How Motherhood Can Make Us Holy

Motherhood—whether working full time or staying at home, parenting one child or many—is hard work. You might feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day between preparing meals, changing diapers, doing dishes and laundry, schoolwork, errands, soccer practice, ballet lessons, youth group, and everything in between. How can a busy mom (or dad) find time to grow in holiness when family life can seem all-consuming?

The good news is, you don’t need to finish your to-do list in order to spend time with God and grow in faith. “I think often of Mary in Nazareth and how she was just with Jesus everyday doing ordinary things with him. You know, as a mom, thinking of the fact that she changed his diapers and was cleaning up after him and stuff like that. And that’s the beautiful thing about vocation—in our vocations just sanctifying our day by offering up every single little ordinary thing helps us to grow in holiness and helps us to turn our hearts to God,” said Michele Chronister, Catholic mom and author.

Parenting requires sacrifice in sometimes big, but often-small ways. Children, especially when they are young, do not understand or comprehend the work and sacrifice that goes into parenthood. But through this daily labor of love, we can grow in holiness, especially on the tough days.

Matthew 6:6 says, “And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.” Chronister reflects on this passage often. “And that’s such a good thing for me to hold onto throughout the day is just this reminder that maybe nobody else sees what I’m doing, but God always sees what I’m doing. It’s always something that can … help me grow in holiness and it’s something that I can unite with Jesus’ suffering on the cross which is such a gift,” she said.

If you’re a parent struggling with seemingly menial tasks, remember that your work is vital! “When we look to the lives of the saints, many of them didn’t accomplish outwardly great things—some of them did but many didn’t—but those internal offering up of little sacrifices, those internal turns of the heart toward God are often what led them to holiness.”

Chronister spoke of a recent morning when she woke up earlier than usual, and was thinking about how she could offer that  alone-time to God. “And then I hear this little voice from the other room saying, ‘Mommy, Mommy!’ So I go and scoop her up and she’s up earlier than usual and I’m nursing her and holding her, and all of a sudden I realize—this is my sacrifice. Just offering up the gift of this vocation, this is a sacrifice. This is giving up the gift of my very self, my very body given up for the sake of love. It was this beautiful reminder that God uses these little things in such profound ways.”

Saint Monica, Saint Gianna, Saint Zelie, and Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!

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Lindsey is a wife, mother, and contributing author at Relevant Radio. She holds a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lindsey enjoys writing, baking, and liturgical living with her young family.