The Nativity Scene: The Neverending Story of Motherhood


URETERP pregnancy, pregnancy, childbirth, maternity. A process that does a lot for a woman. Uncertainty about your body, the world around you, unexpected developments, and the relationship with your baby. Motherhood is a story for all times with contemporary elements. Reflection from Elma Ebbing-Ross, trainer for 9 months in Ureterp.

Motherhood begins with the desire to have children. In the biblical story, this is with Elizabeth, an elderly woman who did not bear children, but then turns out to be pregnant against all odds. Plus, there’s Maria, a young woman who turns out to be unplanned pregnant not even by her fiancé. Two extreme stories about wanting to conceive and getting pregnant.

Nowadays we have contraceptives and IVF, but that doesn’t change the fact that fulfilling the desire to conceive and the journey to pregnancy is very personal. In the past, as a woman, it didn’t (completely) count if you didn’t bring healthy, preferably male children into the world. This was not so long ago and is still true in some cultures today.

How do we view women and girls who become unplanned pregnant? Do we leave it as it is or do we have our judgment ready?

Feeling on another level

Being pregnant, this does something for you. Your body is one big hormonal cocktail, one big shift. Maria visited Elizabeth and stayed with her for three months. Mothers need mothers, they still need. Your emotions are on a different level, which is essential for communicating with your unborn child. And in order to gain confidence in yourself, in the process that takes place in your body. You can’t do it alone. Insecurities and the changes and discomforts that come with them don’t always make it easy to deal with your body. He might express this, that he might be there, feel heard in this, being able to share it even if the other person doesn’t have the solution, it can really be healing. Sometimes it is just what it is.


Then there is the world you live in. There was a lot of social unrest around the birth of Jesus. Is it different now? Even in these times, we are dealing with people fleeing and seeking shelter elsewhere. What kind of world do we live in, how do we see the future of our children? How do we want us to treat each other? Communication is an important term here. During the Corona pandemic, we have seen all over the world how important communication is.

We have more means of communication than ever before. But are we actually more connected to each other? Is there more teamwork? During the Corona pandemic, the term skin hunger has appeared regularly. To truly feel that another person is there for you, taking care of you, loving you, protecting you, appreciating you, or respecting you. By giving a kiss, a hand, a pat on the back, or by cuddling or making love to you.

Physical contact is mentioned in The First Thousand Days as being very important to a child’s development, health, and well-being. It is still not clear to everyone to satisfy the need to be together, literally to be there for each other. Then there is the MeToo movement. Is there love, approval, sincerity and concern for the other? With what eye do you look into contact, into physical contact? What do you do and how is your relationship with yourself?


Jesus also symbolizes love. Isn’t love the most important factor for communication? The Bible says love your neighbor as yourself. On healthcare: Take good care of yourself, then you can also take good care of others. Buddha: You yourself, like everyone else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. From love, we want to allow our children to grow, receive, surround them and allow them to grow in a loving environment. Can we set a good example in this?

The birth of a child is a natural process. Confidence, peace and security, knowing that it can be difficult, that it is accompanied by uncertainty, it is all part of it. Mary must not think of giving birth in a stable. Talk, because you are a pregnant woman, do you know the place of birth? It can happen unexpectedly at home. Or it may happen that the hospital you prefer does not have enough space or staff, so that you have to transfer.


We try to contain uncertainty through research and measurements. But does this really provide more security? Do we still want to join the natural rhythm of contractions, life with its ups and downs? Or should we not suffer a “downturn”? Has life become so “tunable” that it’s hard for us to handle it? Isn’t it true that after downswings, the hardships are more pleasant?

During the postpartum period, the mother is allowed to recover and the baby to grow. We must take care of the needs of the child, as well as the needs of the mother. May we surround them with love, care and attention. May we be there, connected to each other by love. And not just during pregnancy but forever. Because maternity has no end date.

In the Christmas supplement from Sa! The elements of the nativity scene have inspired the editors to write a number of articles. This article is about Mary and the child.

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