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The Jekyll and Hyde Nature of Motherhood

In her sermon "The Jekyll and Hyde of Motherhood," Nancy Ortberg talks about how motherhood brings out the best (the Jekyll character in the famous book) and the worst (the Hyde character) in most women. Nancy says:

When I became a mother, I found a Jekyll inside of me. For the first time there was a person in my life whom I loved more than I loved myself. I was doing unselfish things because I wanted to. I was becoming a patient and kind, calm, reasonable, generous, thoughtful, loving person. I thought, This is a good thing, this person who is emerging. I loved being a mom.
But then there is another person who comes out sometimes when I am a mom, a person I don't know, and I want to say, "Who is she? How can I make her go away?" At one time I had a three-year-old, a two-year-old, and an infant. I awoke to the fussy baby. He clung to me like a baby monkey hangs onto its mother and would not let me put him down.
While Johnny was clinging to me, my toddler was unwinding the toilet paper and making designs in every room of the house. She also took all of the books off the shelves and started tearing pages out of them. While this was going on, my three-year-old was begging me to play Candyland. I hate Candyland. There was a mound of dirty laundry threatening to suffocate me. There was no food in the house, and I had to go to the grocery store.
At the grocery store, I had a baby clinging to me, a toddler in the grocery cart, my other one running up and down the aisles; and the grocery cart was so full I had to kick the pad of diapers down the aisle. In the toilet paper section, I fought to hold back the tears as I thought, What am I doing with my life? Look at me.
Back at home, I unloaded the groceries, fixing lunch while the ice cream melted. Then I took the kids to the park before rest time. A park with three children is not fun. I kept counting, One two three. I came with three; I've got to leave with three. By the time I got home I hated myself. I hated my children. I put them in their rooms and shut the doors. Of course, none of them slept. And I went into the garage, and I cried. I just thought I was going to lose my mind.
I felt like I was becoming an impatient, frazzled, rude, angry, frustrated mom; and I was splitting into two people. Not all moms are like that. I know moms who are patient and kind toward their children almost all of the time. I admire them. I don't like them, but I admire them. That is not me.
But just when you think you've got God figured out, he goes outside the lines; he meets you in a hundred different ways. And he does something amazing by telling you that he loves you even with that Hyde creature living inside of you. God is interested in redeeming that creature and changing it. If you're honest, you can say that Hyde lives in you. I know Hyde lives in me. But the good news is that Jekyll lives there, too. And I celebrate that person who is like God.

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