In between feeding and nap schedules, changing diapers or potty training, cleaning a bit here and there, let alone anything else extra you may feel inclined to accomplish during the day, moms have their work cut out for them. We are consolers, dispute-settlers, caregivers, cooks, maids, teachers, household shoppers, bill-payers, etc, etc. (plus those pesky little things called “jobs” many of us have…) From sunrise to sunset, a mom’s job is the ultimate definition of full-time.
Just when it feels like you may get a few minutes to be productive, someone poops or cries or spills or wakes up from a nap. And quite honestly, most days everything does not get done. Some days it seems like very little has been done, actually. Often I look at the clock and wonder how on earth 5:00 got here so quickly and what happened during the hours from waking to supper time (and what I’m going to throw together for a meal, for that matter).
I comfort myself in the fact that my children are generally always fed and clean and (mostly) happy. But seriously, what’s a mom to do? How are we ever supposed to get anything done? In our household, we have a daily “movie time” (judge me if you will…) just so I can get something accomplished.
And before you start getting the wrong idea, I want to make it clear that I absolutely love being a mom. I feel so incredibly blessed that God saw fit to give me two (almost three!) wonderful little souls to care for and raise. They are my purpose and joy in life. I had no idea how empty my life was before they came along. There is never a dull moment and it’s usually quite wonderful.
But then there are those days when it seems like your plate is so full and you’re so tired that you have no idea how things are going to get done and then your sweet little angel looks at you with puppy dog eyes and says “mommy, can we play a game?” Your first instinct is to brush it off and suggest something else for them to do because quite frankly, mommy is just too busy today.
But when you stop to think for a second, a huge wave of mommy guilt hits, sinking you to the bottom of the vast, wide sea. You desperately want to have the time to sit and play with them, but there’s no one else available to complete your insurmountable and growing to-do list.
We feel terrible and we know how important it is to play with our kids. We know they need our constant love and undivided attention. But the pressures of being an adult in this world often weigh us down. We do what we need to, either directly or indirectly for our families, but sometimes we just don’t feel like we are enough.
But moms, we are enough. God has given us our children because He knows that we can handle it. God has faith that you can effectively raise your children in a loving environment, teaching them to love and admonish the Lord. If God has confidence in us, who are we to doubt?
Remember the story of Mary and Martha. Martha invited Jesus into her home and busied herself with serving and cleaning after all those who would come and listen to His teachings, her sister Mary included. Martha soon became frustrated because she didn’t feel like she had any free time to listen to Jesus’ teachings herself, because there was just to much to do. When she asked Jesus to speak with her sister Mary and demand her to help, she didn’t get an answer she expected.
Instead Jesus answered, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42) Wow. Imagine the slap in the face Martha felt. Jesus put things into perspective for her in one sentence.
And when we start to feel bogged down and just too busy to effectively carry out our ministry of raising our children in the Lord, (Proverbs 22:6) God’s word can offer us the same figurative slap in the face. In reality, our daily tasks and chores can wait, but the quality time spent with our children can not. Once the time is gone, we can’t get it back.
So, will you join me today and set aside time to play with your kids? I mean put all electronics away and just play. Read a story, go outside, have a conversation, snuggle, use your imaginations in the wonderful world of make-believe. Let’s not just do it today, but make an effort to be continuously present, always having a clear perspective. I am as bad as the next mom about not feeling adequate, but remember that God thinks we are enough. What else matters?