Being a stay at home Mom has many rewards. And depending on the day, just as many downsides. If I were working for another person, no one would ever eye me up and down at the end of my work day and suspiciously question, “So, what did YOU do today?” The times I have been asked such a question is too many to number. And each time the question brings me discomfort . I go back and forth between wanting to defend myself and second guessing my abilities and work ethic. Near the end of a day, when I do get asked this, I shift back and forth in my seat, my mind races to replay the day. “Did I work as hard as I could?” “I did spend a lot of time not doing productive things.” I can understand
why someone might ask me this query. There will be days when dishes are undone, in the sink, on the counters, and often times scattered through the house where the users left them. There will be days when laundry is sitting cold and wrinkled in the dryer, or in a basket piled high to its limit, or often times on the floor of the users rooms. Don’t be mistaken though, just because laundry is on the floor does not mean that the aforementioned clothing is dirty. It could be clean. From where I had folded it and given it to the users to be taken to their rooms and be put away into their dressers or closets, but instead, they put it on top of dressers with good intentions to return later and do the job to its completion. But instead, it gets forgotten, then knocked over, until it resembles the dirty and discarded clothing that sits next to it on the floor. This can only be remedied by a trip from me into their rooms to sniff and examine and sort dirty from clean. There are days when the kitchen table is hidden from view. Hidden by homework discarded. By bill unopened. By junk mail left. By the contents of a purse that was spilled out in a desperate search for a few quarters for snack money. It is a miracle of nature how loose items are magnetically drawn to open flat surfaces. Kitchen counters. Tables. Shelves. I have never seen a science research paper on this phenomenon, but I am willing to bet that there is enough data in my house alone to back up this theory. These are the things that stare me in the face, defying me to answer that I work hard. I am not a non stop cleaning machine. I clean out of necessity.
Because it is required of me. Because we need clothes to wear. Dishes to eat off of. Utensils to eat with. Cleaning does not inspire me. It is not the therapeutic joy that I have heard about. When my acquaintances speak of their chores, you see a smile spread across their faces and they practically glow at the idea of the smell of bleach or the thought of a newly reorganized office. I envy them. Because what inspires me is frivolous to most. And what we do, measures who we are. Like it or not. And not whether or not we do it, but how skilled we are at it. How seamless we balance the many aspects of motherhood. Clean house, pantries full, homework assignments complete, faces scrubbed, outfits matchy
matched and cute, loose and crazy hair tamed, parent teacher conferences attended, the poor marks on the report card fall on our shoulders, the toys that gets tripped on is our fault, the lack luster dinner that no one eats, the fragile emotional well being of our children our ours to maintain, to teach them health and esteem, love and safety, teach them work ethic (that you yourself question if you even have at all), train them in the ways of organization, groom integrity into their character. In so many different ways I fall short. I utterly and completely fail. There are days where I feel lost. Alone. Where I go to bed questioning my abilities. And where I wake up praying I don’t ruin the chance have been given to impact my girls
in a great a wonderful way. There are days when prayers are harder and silence and doubt are easier. The silence is mostly in my heart, not in my world.
Because I am a mom, so my world is full of noise. Electric toys, coughing in the night, groans in the morning, the crash of a broken glass, the all to familiar whine of my children, the radio that seeps out of their room and clashes with the cartoons
on the television, and the occasional bicker the breaks out amongst the ranks.
I take encouragement knowing that this is common territory for Moms like me. And knowing full well the love of my Father in heaven. Who in him and through him, I will always be enough. Who sees me as I am. All my failures. All my shortcomings. My laziness. And loves me the same. Who understands where I am. And is patient with me. Like a good, loving Father. The way he parents me, makes me a better parent to my children. Makes me better in every way.
Ha! Looking back over this blog post, I see it’s a rather solemn post. But, that’s okay.