens who communicate with me on a variety of issues.
How To Be A Mother, Biological Or Not.
Being unmarried or not having children is no excuse to abdicate your maternal responsibility.
Your responsibility to motherhood/maternity begins from the year you biologically become a women ie when you start menstruating. Yes, I said and you will see below how you can do this, or encourage your daughter.
Here are ways to fulfil your calling to motherhood and even if you are single and discerning marriage, these tips will prepare you immensely for the role of biological motherhood.
- Having a career in childcare or child education: This is a great way to develop maternal and thus feminine energy. However, being a daycare worker is a definite NO-NO! Better alternatives would be working as an elementary or primary school teacher or being a nanny. One of my first jobs was as a nursery teacher and it was incredibly fulfilling.
- Become a nanny: this is a much better option to being a daycare worker as you will have a lower amount of children to take care of and thus their ability to bond with a maternal figure will be strengthened
- Babysitting: Every Catholic girl or young woman should babysit, to be honest. I have been babysitting since my very early teens and when my older siblings started having children, I would babysit for them too. Babysitting is a good way for teenage, pubescent and adolescent girls to prepare for their future vocations. Offer your services in your local parish. I am sure that there will be lots of Catholic families grateful to have a Catholic babysitter.
If you are in college, babysitting can also help prepare you for your vocation. By encouraging your daughter to babysit other people’s children, you nurture her maternal instincts and prepare her for a life as a future mother. Once those hormones kick in, they need to rightfully directed in the appropriate manner otherwise, the urges will be channelled in disordered ways.
- Volunteer work with children: As I got older and started my career and family, I did not have the time to babysit as often as I used to, but I was still very keen to work with children. So I chose to volunteer for an organisation that works with children – the Brownies and Girls Guides. There are other children’s organisations that you can choose to volunteer for, including Scouts, Junior Cadets, and so on. If you are in college, volunteer work with children can also help prepare you for your vocation and you can also do this even if you are already in the workplace. Most volunteer opportunities require a commitment of just one hour per week
- Other Volunteer Work: including volunteer at an old people’s home or orphanage
- Become a Catechist: Contact your parish office and offer to help prepare children for the Sacraments. What a blessing to be able to do this. This role is ideal for students and adult young women.
- Be a GodMother: what a blessing it is to be asked to be a godmother to young Catholic soul going through the Sacraments or an adult going through RCIA. Your role as a Spiritual mother is vital and very important.
- Be A Pro-Life Activist: what a privilege it is to campaign for the unborn. Saving the lives of these precious souls is a true blessing. What throngs of beautiful babies will run to greet us in Heaven as they thank us for our pro-life campaigns.
- Biological children, fostering and adoption: This is only applicable if you are called to marriage, of course, and after taking on the Sacrament of marriage, but I think it is absolutely vital to prepare for this via any of the above.
As you can see there are so many ways to be a mother.
Many of the children that you work with may come from highly dysfunctional families or families where the mother is absent.
You may just be the only beacon of hope, nurturing, care and love that they get to experience.
I really honestly feel that a pre-requisite for entering into marriage or religious life should include past involvement in childcare, be it as a babysitter, a nanny, a volunteer, a catechist, as having a career in the child education and ESPECIALLY as being a GodMother to at least ONE spiritual child.
To wallow in pity because you do not have biological children, when there are several other ways God wants you to use your maternal instincts is not only selfish, but will make you increasingly depressed and bitter, and blocking any blessing of being an actual biological mother.
So, get out of yourself and direct that self-focus on to focus on others – in particular, children.
You are not broken, insignificant or unimportant because you are not a biological mother or because you are still single, while discerning marriage.
May we all follow Mary’s example of active receptivity to human life and the nurturing of souls entrusted to our care.
Mater Amabilis, ora pro nobis
ad Jesum per Mariam