So why do you mom? Why is it that you get up every morning and do what you do? Change diapers. Pack lunches. Wash clothes. Clean toilets. Drive little people everywhere. All so that you can do it all over again. Why do you do it?
Do you do it because you always wanted kids and so now, here you are in the glory land? Do you do it so your husband will see how great you are, working hard to keep his family flowing? Do you do it because that is the social expectations? We are to grow up, get married, and have a family… Why do you do it?
Momming is hard! That is all there is to it. It has it’s victories, sure. But, day in and day out, it is a lot of work… tireless, dirty work.
But understanding why we do this mom thing – or why we should be doing this mom thing – can help us understand why we cannot do it alone. There is help out there. As a matter of fact, the great Helper is out there.
We weren’t designed to be the sole captain of this seemingly sinking ship. We were designed to be the first mate of a ship sailing to places we could never even imagine. We weren’t designed to navigate our ship alone. Take comfort in that.
When we try to take care of our family, all by ourselves, we get burnt out, tired, worn down, moody, and maybe even 100 other negative things (not that I am speaking from experience or anything…). And there is a reason. We can’t do it alone.
And when we think back to why we are doing it, that helps us realize why we can’t do it alone. We shouldn’t take care of our family for them. We shouldn’t even take care of them for us. We take care of our family for God.
He is our reason.
And He is our helper.
The Spirit is there to help if we will just recognize why we are doing this mom thing in the first place.
When we stop trying to please others through our mom responsibilities and start making God the focus of all our tasks, big or little, stressful or trivial, then we begin to see Him as our helper and momming takes on a whole new meaning. It goes to new levels.
So how does God help us when we make him the reason for all that we do?
First, He gives us strength.
Most moms I know are tired. It takes a lot , mentally and physically, to be a mom. But we don’t have to draw our strength from folded loads of laundry and freshly mopped floors – because they never last.
Psalm 119:28 says, “My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.” God sees our weary souls and He will provide strength for us.
But notice here, it says according to your word, meaning one of the places we will find strength is in the Word. So I know moms, you are busy, but being in the Word should be a priority.
Think back to the reason you are doing this. Remember you are doing this for God, and you should make Him, not the duties of your family, a priority. Bible study… Prayer… Worship… all should be priorities.
Isaiah 40:29 says, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” Hold on to that. Write it down. Memorize it. Hold onto it for you weak moments and let God show you just what kind of strength He has in store for you.
Second, He is our motivator.
Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” I know at first, you may think well, work is work. What does it matter? Well, I am in the process of RE-doing a job for the third time, not because of any fault of my own, and I feel beyond frustrated.
Literally, I sat down to work on this in the midst of all that and God hit me in the face with that verse. My bad attitude sank to the bottom of my stomach and I had to ask, okay, how would I do this job, if God were the one asking me to do it? How would I do it for Him?
My perspective definitely changed. My attitude changed with it. I was able to swallow my pride some and look to Him for strength and clarity.
We can do the same thing as moms. We do the same chores over and over. I mean dishes and laundry are NEVER done (not unless I started a reality show for my family called Naked and Hungry). But if we stop and imagine each trivial chore as something we are doing for God and not just something that has to be done, then it takes on a whole new meaning.
Psalms 90:17 says that when we allow Him to establish the works of our hand, then beauty will fall on us. Our lives can be beautiful, and if you have a family, then He has established your work. We just have to remember that we are working for Him.
When we keep Him as our focus, when we picture each job, no matter how small, as something we do for Him, then we will find new motivation.
Lastly, He is our guide.
One of the hardest thing about being a mom is know if you are doing the right thing. My son told a little white lie the other day. I caught him in it and we had a talk about the importance of honesty. But, of course, when I walked away, I had no idea if I had handled it appropriately. Was I too easy on him? What I too hard on him? And of course I see that little lie snowballing into the worst case scenario.
Just so you know, all that doubt and self-questioning just makes our job harder. We have to trust God and trust the spirit to lead us as we parent.
We are reminded in James, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”
See, it’s not that hard. God will give us the wisdom to parent. He will guide us in all our mom decisions. But here’s what can’t happen. We cannot ask God for wisdom, accept that wisdom, act on it, and then doubt everything. If we are going to do verse five, then we have to believe in verse six. To go and doubt the word of God is just as the scripture tells us. WE are like the waves of the sea being tossed about.
And that was exactly how I felt after disciplining my son. I was blown from one what if to the next. You cannot successfully parent while being tossed around in the waves. Successful moms need roots. Roots in the Word. And if we are rooted in the Word, then God will guide us. We will show us what to do and when to do it and we will be able to trust in that.
I know the mom thing is rough. I feel it almost daily. But only when I try to do it alone. When we let God be our guide, our strength, our motivator, then we no longer have to struggle through the day-to-day routines of parenting. God is there with us.
Again, when we understand why we are doing this important job, we are just reminded further that we cannot do it alone. But don’t worry, He never expected us to.