Monday, June 07, 2010

JUST a mom

Have you heard that before? Have you been guilty of saying that before? I have. I catch myself saying it every once in a while. "What do you do?" "Oh, I'm just a mom."
Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we reduce our multi-faceted, multi-talented, multi-tasking skills to 'just' one thing, said as though it were something less than what everyone else does? I'm sure you've heard this definition of a mom before: I am a cook, a cleaner, a baker, a nurse, a referee, a teacher, a nutritionist, a manager, a bookkeeper, a chauffeur, a financier, a hair-stylist, a wardrobe consultant, a gardener, an event planner & coordinator... the list goes on :)

Being a full-time Mom, I think we really need to appreciate our own worth, because when you say full-time, that doesn't mean 40hrs a week, like other job descriptions. Full-time, in motherhood terms means 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE! Not to make it sound like a life sentence, because the physical responsibilities of a mother change and become less as time moves forward, so that you can also take on other roles in society if you wish. A mother never stops being a mother! How many times has the thought crossed my mind that I wish I worked out of the home, because that would be so much easier! Easier to 'do your job' and leave your job at work when you are done. As a mother, the job is never done.

In the everyday life of a mom with young kids, situations can overwhelm - time seems to stand still (when the kids are whining and it's not bedtime yet!). I want to remind all you mothers out there that you are doing the hardest, most rewarding, least acknowledged, most important job there is to do - and not everyone chooses to, but you did. Do you want to impact this world? Do something that will impact people's lives forever? You are, and it starts with how you raise you children. On those days when I feel like I'm not 'doing anything important' with my life, I wonder about the plans that God has for my children, where He will lead them, what kind of impact they will have on others. This helps me realize that the here and now may not reward my efforts, but the future is full of endless possibilities! For we, mothers, are raising the future generations! I found some great quotes to leave you with today:

"Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love." -Mildred B. Vermont

"The phrase 'working mother' is redundant." -Jane Sellman

"I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life." -Abraham Lincoln

"Women's Liberation is just a lot of foolishness. It's the men who are discriminated against. They can't bear children. And no one's likely to do anything about that." -Golda Meir

"The formative period for building character for eternity is in the nursery. The mother is queen of that realm and sways a scepter more potent than that of kings or priests." -Author Unknown

"Any mother could preform the jobs of several air traffic controllers with ease." -Lisa Alther

This post was meant to encourage you Mom's out there! So next time someone asks you what you do, or you fill in the blank for occupation, proudly write: Domestic Engineer!


Stam House said...

What a great and encouraging post! I too have said this sometimes without thinking! But really we have a great charge to raise our children is nothing to out under the "just doing my job"categories!

It's a blessing, a privilege and yes a hard job!!!
Thanks for sharing this with us!!


Ellen said...

Thanks Renee, I think it happens all too often that we get caught up in the everyday and we forget what an important role we have!

Jen at Soulfull Cafe said...

The question that I seem to always have a hard time answering is: "so, what did you do today?"
ummmm. "What did I do?"
Want am I doing?
I think I tend to say "I am just a mom", because it doesn't appear to be as productive a job as other occupations. We often can't tidy up our desk at the end of the day and hand in our assignment. We don't look back on a clear newly paved road. We often are in the middle of a mess, wondering what to make for supper, while questioning whether our child is being intellectually stimulated, while cleaning up messes, while trying to feel like being a stay-home mom IS the best for your child.
It's a struggle.
Thanks for your post. It really encouraged me today. Bless you.

Ellen said...

Thanks Jen, I totally know what you mean! I have found myself saying, 'Oh I didn't really do much today, just the usual: got kids dressed, through the bathroom, fed them, made sure they were entertained/stimulated/etc. did the laundry, (although didn't get it folded), cleaned up a few times, went grocery shopping, made lunch, got them to nap, etc - and then realize, wow that's a lot or that takes up a lot of time. I think we become used to the 'everyday' things that it doesn't seem like we can say that we did anything productive - but in reality we did a lot of things. I mean, it's not like we didn't do anything all day, it just might look like it when you see the state of my house ;) It can be a struggle, I struggle with not feeling like I've 'done' anything for God in particular. So I have been trying to serve God when I serve my kids, when I cook for them, when I clean for them, but to me it still doesn't seem good enough (although I know it is). I also struggle with feeling like I've given up my dreams, like I can't do what I would love to do because I am home with my kids. I've decided to try and look at this time period as a preparation time, I will not be at home with my kids forever (as they will be going to school once they are of age). So right now I have to time to search out the direction that I feel God leading me for when the time comes that I have opportunity (like continuing my education). I can dream and plan and save money for when the time comes that I can move forward in that area of my life. Not that I am wishing away this time with my kids (because I know it is fleeting!) but realizing that this is a stage of my life, with many more to come!