The sun isn’t even up yet as a young mom gets ready to leave for work. Quietly she tiptoes into her children’s rooms to gently kiss them goodbye before she leaves for her double shift. She lingers for a moment, hoping for one to stir and open his eyes so she can see them just once that day. “It’s time to go”, she whispers to herself. “You will see them tomorrow….” Tears form at the thought of missing another day with them, but she knows this is the season of life they are in….
Another mom awakens for the countless time – the sun isn’t even up yet – but her little one wants to be up… again. She is so tired, yet responds to the cries beckoning her. She knows even if the little one goes back to sleep, the others will be up soon and will need her to make breakfast, read stories, watch their dance moves, play Legos, ride bike, change diapers, provide conflict resolution, and fight aliens all before lunch. Tears form as she soothes his little body, realizing how tired she feels. Desiring a break, she reminds herself this is just a season…
Can you relate? Both mom’s love their children dearly, but wish for things to be different. Do you long for more time with your kids? Do you long to take a break from your children? Are you discontent with where you are at in your motherhood? Regret. Guilt. Comparing to other moms and how they have it all together – the perfect job, the perfect home, the perfect family. Wishing for more “YOU” time so you have the chance to miss your kids? Desiring to be that stay at home mom? STOP!
Look around you. This is not a mistake. This.Is.Where.God.Wants.You. Believe me sister, I am talking to myself just as much as I am talking to you. We waste so much time feeling guilty or wanting what another mom has that we poison the beauty of what is right in front of us. We miss out on the joy before us. Instead of desiring someone else’s life, start listing off reasons to be thankful for the season you are in. And pray.
- Ask for forgiveness for not being content where he has placed you.
- Thank him for your family.
- Ask God to help you see him in your parenting.
- Pray for understanding and appreciation for this moment.
- Ask him to show you purpose and reason for the place you are: at home or in the workplace
- Pray for the other moms you think have it together – because they don’t and they need prayer too.
- Ask him to give you the energy to make the most of your time with your children.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” Colossians 3:23 (ESV)
According to Webster’s Dictionary, “work” means to be engaged in physical or mental activity in order to achieve a purpose or result. Mama, are you trying to achieve a result or purpose in your day? It may be at work and at home, or just at home, but it is work. Don’t let it be for vain. Your Employer has a task for you in this season, so take on this project with a full heart. Don’t let the idea of a performance review scare you either, because Jesus stepped in and has provided you with a perfect score for the rest of your life. Let the purpose of the work he has assigned to you give you energy to wake in the early hours, in your folding of laundry, and even in the dirty diapers.
Right now I am in the season of being a working mom, but I so desire to be at home with my boys. A desire is okay. God gives us desires, yearnings, hopes, and dreams. But when I start to become jealous of another mom’s situation, that is where I cross the line. It’s called coveting, and for that I need to repent and be thankful that God is providing for our family through this means. I also need to be content and embrace where God has placed me. He has a purpose for me to be where I am, and instead of grumbling I should seek what he has for me here. Even if it is to encourage another believer, or to share the Gospel of Jesus with just one of his chosen, I need to delight in his plan.
Time with my boys… It may not be 24/7, but a dear friend reminded me that quality means more than quantity. The boys will remember the intentional moments far more than the amount of time spent with them. And my response to the time I do have with them will be a testament in my obedience to God. Will they see me grumble and complain about where God has placed me? Pout and stomp my feet because I am not where I want to be? Or will they see me respond with thanks and obedience to his call on my life? Will I make comments of jealousy for another family’s situation, or show gratitude for how God has blessed us and others in many different ways? My response is a reflection of my faith and will impact how they deal with handling life’s trials.
Pray. Be intentional. And don’t wish for someone else’s situation. God has you here for a reason. Embrace it and be the mom he has created you to be for the children he intentionally placed with you. And whether you are preparing for time at home or time at work, embrace it and seek God’s will in it. Glorify him in this moment.
An additional note: We can’t forget about stay-at-home dads. They exist and need to be applauded and encouraged. Don’t judge them as lazy and unable to provide. And don’t judge the wife as career driven. We don’t know life’s situations, but we do know that parenting is a team effort and often we are called out of our comfort zones. My dear hubs was a stay-at-home dad on two occasions, and I am so thankful for the boys to have had that time with him. So dads, enjoy this time as a gift and don’t take it for granted. Embrace this time to intentionally train and raise your little ones in the way they should go.