Dear American Mother, get over yourself.
Just because life doesn’t make you feel important, alive, or valuable it doesn’t mean you change things, quit, or stop.
Do you have any idea how important you really are? You are a vital part of your family. Your children are shaped by you. Your husband sometimes is carried on your appreciation and approval alone. You are affecting future generations and impacting lives you can’t even begin to count.
So why are we moms so quick to run away?
The Lie That We are Believing
I am seeing a trend in Christian circles that disturbs and worries me. Really, I shouldn’t be surprised, the secular culture promotes this actively and it pervades other areas of our lives. Why not our families as well?
The thought process usually goes like this:
If you’re not happy—
Do something different that makes you feel fulfilled.
Do any of these phrases sound familiar?
- Do you want to feel important?
- What gives you a sense of contentment and purpose?
- What brings a smile to your face?
- What makes you feel totally alive?
And let’s be honest we can come up with plenty of reasons why we need this change:
- Because, what about me? If I’m not satisfied then, doesn’t something need to change?
- If I’m constantly struggling doesn’t that mean there’s something wrong?
- I’m just not happy so I need to do something different to make me happy.
- I feel empty, alone, un-appreciated and under-valued.
- I don’t know who I am anymore!
- I am losing myself in my kids and I need to do something for me! That makes me feel valued and worthwhile.
After all, isn’t that what life is all about…
Let’s Get Some Perspective
Let me ask you a few questions:
- How do you think the apostle Paul felt in prison, in chains, unable to preach the gospel to the nations or care for the churches he personally invested in for years? Did he feel fully alive, have a sense of life and purpose? Did that bring a smile to his face?
- Or how did the mom living hundreds of years ago (who really had no choice or time to call her own) manage to survive?
- Or what about the believer who’s being persecuted for her faith—beaten and thrown into prison? Is she concerned with being happy, fulfilled, valued, or appreciated?
But it was different for them—you say! They have/had no choice! I do!
You’re right, you do have a choice because of our culture and the age in which we live. We moms can leave kids or homes to pursue our dreams and our passions. But at what expense?
(I understand that there are situations where the mom has no choice but to work. I get that there are families who are having serious struggles and those moms are in terrible and desperate situations. Something does need to change for them. I’m not talking about those circumstances. Get help if you’re in one of those families!)
But what about the rest of us who are just struggling with the day to day reality of being a mom at home? Just because it gets boring, difficult, and tiring, does that mean we need to change something?
Just because the world doesn’t give us a standing ovation, and culture tells us we need more . . . does that mean they’re right and we get to quit?
I Struggle Too
Believe me, I understand this struggle. It’s one I wrestle with all the time. I was going to be a single-woman missionary changing the world for Jesus. I was going to preach to the nations, and be persecuted for my faith somewhere overseas. I was going to make a difference and have a huge impact on the city in which I lived!
And now . . . I’m just a mom, teaching my kids 4+4 = 8, how to tie their shoes, ride bikes, read books, pick up after themselves, how to walk, run, speak, write, and . . . how to love Jesus and what that looks like every single day.
This mission isn’t glamorous. People aren’t amazed at my faith. I’m not getting pats on the back telling me what a good job I’m doing. I have hard days. Days where I’m tired and don’t want to get out of bed. Days where I feel frustrated, alone, under-valued, un-appreciated, like I’m wasting my time and my gifts.
But that’s ok because sometimes that’s just life and that doesn’t mean something’s wrong or needs to change.
Find Your Contentment in God
Maybe, mom, home is right where we’re supposed to be even in the midst of this.
And maybe it isn’t a job, friends, chocolate, more clothes, freedom to pursue our passions and dreams that’s suppose to make us fulfilled and content. Maybe that needs to come from one source – God. Maybe our circumstances don’t need to change, maybe our perspective does.
- My satisfaction shouldn’t come from the kids I’m raising or the job I’m doing but from the God I’m serving.
- My joy shouldn’t be found in having the right to pursue my dreams and my wants, but in laying down my life for the King and His Kingdom and being content where He’s placed me.
- My peace can’t come from the circumstances that surround me but from the God who is over them all and will hold and carry me even in the boring day to day times of life.
American Mother – you are more important than you realize just where you are – at home. You are a vital part of your family. Your children are shaped by you. Your husband sometimes is carried on your appreciation and approval alone. You are affecting future generations and impacting lives you can’t even begin to count.
By being faithful at home.
Don’t be so quick to run away or try to do something different.
PS: One day, may you hear “well done, good and faithful servant! Come and enter the reward of your Master.”
Awesome read! Very appropriate for my life right now as my husband is unemployed and I have two children under the age of 3. I will be sharing this with a neighbor, too. She is struggling and has recently separated from her husband.
Blaire, thanks for commenting 🙂 I’m grateful God is using this to encourage you and others! May God continue to carry you through this time! I’ll be praying your husband is able to find work soon.
I needed to hear this. Today. As my family has just moved overseas for the next two years, I am facing the reality of having left everything behind and will be full time at home supporting my husband who works long hours, and our two older teens. God has shown me that by being totally focused on my homefront, He will bring me fulfillment. Thank you for giving me perspective.
Thank you for this post. I’m getting weary of hearing about all of these mothers who find creative “outlets” for themselves while mothering little children. We live in an age of online marketing and small business. I, of course, don’t think it’s always wrong to persue these things as a mother, if it’s coming from the right heart and God is trying calling you to step out of your home to do them (or if your still making your home a priority) but it starts to make me “feel” like I need something else outside of raising my children and supporting my husband to be fulfilled or to thrive creatively. This just isn’t true. God is calling me to run to Him for everything – including totally fufillment.
3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good,
4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children,
5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. http://esv.to/Titus2.3-5
Grateful to you for writing this!
Oh thank you!!! This was so convicting and encouraging at the same time. I often feel overwhelmed by life, but my husband often counsels me that that doesn’t mean something needs to change. That’s just life and I need to find my rest in the Lord in the midst of that hard. Thank you for echoing that same godly counsel here.
way to go Erika! I know God will use you in this! Love you!
Thank you so much for these powerful words. This is exactly what I need to hear today. God bless you so much for sharing.
This message needs to be heard by moms everywhere – thanks☺️
Spot on, Erika! Thank you for this Truth and encouragement to keep keeping on! Every.day. Because the Lord our Hod will sustain us in doing His perfect work, even when it doesn’t FEEL like it. 💕