Today was seemingly insignificant. I didn’t accomplish anything worth talking about; laundry, a few dishes, dance class, dinner. It was a very typical day in the life of a stay-at-home mom.
It’s really easy to feel insignificant and unimportant in the role of motherhood. On the surface, it doesn’t look like you do very much at all. At the end of days where I literally only accomplish keeping the kids fed and alive, I sometimes feel stressed because I wasn’t even able to keep up on housework. This feeling is compounded when my 4 year old actually complains about not going to day care like all of her friends and says things like, “Auntie works all the time, but you never work Mom.”
When you work a 9 to 5 job, it’s easy to find satisfaction. You keep busy all day doing important things and at the end of the day, have finished one or many projects. So you give yourself a mental gold star for doing something of value with your life for that day and are happy about it.
I feel like being a stay-at-home mom is looked down on in our culture. Since the feminist movement to allow women into the work force, it seems that if you are a woman who chooses to stay home instead of work, you are then wasting all the efforts of the women who fought so hard for that right. I feel our culture teaching us that if you don’t work, that you aren’t doing enough with your life.
So even though I don’t believe that anymore, I still allow that thinking to make me insecure.
Am I doing enough?
Am I wasting my life?
I put unrealistic expectations on myself, believing that I have to have the house spic and span all the time, homemade dinners ready at the same time every night, and laundry clean/folded/put away. So when I am unable to keep up on the house or when I can’t manage to get dinner out any earlier than 8 pm or when only half of the laundry is clean and is in an unfolded pile, I feel like I am just not cutting it. I feel like I am not enough.
And I know that some people will look at my life and say, ‘I feel sorry for her. I mean, she raised great kids, but she didn’t really do anything with her life.’
But if at the end, I’ve done my job right (because motherhood is a JOB), my children will rise up and call me blessed. How do I know this? Because the Bible tells me so:
I can’t stop thinking about the deliberate language in this verse: her children rise. Why ‘rise’? Why doesn’t the verse just say, ‘her children call her blessed’? That would send the same message. But it says that they rise. Rise against whom?
Do you want to know what I think?
I think that her children are rising against those who would dare call their mother’s life insignificant. I think that now that they are grown, her children are able to see how much she has done for them. They couldn’t see it when they were young, but they see it now. They know now that they would not have become the people that they are without her. They also see that there are people who do not understand everything that this woman, their mother, is worth.
Another thought–why doesn’t the mother defend herself? If you read the previous verses that describe her, you will see that she is a strong woman. Why does she stay silent?
Maybe because for a moment, she doesn’t fully see the significance in her life either. Perhaps she is just like me, wondering if she did enough.
But her children say she was more than enough. And they rise up for her, at a time when she cannot do it for herself, and call her BLESSED.
It’s so very easy to sweep all the extraordinary that we do as mothers under the rug of mundane. But we mustn’t forget how very important our job is. We are shaping lives. It is the most important job in the world, and yet is the most undervalued one. Personally, I feel that true feminism should embrace all that a woman can be, including a mother. Motherhood is not something to demean; I truly believe it is the highest honor and calling in life. Think about it– God is trusting us to raise tiny humans into extraordinary beings. What an honor!
So if you are reading this on a day where you are thinking, “Seriously, what did I do with my life today?”, I want to say:
I will rise up and call you blessed.
And one day, your children will too.