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“She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” — Proverbs 31:25
Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of articles and other comments about being a mother and many of those compare mothering to various jobs. I’ve even seen calculations of the combined salaries of various jobs that mothers “should” get paid. Taxi service. Chef. Personal assistant. Maid. Event planner. Salary per year: $800,000. You get the point… moms do a lot and they don’t get paid for it.
As a mom, I used to think in those terms. But I don’t anymore and here’s why: I realized being a mother is not a job. It’s a relationship. When I put a dollar amount on what I should be paid for all I do, it only serves to rob my heart and plant a bitter seed. Not saying that is the case for everyone or the motivation of those writing such things. But for me, when I think of my role as mother as a job, I want to punch in and punch out. I want to have very specific job descriptions and go on strike when I am treated unfairly. I want my subordinates to behave themselves or get fired. But none of those things are what it means to have a family.
Mothers who mother well are those who are kind and generous because that is the kind of person they want to be. They focus on relationship and step into an emotionally nurturing role that gives back the satisfaction of impacting a life rather than a paycheck or a thank you. Mothers who mother well have a clear sense of their leadership role in the family system and they see their children as independent people who need emotional care. Mothers who mother well are “clothed in strength and dignity” as the above verse describes. They know God, they know themselves and their peers, and they know their children. And they align those in the right order.
I fear that as a culture we have lost what it means to love. Everything is measured in time and money. Here’s your freedom for today: take time to measure your heart. What does it mean that God is parenting you? If you are a mother, how does that translate into how you can mother well? If you are not a mother but you know one, love her well so that her tank is full. May we all love one another out of the place of overflow.