For Kirsten Watson, wife of NFL champion Benjamin Watson, Mother’s Day is a bittersweet holiday.
Together, Ben and Kirsten Watson have seven children, ages 11, 10, 8, 7, 4, and 1-year-old twins: “They’re our greatest blessings,” she told The Christian Post.
But in 2018, Watson experienced what she remembers as “an incredibly isolating and painful time.”
In the span of just four months, she had two miscarriages.
“Even as a mother with seven kids, I still cry on Mother’s Day because there are two that I will never meet on this side of Heaven,” she said. “For so many women, Mother's Day can be a time of sorrow, anger, and maybe even jealousy. This day is hard for many women. Reach out to someone who has experienced loss; the feeling of not being alone can help get us through a hard time. While we're rejoicing in motherhood, we're also mournful for those who desire to be mothers and can't for whatever reason."
Oftentimes, women who struggle with infertility or have experienced a miscarriage “don’t talk about it because we don’t know what to say, and when we do talk about it, we’re afraid of crying; we don’t want the extra attention,” Watson said, adding: “I didn’t know how to reach out and talk about it. I was so angry.”
“Those two miscarriages marked a very lonely time for both me and Benjamin,” she said. “Yet I knew that God is good, even though my miscarriages, and that was something I held onto during those days.”
Watson encourages other women who are struggling this Mother’s Day to “dwell on what God has blessed you with, choose joy in those moments, and wait on the Lord.”
“Get into the Word and understand that God sees you as His daughter, and He knows the desires of your heart,” she said. “Our prayer is not that we get what we want, but that our desires match up with God's desires for our life. Maybe it’s a time of waiting, that we could be gracious in that and choose joy in that.
“Recognize your feelings are real, and it’s OK to grieve,” Watson added. “Talk to someone. There’s power in the sisterhood and brotherhood of believers. People can pray for you and encourage you and remind you of truth. The Body of Christ is called to rejoice with one another, and also mourn with one another.”
As a homeschooling mother, Watson said she’s discovered the importance of taking just a few moments every day immersing herself in the Word of God. The more she’s connected to her Heavenly Father, she said, the more she's able to extend forgiveness, compassion, and kindness to her children — and combat the feelings of guilt and inadequacy she, like so many women, can sometimes face.
“How my kids view Jesus can be a reflection of their relationship with their earthly parents,” Watson said. “If I tell them, ‘God loves you regardless of what happened, and you can always come to Him and He forgives you for the things that you do wrong,’ but then I hold a grudge, then I'm not doing what I'm called to do as a Christian mother. I’m called to be a representative of Christ, to show, to the best of my ability, the love and grace that God gives to all of us.”
“The more that I understand that and I can see myself in the right light and how much I daily need God's forgiveness, the better I'm able to mother my children and keep the important things first: their character, how they treat each other, how they see themselves. All of that is derived out of where I am in my own walk with the Lord,” she stressed.
Life with seven children can be hectic, Watson admitted, and sometimes, spending time with the Lord can look like “singing songs in the car or memorizing Scripture with my kids, or watching "VeggieTales," asking God to speak to me,” she said.
“When you have children, sometimes your quiet time looks different than it did before children," she added with a laugh. “When you’re in the thick of things, just trying to survive, remember that God knows what you need even when you don’t. Draw close Him. Take a breath, and realize that some things that you think are a priority are really not."
Married for 15 years, Ben and Kirsten Watson are prominent voices in the pro-life community. In addition to speaking at the 2017 March for Life, Ben is producing a documentary on the topic of abortion called "Divided Hearts of America."
For the mothers who are struggling with deciding whether to keep their baby or have an abortion, Kirsten Watson offered the reminder that God chose them, specifically, to bring a child into the world.
“I can't speak into everyone's situation in terms of how and why they are pregnant, and I don’t want to, in any way, dismiss anyone’s current situation,” she stressed. “But what I would encourage any pregnant woman to remember is that God knew about this baby before they did. And because of that, there's a plan for this baby. He picked and chose you, mom, to be the one to bring this baby into the world.”
Watson also encouraged women to view an ultrasound of their unborn baby and hear the heartbeat before making a decision: “It connects you in a different way,” she said. “It’s a huge acknowledgment of what God thinks of you, that He would allow your body to be the one to bring this light into the world. He knew from the very, very beginning. You are chosen, you are special, you are unique, and you are important.”
As parents, Watson said she and her husband have one prayer for their children: That they know and love Jesus, walk in righteousness, and remain obedient to whatever God calls them to do.
“A lot of times we talk about what everyone else is doing, but we’re only responsible for what God is telling us to do with our children,” she said. “I would encourage other parents to be obedient to the calling God has specifically given you, even if it doesn’t look like anything everyone else is doing. There’s no greater gift we can give to our children.”