This post will not be popular. At least, I don’t think it will. However, with Mother’s Day right around the corner, my mind has been preoccupied with, “What Does it Mean to be a Mother?”
In my lifetime, I have watched the identity of a mom shift dramatically. The days of Leave it to Beaver are long gone. Might as well say farewell to Mrs. Brady while you’re at it. In their stead, you will find Modern Family, Parenthood and Two and A Half Men. Quite honestly, it is becoming difficult to decipher what the word Mom entails. The traditional meaning no longer applies.
As women, we have proven without a doubt “We can do a man’s job.” It has become socially acceptable for a man to do a woman’s work and vice versa. Not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing. Just pointing it out, along with the fact that working mothers have increased over 800% in the past 150 years (according to ancestry.com). In the U.S. today, over 71% of moms are working outside the home.
But in the meanwhile, has Mom lost her identity?
I will never forget the crushing words of my former employer upon turning in my resignation to stay home with my two young girls…
“You are making the biggest mistake of your life.”
From a financial standpoint, he was dead-center right. Bingo. My personal net-worth will never recover. But considering the emotional well-being of my children, I’m not so sure he nailed it. I am not by any means advocating against working moms. In fact, its the complete opposite–I am puzzled by my pining.
I want to work.
I miss the pats on the back and the paycheck. I miss the social comrodrity. I miss feeling culturally accepted.
I’m being honest…I struggle to be a stay-at-home mom.
I find myself longing.
I feel like I don’t measure up.
Parenting is such an intangible.
Mothering is a thankless job, filled with mundane tasks of laundry, cleaning, cooking, and mindless playing. However, as a society, has the tide changed? Do we consider Mom old-fashioned?
Here’s what I want you to know as a mother…
You Matter. Your child may never tell you…they want you to tuck them into bed and read a bedtime story. They need your help with homework. They like it when you ask about their friends. They want someone to be their advocate. They need boundaries. They may fight back and say some ugly things…but at least they know you care. They want you to pay attention to them. Why? Because they need you!
No One Can Take Your Place. As a young mom, I had convinced myself that I could never measure up as a mother. I worked because I knew I could be good at what I do. But I wasn’t sure I could be a good mother. I bought into a lie. A lie that said motherhood is not your divine calling. Years later, I now know God will equip you!
Time goes quickly. They grow up. You feed them and somehow magically they change right before your eyes. Life is short. Regardless of whether or not you earn a paycheck in this lifetime, let me tell you something–as a believer, your investment in your child will reap eternal rewards.
You identity is not in a title. Nor a paycheck. Nor a wedding ring…
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” 1 John 3:1
And so we are.
“We are children of God, we are new creatures, we are made new in Christ Jesus—our identities are no longer found in the name brands we wear, the people we are friends with, the emblems our cars are labeled with, the sports teams our children play with—no, our identities are in Christ. He truly is all we need. He should be all that matters. This world teaches us to place our identities in fame, power, and money. God’s kingdom teaches us something quite to the contrary. His kingdom is based on servanthood, submission, and suffering… As a believer, you work, but your work does not identify or control you. Christ is your identity. Coming to the realization that the things of this world do not matter is actually very freeing. Christians are not controlled by promotions, status, recognition, and money. God’s kingdom operates in reverse: where the first become last, and the last become first (Matthew 20:16).” (I Didn’t Want to be That Girl! A Look In to the Life of Eve” p. 119)
What does the word “Mom” mean to you?