Because sometimes, it isn’t.
I’m right there with you. I understand. I’ve been there. I get it. I’ll probably be there again next week.
I’ll be the first to say, sometimes motherhood isn’t enough. I miss the days of my career. Assigning my value was easier then, I was successful and could point to several things to prove it. I made to-do lists that were actually completed (I can’t even fathom).
Sometimes, the wiping noses, the feedings, the baths, the playtime that never satisfies, the messes and the toys everywhere are just enough to make a person feel certifiably crazy.
Does anyone notice all of this? Why do I do all of this day in and day out? Does anyone even understand just how much I do? Even the most encouraging husband can’t provide enough praise to make it seem like it’s worth it.
And that is KEY to understanding this important fact. No one can ever validate what you’re doing for you. No one will ever tell you all the praises you want to hear to make the work feel worth it.
One day, we hope to have raised children who tell us thank you for the ways we loved them, but will they ever say it enough? Will they thank us for the sleepless nights holding sick babies? Will all the boo-boos kissed magically have been worth it? Will they say enough thank-yous to match the amount of diapers changed? So how can we feel validated in motherhood?
We have to look to the One who has authority in our lives to define its value.
I know that God values motherhood. Even Jesus, in his death, made it a point to be certain His mother would be cared for. The Bible regularly uses the imagery of a mother nursing a baby to portray gentleness and comfort. God likens His own comfort to that of a mother in Isaiah, “as one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you“.
What you’re doing matters, because GOD says it matters. Mothering is a picture of the gospel where life is sustained through sacrifice for the betterment of another. Is this not motherhood? Is this not the gospel? You have to decide in your Spirit that you believe mothering is enough because it points to a reality greater than you and I can imagine; one that really IS enough – the reality of the gospel. Don’t let the world and its lies tell you otherwise. Society wants to paint a certain picture of motherhood, and if you don’t match it – it’s easy to believe you’re failing. DON’T GIVE IN TO THAT LIE.
Mothering is not about arriving at a certain personal place, it’s really about departure – the progressive departure of our own lives as we offer ourselves to our children in the name of Jesus through His love and His power. The departure of our children in the raging ocean of this fallen world when they leave the nest. If marriage is about the gospel then it’s not a far leap to say that parenting is as well.
So maybe, today, motherhood doesn’t feel like enough. Maybe you would really love to be noticed by someone. Maybe you’re ready to sit your kids in front of Daniel Tiger and binge watch your own show because what does it all even matter?
Momma, our Father notices you. He sees the work you’re doing. He values the care you’re providing for His precious souls. Why? How do we know this? Because the care you’re providing paints a picture of the ongoing care He will provide them in the decades that follow your children’s departure from your home. Your mothering teaches them what the gentle, consistent presence of God is like. The goal of parenting is to pass our children’s hand into the hand of the Lord so He can guide them. This is what you are doing if your motherhood is based on the gospel of Christ.
*I* notice you, momma. You’re doing an amazing job. Your children adore you. You are constantly looking for ways to be a better mom. Your kids are healthy, happy and cared for.
What you are doing matters because it’s redemptive. Never forget that.