Preparing for motherhood was not one of the things I had in mind when applying to Maggie’s Place. Of course I knew there would be babies to be held, diapers to be changed, and crying to be soothed, but what I didn’t expect was the motherly dynamic of loving the mothers of these babies. Sure, I knew that I was going to be helping these mothers, that’s why I joined Maggie’s Place, but what I didn’t expect was the training in motherhood that I would receive while helping them.
All of the moms who come to Maggie’s Place are looking for a safe place to live so that they can get back on their feet and be able to support the new life within them. What many of the moms are not expecting is that there will be someone who truly loves them and helps them along during this time as if that person was their own mother. The love and the help that is offered to the moms may not always be seen or appreciated in every instance by them, but then neither is every plate cleaned, tear wiped, ride given to school, nor baby calmed seen as an act of heroism by a Mission Corps member. It is always the little things which make the foundation for the grand things, but because they are small they are easily overlooked.
I feel that these small acts of heroism are the ways in which we Mission Corps are being prepared for motherhood. All of the little everyday tasks that we take on are reflective of the duties of a loving mother in taking care of her children. Here at Maggie’s Place we serve the moms by taking them to doctor’s appointments or job fairs. When a knock comes at our bedroom door in the middle of the night, we are up and ready to get a mom to the hospital because she has gone in to labor. These planned events and these “duty of the moment” events greatly mimic the job of a mother.
In a more important way, however, the Mission Corps serve as mothers in how we offer structure and emotional support to the Maggie’s Place moms. We pray for them in our community prayers, we hold them when their hearts are breaking, we encourage them in their perseverance, and we rejoice with them in their times of success. Each mom at Maggie’s Place is different and has her own personal struggles, but we Mission Corps serve each individual mom while in a community setting just as a mother serves every one of her children in a family.
Here at Maggie’s Place, we Mission Corps are preparing for motherhood in a very real and spiritual way. I never realized just how sacrificial a mother’s love was, but now that I am acting as a spiritual mother to our Maggie’s Place moms, I have tasted the joys and pains of being a mother. In loving the moms even when they have broken a rule, in taking them to the grocery store and shopping with them, in holding their baby because the mom hasn’t gotten enough sleep the past couple nights, in all these things we are being prepared for motherhood. The other night I was chatting with a couple of our moms at the Michael House, and I told them, “We (Mission Corps) are moms to you so that you can be moms to your babies.” Motherhood is such an important but difficult job and so many mothers need support but are struggling because they do not have it. Maggie’s Place provides moms with this support so that they can be good mothers, but it also provides those of us who serve with a preparation for motherhood that we were not anticipating.
By Therese Fetsko, MissionCorps Member at the Michael House