Why Motherhood Is a Vocation

Dr. Kathryn Rombs // Genius of the Call


May 27  


A vocation is a calling to an extraordinary life─because it is a way that one makes a positive difference in other people’s lives, it gives purpose and meaning to one’s own.

When young, I imagined that I’d have a vocation in politics, law, medicine, or even the arts. If I were also a wife and mother, those roles would not constitute my vocation. My true vocation would be pulling me up out of the ordinariness of marriage and motherhood and into a life of self-expression, fulfillment, and something that would, hopefully, make the world a better place.

But along the way I have discovered that motherhood can be a fulfilling vocation.

First, I learned that raising happy, thriving children is one of the most powerful ways to impact society for the better. Think of an elected politician who represents the citizens of a district. The politician cannot make these people better people. Rather, the politician is at their mercy. If they get rowdy or even violent about a certain matter, the elected official is beholden to their will, even if she does not think highly of their position. A mother, on the other hand, is in the business of helping her children become well-adapted, thoughtful, reflective, responsible human beings. She raises them in such a way that when they enter the larger matrix of society, they will be leaders of virtuous causes and engage in worthy ways of life. While the politician is often doing “downriver” clean-up, mothers get to contribute to “upriver” prevention. This is a remarkable role that mothers can have, making an impact even if they never receive public recognition for it (which itself is a mark of good character).

Motherhood is also a vocation because of its extraordinary ability to be personally fulfilling. Motherhood can be a path to happiness, that is, a true blossoming of the self. The reason is that humans have a design from which, no matter how hard they try, they cannot break free. This unwavering formula is that humans are made to love and to be loved. They are meant to blossom, not only as a self, but with and through another. One of the greatest examples of the brilliant discovery that love can be that in which the meaning of life consists is by Jewish Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl, as recounted in his monumental work, Man’s Search For Meaning. As a deep, personal bond of love between a husband and a wife is fecund, such a bond of love tends toward generation, specifically the generation of children. Hence, motherhood is a vocation bound up in one of humanity’s most distinguishing activities, one that differentiates humans from all other kinds of beings, namely, interpersonal love.

Motherhood can be that which beckons one out of the ordinary humdrum of an otherwise meaningless life. Motherhood is not only a vocation, it is an extraordinary vocation. It has a higher chance of making a positive impact on any one person, any one community, than do the professional vocations of politicians, lawyers, and artists. While the impact of a professional might seem great at the moment, it can be erased by one election, one new law, one sweeping trend. A mother’s impact has deep roots. It can last through many generations in her family tree. Motherhood can be the opportunity for the most profound personal fulfillment, through the wholehearted love of another human being, enriching not only her and her loved ones but the culture at large. Society needs world-changers. That’s the invitation to which mothers are called.

Interested in learning more?

Motherhood – An Extraordinary Vocation
By Dr. Kathryn Rombs
This book invites women to enter this extraordinary vocation or reengage with it, newly aware of its meaning, beauty, and power. Each chapter focuses on a theme that is essential to every woman’s interior development as she contemplates the role of motherhood in her life.
Proclaim the Genius & Share!
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
Feeling emotionally exhausted?  Depleted?  Isolated?  Anxious?
You are not alone!

Subscribe to get our blog full of spiritual encouragement delivered straight to your inbox. Written by open-to-life Catholic moms.

Get the FREE eBook, “7 Catholic Saints Who Were Moms.”