March 23, 2012

Every Mother's Dilemma

Note/Revision (March 31, 2012): If you want to read a funny, insightful perspective from another mother on the trials and tribulations of motherhood, check out the Momastery blog.  I especially enjoyed this post.

As a stay-at-home mom, sometimes my days seem to overlap, sloshing together like waves crashing on the shore so that I can’t distinguish one day from the next.  Changing poopy diapers and sweeping toddler-tossed food from the kitchen floor can seem like a futile existence, mainly because these mundane parenting tasks never seem to end and no one ever gives you a pat on the back or says “Good job!” for doing the most important job in the world.

When faced with the crucial dilemma of whether or not I wanted to quit my job and stay at home full time, I was forced to come to terms with one of the greatest lessons I've learned: Life is a series of choices that involves deciding what is most important and ordering one's priorities accordingly.  I could decide that I’ve had enough of the “stay-at-home mom” lifestyle and get a job that gets me out of the house.  But then, I’d miss out on the peals of uncontrollable giggles when I tickle my baby girl and the excitement of witnessing her learning a new word.  Maybe these wouldn’t be the particular things I might miss out on, but something would be lost for sure.  The lie that a woman can “be it all, do it all, and have it all” is deceptively attractive, but ultimately impossible.  Why?  Because we are human beings with limitations and time constraints.  There are only 24 hours in a day!  Stress, fatigue, and insanity will eventually set in when the pressure to be superwoman begins to overwhelm.

So, what is it that I really want?  I want the gift of time with my children, unencumbered by the pressures of an outside job.  I want to treasure this brief season because it will surely be over in the blink of an eye in the grand arch of life’s journey.

But what do I do on those days when I feel emotionally and physically spent with not an ounce of patience or attention left to give my children?  I will call out to my heavenly Father who loves me perfectly and gives strength to the weary.  I will pray for the Spirit of God the Father to love my children through me.  To keep going when I feel like giving up.  To serve cheerfully when I feel like complaining.  To listen when I feel like ignoring.  To hug and kiss and show affection when I feel empty.  This is my high calling today.  This is the high calling of mothers everywhere; especially those who have surrendered their lives to the Father who gave the life of His only Son for their sake. 

So to all the mothers who make daily personal sacrifices for the sake of their children: for the mothers who work hard at an outside job because they are the sole providers for their families, for the ones who have found the energy and discipline to work while at home or work part-time and juggle so many things, and for the ones who have decided to stay at home, I thank you for fulfilling the noble call to motherhood.  Let's support and pray for each other!

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