As the dust of Mother’s day settles I keep thinking that the real kill joy of being a mom is that you constantly feel under appreciated. It can be so easy to believe that there will be a time when you might feel the real enormity of your job as a mom. I really think the true tyrant of motherhood isn’t the time, intensity, or exhaustion, it’s the belief that it could all somehow seem as important as it really is. However, the truly important things can never accurately be measured, just like happiness and joy have no gauge, life change is accomplished one day at a time, one choice at a time. Rinse and repeat that is the rhythm of motherhood and it begins anew each morning.
The trap has been set and the bait is the belief that you could feel as valuable as you really are. Your husband will never show quite enough gratitude even if he does everything you hoped he would. Your friends with or without kids can only really experience their own journey and society will never pay enough tribute to make you feel known.
Is it perhaps because our real reward for these sweet sacrifices are waiting on the other end of earth? Our gift is being grown in the lives of children and in the lives of the children our children will encounter. Could it be that what God wants you to see in the whole of this journey that greatest reward may not come for quite a while. There will be so many selfless acts we do every day to show love to people who may never say an unprompted thank you. The best thing we can do is make our peace with that now.
Isn’t that what Jesus did for us? Didn’t he sacrificially lay down his life to prove his love to a people who always had the option to say no? Didn’t God cross barriers by serving that mere words could never breach? Didn’t Jesus change lives by the fact that he considered the ones he loved as more important than himself. And he asks us to do the same. (Galatians 5:13)
Don’t buy into the rhetoric that to be a mother somehow has you in a position to experience less of life. Maybe more exhausted but you are not without help. Slightly more isolated but never alone. Let’s believe instead that God gave us this life and these people to love so we could experience a better understanding of love, patience, and service. Ben spent most of this weekend making me feel so loved and special but Monday came and the kids fights ensued and tantrums were thrown and sleep was cut short. Rinse and repeat, I thought. New day, same lessons.
Will the hard work ever pay off? I’d like to think so, there’s always a kid with a story of a mom who changed the course of their life. We are not victims, we are fighters on the front line of life change, waking up each day and getting people fed and dressed and teaching them just how the world works. You are appreciated, seen, understood, and valued even when those words feel like the farthest thing from the truth. So if the mother’s day passed and you felt slightly deflated remember there is a God who sees all you do, every nose wipe, every long talk, every sleepless night, and every battle you feel you have lost. He sees, he knows, and he will give you the strength to keep going.
For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.