The posture of motherhood

When I rummage through our photo bins the least photographed is mom. Always. Any mom. She was at the stove, doing laundry, visiting a nursing home, cleaning up our mess and generally staying out of the spotlight.

She is bent over tucking a child in at night or stooped to kiss a forehead.

She is up early to have a few moments of quiet before the house comes alive.

She is standing up teaching Sunday School class.

with a special guest at a church event

with a special guest at a church event

mama (middle) and her sister come for my wedding

mama (middle) and her sister come for my wedding


In the kitchen at my brothers wedding.

In the kitchen at my brothers wedding.

She is driving. Lots and lots of driving. Piano lessons, volleyball games, soccer practice, track meets and field trips. Then she gets back in the car to shop for groceries, school uniforms and doctor visits.

She is bent over her bible, praying, studying.

She is speaking out, an advocate for her children, her family, her God.

At some point you realize the one posture you’ve never seen from your mom is laying down. Ever. This dawns on me only now as I think about my mother. Surely there was time and I simply don’t recall. I have an image of her being wheeled out of the hospital with my baby brother. The only time I recall seeing her not doing something in her own power.

Mama encouraging another with her touch

Mama encouraging another with her touch




At 74 mama’s posture is slowed. She walks most often with a cane. She sits more. Sits in her small efficiency-type room in an assisted living facility. She sits in the common area and watches, smiles. She sits in the dining area laughing and more smiling. She has Alzheimer’s and the word salad that comes with that making it near impossible for her to verbally express her thoughts so another can understand. But she listens. And what could be a better posture than one of listening? She listens to the hymns and scripture and nods her head in assent. This is her posture of worship.

Family says I’m like mama and I am. Not enough in many ways I think. I closely followed her posture of motherhood when the kids were kids even now with them grown I follow her posture of support and encourager.

This posture of worship? I need to work on that.

7 thoughts on “The posture of motherhood

    • Debby says:

      Thank you Mel but I know this is representative of lots of moms today. Like they say, every mother is a working mother. Love you fur mommy xo

      • iamnotshe says:

        Still, you are grand (regardless of your protests). You are one of the great ones! I like to think of myself as the Fur Mama to all animals. (Even if i don’t own one) … i love them all. I’m getting a bit strange.

  1. Katharine Trauger says:

    Happy the mother that can leave an image behind other than lying down. My mom suffered from frequent migraines and we do remember her as lying donw, in great pain, with the blinds closed. My children have a similar image of me, but I did discover that lying down only makes it worse for me. πŸ˜‰

    • Debby says:

      Katharine, one of our employee’s has more memories of his mother being ill than of good days. Still, she taught him much from her bed. True, not every mother was physically able but thankful their heart was able to love. You’re a rarity, it seems, for lying down to make your migraines worse. Wow! Hallelujah anyway, right? πŸ™‚

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