Mamaship: Surviving Motherhood

It’s 3 degrees out and my best friend’s car pulls up to my snowy sidewalk. There he waits for the bus everyday without freezing his face off. And I survive motherhood a little better because I don’t have to wake up my two slumbering littles. It may seem like a small insignificant act of kindness, but it’s one of my favorite acts of Mamaship.

We need to create a new word to reflect the friends we find during young motherhood. It’s not simply friendship. It goes deeper. It’s that friend who loves your kids like her own. It’s a friendship that helps you survive motherhood. It’s mamaship.

Mothering littles tested my sanity, my faith, and my ability to put one foot in front of the other.

Mamaship has been one of the biggest blessings in my life the last three years. During that time I went from having one toddler to having three. Mothering littles tested my sanity, my faith, and my ability to put one foot in front of the other. It sanctifies the heart in countless ways, but for me motherhood erased pride and showed me how to humbly accept help.

I didn’t always have mamaship. But we moved to this new neighborhood when I needed it most. I had quit my job, didn’t have work friends anymore, my family was all over the map, and my sportswriter husband worked all week and then covered games on the weekend. And I was a little afraid to let people into my chaos because I feared they would see I wasn’t a great mother or homemaker.

So my choice was to be alone in motherhood, or to let a few people in to see that I didn’t have it all together hoping they wouldn’t judge me. I decided to take a chance.

I would take walks around the neighborhood and talk to any mom outside on a sunny day. And slowly over cups of tea, afternoon snacks, halloween dinners, and morning winter playdates, God blessed me with more mamaship than I had ever thought possible.

God blessed me with more mamaship than I had ever thought possible.

Together we have shared in each other’s losses, been ears to motherhood insecurities, cheerleaders for new dreams, and second pairs of hands when life is crazy.

It reminds me of Pauls words to the Philippians. “I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles” (Philippians 4:13-14 emphasis mine).

Young moms, the best thing you can do for yourself is find other moms in your season who can share in your troubles and share in your delights. It takes vulnerability and a sprinkle of divine help, but I pray that you find mamaship.

Motherhood is a team sport and we need others to love our kids when our tank is empty. And on cold winter days when influenza is getting the best of you… you will thank God for mamaship as your bestie picks up your kid and takes him to the bus stop.

**Who are your mamaship friends? You know, the ones who just make motherhood better? Share this with them today thanking them for the strength– and coffee — they have loaned you.

Published by andreachatelain

I am a follower of Christ Jesus. Also, a wife to Dirk Chatelain and mother of three balls of energy; Luke is 5, Natalie 2, and Calvin 7 months. I currently work part-time as an English as a Second Language teacher at a local community college. In 2006, I graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in Journalism and Broadcasting, then went back for a Masters in Educations focusing on Secondary Language Acquisition for ESL and Spanish. (Can you tell I love words??) I am a pretty free spirit and love to listen to others' life stories. I learn so much from others and am inspired by their endurance. Other than spending my days with family, friends, and neighbors…I am finding a passion for gardening and cooking. There is something cathartic about watching God's creation grow from a tiny seed, and then, well, eating it. So far the bugs are staying away, but I will keep you posted.

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