In anticipation of our country’s 240th birthday, I immersed myself in 1776 this week. I am working my way through David McCullough’s book, 1776, as well as the PBS series Liberty! The American Revolution. The events leading up to Continental Congress’ vote to declare independence from Britain are a mixture of intentional pursuit and seemingly haphazard events. Before the first shot rang out at Bunker Hill, the battle for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness was initiated by many brave men.
We know them well; George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Patrick Henry to name a few. Their character traits made them well-suited for the job of leading the country during our years of infancy. These were men of courage, bravery, and integrity. They were willing to place their life and their freedom on the line for the cause of democracy.
While we are centuries removed from our Founding Fathers, the qualities I read about are some of the same qualities I see in the moms around me. As we celebrate our American heritage with ribs and fireworks, take a look around at the great mother-leaders who are raising their young. These mothers, like the Founding Fathers, show “phenomenal courage and bedrock devotion” (David McCullough).
Mothers function beyond their experience.
The separation from England was the first of it’s kind. Most of the Colonial leaders were in their thirties and forties and were new to government. Yet they built a democratic government, the first of its kind. We are ill-prepared for the challenges of motherhood. Each new battle or difficulty we experience is unchartered water. We run headlong into the challenge, doing what it takes to make this motherhood thing work.
Mothers fight valiantly with little to no sleep.
In McCullough’s stories of the battles between the Rebels and the Red Coats, the soldiers almost always start with no sleep, no food, and dirty clothes. And all the mama’s say, “me, too!”* A mother knows what it’s like to enter into a day’s battle with no sleep, half a cup of coffee, and the yoga pants from two days ago. But we battle on and hope for a shower and a hot meal…eventually.
Mothers know when a strategic retreat is necessary.
The Revolutionaries were outnumbered and often outmaneuvered. Strategic retreats were necessary for survival. We mamas need to retreat sometimes, too. When fatigue and emotions start to win the battle, it’s essential that we retreat. A mommy time out, a trip to the coffee house, even a girls’ only weekend at the beach can be just the thing we need to face the next battle with courage and stamina.
Mothers will accept difficulty today to ensure a better tomorrow.
Americans made great sacrifices in the years leading up to our independence from England. A boycott of British goods meant no new clothes and limited food supplies. Of course, the soldiers endured harsh winters and limited rations. All of these sacrifices were necessary in order for democracy to survive. Our hopes and dreams for our children keep us going during the difficult years of parenting. The sleepless nights, the hours spent at the stove, the battles over screens—all of our sacrifices are worth it.
Mothers keep God at the center of it all.
In the collected writings of our Founding Fathers, most indicate an unshakable and intense faith in God. It is this faith that holds them through the rocket’s red glare and bombs bursting in air. Mama, there is no better foundation for us than God our Father. Keeping Him at the center of it all helps us endure hardship, find wisdom, and increase our faith when we doubt. In the words of George Washington, “It is impossible to rightly govern without God and the Bible.”
Mama, you are a great leader! You’ve got what it takes to lead your
troops kids to victory and help them achieve their independence. Stand strong and fight on!
#FridayFive Link Up
Who are your favorite leaders? How do we grow leaders? What are your favorite books for leaders? Goodness knows we need some good leaders in our life (Hello? Presidential candidates?). Share your thoughts in the comments or link up your leadership blog post using the button below.
Bookworms unite next week. Come back and share some good reads with us!
*I do not mean to belittle the tremendous sacrifice of the revolutionary soldiers. What we face as mothers on a daily basis, while sometimes difficult, doesn’t compare to the harsh conditions these soldiers endured in the name of freedom.
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