Note to Moms: The Most Difficult Lesson

by Gail Armatys, M.S. 

Life Purpose Coach/Facilitator

HeartSong Life Purpose Coaching Center


My silverware drawer is full again.

No, our home was not broken into, and my 30-year old silverware wasn’t stolen and returned. No, not that.

My last child has grown up in the blink of an eye and has moved on. The result? No shortage of spoons and forks before the dishwasher is run. We have now entered a time of plenty in the silverware department.

Oh, this exodus was expected. We prepared for it. Physically, mentally, spiritually seeking wisdom and strength so often it could be considered a chant.

‘Help me!

These kids are driving me crazy!

Will school ever start?

Help me!

As she is preparing to walk out the door

There goes a piece of my heart.’

As mothers, we hoped this day would come sooner, or we prayed it would come later. Perhaps a little bit of both, off and on.

Our son was ready. I thought I was, too. It’s not that the leaving of my older children wasn’t tender as well. It’s that this one is my l,l,l,l,l,last.

Of course, we (my husband and I) are now lovingly referred to as “empty nesters”. WooHoo! Really? While extra time with my best friend and husband (who is the same person, incidentally) is something I desire, the word “empty” has a very hollow ring to it. When my heart is so full of thanks, praise, and hope (mixed in with a little motherly guilt and sense of loss), and the house so full of memories – how can it be empty?

I remember and cherish kids chasing each other and their friends, cats, dogs, – loving one another, playing, fighting, making up games and rules, and laughing. Good times  – mostly. And I humbly acknowledge that although we have been dubbed ‘the parents’ we may have, in fact, learned from them as much or more than they learned from us. (Don’t tell them.)

As I think about Momhood (made it up) and the beauty of the calling, my mind turns to Mary, mother of Jesus. First, I think of her obedience when the Angel of the Lord told her that she would bear the ‘Son of the Most High’. Without argument, she said, ‘I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.’  Wow! And I’ve been known to grumble over – well, too many things that don’t matter.

Unfortunately, Mary and I may differ in the area of immediate obedience. But without a doubt, like Mary, I was called to be a mom. If you are a mom, God planned for this. Even more, He intended that we be the moms of the make and model of our specific children. (The nut doesn’t fall far from the tree? Maybe.)

More about Mary… after the birth of Jesus, Mary listened to the story the shepherds told about the angel of the Lord appearing to them and sharing the good news of baby Jesus. ‘All who heard were amazed…But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.’ Luke 2:18-19

That’s it! This is what we, as mothers, do. As our children take the next step all the way through to taking flight, we treasure and ponder their lifetime of moments in our hearts. Admittedly, some are more treasure-worthy than others. And many of their moments last way too long and keep us on our knees. But now, or in time, we hold them dear. They are special. They belong to our hearts and we, like Mary, will contemplate all that it has meant for us to live out the role of  ‘Mom’.

In the end, among the many lessons God has had for me while raising our children (and I know there are more learning opportunities yet to come) the greatest and by far the most difficult one has been that my kids are not mine at all. I can agree in my head and say the words easily. Yet, with more difficulty, I’ve been learning to live it.

Yes. My kids belong to Him: the One Who knows the number of hairs on their heads, Who created their inmost being, Who sees them coming and going, Who knows their motives and hearts’ desire, Who designed them as they are (Ps 139), Who called on us to bear them, hold them, guide them, love them and …let them go.

So what’s my point?  Enjoy your Momhood.  It is meant to be. Cherish the moments, the routine, the fun, the mistakes, the discipline, the growing, and the forgiving. Pray through the trials.  Do not grumble. God sees.  He is cheering you on. You are fulfilling His plan…even after they take flight.  For Momhood never really ends, it just changes with time and with us. This is how it is meant to be.

So give more hugs, more smiles, and more thanks. But don’t buy more silverware. In the blink of an eye, you’ll realize you have plenty.


Oh, Lord. Thank you for calling those of us who are moms to be moms. Thank you that my kids are surviving me. Thank you for the love lessons you taught me through so many experiences. Thank you that what I do each day matters – even the day-in, day-out, ho-hum routines. Please protect and guide each child from the age of little chubby feet to the times when those feet dance, run, drive, and take flight. Help me to humbly continue to serve them, pray for them, and be here for them. For I know that your work in and through me and my Momhood shapes hearts… and the world. In Jesus’ holy and precious name I pray. Amen.

Purpose Steps

  1. Write down the many roles you have in your life. Mother, sister, aunt, grandma, friend, boss, student, employee….you get the idea. Where does the role of ‘mom’ fit on a prioritized list of these roles?
  2. With all the competing demands of your schedule, are there any activities that you can/should eliminate to allow more time for your prioritized roles? If so, consider deleting them.
  3. Give thanks for each child by name – out loud.
  4. Breathe deep. Reflect on and enjoy the special moments of Momhood – before and after they take flight.

Listen to Your HeartSong

Click the Link!

Time Has Gone, M.L. Rivas

For real – Waiting for the bus.  Kindergarten.




Waiting for the bus (posed this time).  Senior.

He actually drove himself to school.

Gail and Hudson_Sr year

It happens that fast.

Live the Song Written on Your Heart.

2 thoughts on “Note to Moms: The Most Difficult Lesson

  1. Just went through this–one more time. My youngest just left for the third time–this time to law school. And my oldest is moving back home for a few months before she gets married. So, even though the silverware drawer is full now–you never know when it might turn up empty again. But even so, looking at an empty room can touch the tender spots and make tears flow. Take heart…cherish the moments and the memories. And remember, life isn’t over. They’re not gone forever. (Even if the empty nest were to sorrowfully come from them going home to heaven.) We will all be together again. Full hearts…full homes. Thank you for a precious post and great tips on how to make the most of what time we have with our children.

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