The new biography on First Lady Barbara Bush is in the news, and it’s a timely moment to remember what Mrs. Bush considered her most important job: motherhood.
Today, Focus on the Family is excited to release a book by Linda Weber called The Eternal Mark of a Mom. In it, she defends the value of motherhood while urging women to embrace the value and power of their role.
In this excerpt, Linda speaks to how Barbara Bush felt about her greatest calling in life:
Over the years, I’ve received many letters from mothers who had gained a new perspective about the worth of being a mom, telling me of a fulfillment they hadn’t thought possible. One doctor wrote me five years after reading the first edition of this book, saying she was so content with the motherhood role that she doubted she would return to medicine. I simply suggest that there are different seasons in life, and you can put creativity to use in each season.
Yes, some women cannot become mothers. Others have lost their children. Some simply have not felt adequate or gifted for the task and have avoided it. I have no criticism to aim at them.
I do take exception, though, to those who bad-mouth and denounce motherhood. How arrogant!
Do they think they were produced by a 3-D copier? Are they really unaware that many of the personal strengths they now flaunt, they owe to their mothers, either through inherited genes or acquired skills at the feet of or thanks to the efforts of their mothers?
Motherhood is not an entry-level service position for mindless, insecure, second-class citizens. It is the noblest of callings. To be entrusted with the very life, health, and well- being of a tiny human person is a great gift and honor. To realize this small child reflects traits and characteristics of you, your spouse, and your families is a mind-shattering and heartrending realization. To invest your time and best efforts into a child and to watch him grow, develop, and excel is to be part of the creative majesty of life itself.
People talk about a bucket list of what they wish to do or accomplish in their lifetimes. For me, the thrust of any bucket list is to make a difference with my life. So, then, I have personal fulfillment in knowing I’ve worked to provide an unmistakable biblical standard—such that creates a joyful, purpose-driven life for the kids God gave me as Mom.
I would guess that Barbara Bush, who cherished her role as a mother, was personally fulfilled. After the former first lady’s death in 2018, her graduation speech to the Wellesley class of 1990 made the news again. This mother of six children, 14 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren shared some wise words with that career-minded audience:
“At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend or a parent. . . . Whatever the era, whatever the times, one thing will never change: Fathers and mothers, if you have children—they must come first.”6
At Bush’s funeral, six of her granddaughters each read a section from Proverbs 31, beginning with the line “Her children rise up and call her happy; her husband too, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’”7
Never let anyone denounce motherhood or dissuade you from experiencing it. May you truly enjoy and feel personally fulfilled by the difference you can make as a mom.