YOU are relevant {encouragement for Momma}

Busy, busy, busy…these are the three words that come to mind when thinking of the day.  Up at 5:50 am (that’s actually sleeping in a bit), let dog out, let dog in, feed dog, feed cat, let dog out again, make coffee, quickly swig coffee, read a bit of news on the Internet, one kid up, then another, then another, feed them, jump in shower, check on kids, get husband out of bed, make lunch, comb daughter’s hair, get toddler dressed, put out fresh water for dog, say goodbye to husband and one child, double-check locks on doors, turn off coffee pot, load up two kids, drop off one, drop off the other, say daily prayer to the Lord, and then head to work.

Work stuff.  Reports, percentages, discussions, meetings…paperwork.

Get off work, pick up daughter, take to swim lessons, engage in conversation with other moms, smile  at daughter while she is showing off her swimming abilities, load her back up in the car, head home, greet husband, ask how oldest son’s day went, hug little one, fix dinner, do two loads of laundry, get daughter in bath, then get youngest in bath, clean bathroom, get oldest son in bath, fold a bit of laundry, straighten up toddler’s room, hold him while he rages against not wanting to go to bed, switch out with husband so that he can get little one to sleep, tuck oldest son in bed, tuck daughter in bed, tell her a story (she likes it when one is made up with her as the main character), sing a song to her, and sit down for the first time since being home from work.

THIS.  This is an average day in my life, and most likely, in many other’s lives.  And yet, despite how tiring it can be, how seemingly repetitive (like the movie Groundhog Day) it is, and how overwhelming it might be, I am reminded of the beauty of it all.

I am thankful for the blessing of not having to worry about where my children are sleeping tonight, if there is enough food on the table, whether we will be persecuted for believing what we believe, if I can access medicine for my family, or meet their basic needs.

In the same breath that I feel exhausted at the end of the day, I look around and hear the Lord saying,

“You are relevant.”

And then, I think about my friends who are mommies.  I think, “They, too, are relevant.”  Then, my heart turns to my friends who are not yet mom’s, ones who long to be but are still waiting, and one’s who are fostering the babes of other mom’s, and I think, “Yes, they are also relevant.”

Motherhood is challenging.  It is incredibly emotional.  It is glorious, frustrating, and disappointing at times.

At moments, it feels as raw as can be.  Other times, it feels as distant as the eye can see.

It can be monotonous.  It can be adventurous.  It can be exhausting.  Still yet, it is relevant.

When dragged down by the duties of the day, screaming of cranky babies, whining of little one’s, dishes that need to be washed, clothes hanging out in the laundry hamper, and reports that are nearing their deadlines, remember this, sweet Momma…

YOU are relevant.  

IMG_0255The love of a mother is the veil of a softer light between the heart and the heavenly Father. -Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Confessions of a Working Mom

DREAM
DREAM

I am a mother with a full-time job outside of the home.  It is not that I’m necessarily at the office long hours of the day, but, I’m in a leadership position at my work, and often have to be available to emails and calls even if sitting on my couch.  There are expectations, decisions, and paperwork on my plate at all times.  There are new policies to be read, meetings to attend, and staff work to be approved.  I know that my work in child welfare is a ministry and I’m extremely blessed to work for a Christian agency, but I feel pulled in so many directions most of the time.  I often wonder if my work in helping other families distracts me from taking care of my own.

With this in mind, I have a confession to make:  I daydream about being a stay-at-home mother.  I imagine waking up after getting a restful long night of sleep, greeting my lovelies in the best “Snow White-Princessy” kind of voice while wearing fluffy house-shoes, and whipping up fresh made biscuits (not from a can).  I imagine sending my son off to school without the rush of madness in the morning.  I imagine my daughter attending preschool just one day per week instead of forty hours per week.

In my dreamland of non-salaried motherhood, my house is spotless (ALL of the time), the yard is sculpted to perfection, there are no laundry piles, toys are sorted by color, shape, or function, pets are always well-groomed, husband is also always well-groomed, meals are diverse and over-the-top healthy, and every sock is matched with the other.  My home looks like most of the fantastic homes on the ever-popular, yet, intimidating website Pinterest.  In my dreamland, there are lunch dates with friends, salon treatments, and a personal trainer.  There’s cycling during the day, hanging out in a coffee shop with my laptop, baking cookies with the kids, shopping trips with my daughter, play dates at the park, more church activities, and volunteering at the local hospital.

In this dream, I’m always in a good mood, never stressed, and feel constantly “in the moment” with my children and husband.  I don’t have to worry about budgets other than my own, and I don’t have to read new policies.  I don’t have to say yes or no to employees, and my focus is only on home life….

Okay, so I know that all mom’s work regardless of employment.  I know (or at least have learned vicariously) that it is difficult to stay home full-time with young children.  My friends who do not have employment outside of the home struggle with finding time for themselves, mounds of laundry, bored kids, fighting siblings, and feeling overwhelmed.

REALITY
REALITY

Motherhood is hard regardless of receiving a paycheck or not.  Motherhood is all-encompassing.  We are never really “off the clock”.  We don’t get to call in sick to our kids, or take vacation days.  We are love-givers, nutritionists, chefs, boo-boo healers, life coaches, fashion advisers, groomers, interior designers, friend creators, manicurists, pedicurists, personal bankers, and housekeepers.  We are dictionaries, spiritual advisers, encyclopedias, social skills teachers, and tutors.  We are warriors, protectors, and commanders.  We also know that we wouldn’t have it any other way.

I guess, then, that we are all the same.  Employed outside of the home or not, we all probably dream of waking up and greeting our little ones like a Disney Princess, making fresh made biscuits not from a can, and wearing matching socks.