A Mama’s Help {Part 2}

mama help 2

A few years back, when my kids were not at school, they were off playing nicely together. I was having one of those exhausted moments on the sofa. You know the ones. You literally have to sit down because if you don’t you might fall over.

They appeared at the doorway to the lounge.

“We’re playing!” they announced.

I smiled. What are you playing?

My daughter answered with this.

We’re being you and Daddy. I am you and he (indicates at little brother) is Daddy.

At this point, I think it’s super cute. My three year old son is standing proudly, glad to be Daddy. My 4 year old daughter, well ok, she looks a bit bossy, but I still think it’s cute.

So, in retrospect I should have left it at that. But I engaged.

So what are you doing? I asked.

Daughter replies.

Well, he’s going to work and I’m you so I stay at home all day and do nothing (looks at brother). Go on, go to work (little brother obediently departs).

I think I managed to smile as they skipped off. And just for clarity, I have never stood with my hands on my hips and commanded my husband to depart to his workplace.

But I do nothing? I DO NOTHING? Yeah, that really hurt.

Who keeps the house tidy and clean?

Who picks up all the mess?

Who makes sure there is food in the cupboards and on the table at mealtimes?

Who makes sure everyone has clean clothes to wear?

Who is there when there are tears, and fears, and frustrations, and anger, and sadness, and …

I’m pretty sure being a mum has long been a thankless task, but yeah, this is the world we live in. There is more value in working outside the home than there is in what goes on inside it. People ask me all the time. But if you don’t work, what do you actually do?

I work, people. Trust me, I work.

But somehow my children had acquired this view that I do nothing!!

But how it made my heart sink.

Have you been there? When appreciation is thin and lacklustre at best. When no one seems to realise what you do? And some of you – as I have had as well – have jobs outside the home as well as being a mum. And the juggling and the balancing and the plate spinning and the hat wearing makes you near want to topple over and dissolve.

And then just when you’re feeling down, someone (probably one of the kids) comes along with the notion that you don’t really do anything.

Feeling unappreciated is one of the worst feelings in the world. Putting your heart and soul into an outcome that everyone benefits from but they all somehow seem to think appeared by magic can be really hard.

So how do we respond? Do we yell or scream or cry or shout or descend into dishing out healthy doses of silent treatment, or do we stop doing this full-time-24-7-thankless job that everyone thinks is actually performed by unicorns and fairies in the middle of the night?

Well, we can, but I don’t know who that helps. And I can say that because I’ve pretty much done all of the above at some time or other. It makes no one feel better. Least of all me.

Take a look at this again:

Psalm 121

This is the better response.

Look up that mountain, mama. Look up the mountain of laundry, the mountain of home-organising, the mountain of cleaning, the mountain of a day that is filled with an uphill journey to getting everyone safely through clothed, fed, in one piece. And know that the answer comes quickly…where does your help come from?

Your help comes from the Lord. Maker of heaven and earth.

MAKER OF HEAVEN AND EARTH.

The one who made all things, whose hands put into existence the vastness of the space, of earth, is your help.

And if He can make planets and stars and endless sky and every wonder we have ever seen – who made those children and gave them to you – He is more than able to help you.

He sees everything you do mama. He sees the tears and the frustrations. He sees the endless laundry you do. He sees all the boo boos you kiss and the tears you wipe. He knows you have dragged yourself around the supermarket in your jammies (or at least your near-jammies). He knows that you make those meals, and you clean those floors.

And even when the kids – and society – seem to think you do nothing; He knows. He knows the way you serve the family He gave you. And He is pleased that you do.

And that’s how I have been able to get through. Get past the disappointment that sometimes everyone everyone everyone thinks I sit with my feet up sipping tea. Get past wanting to simultaneously scream and cry.

Am I never disappointed? Nope.

But I know where to find the answer.

When I am so tired and feeling like I am barely holding things together, I can close my eyes at night knowing that I have One who does not slumber watching over me.

Yes, mama, He is pleased with you. He is pleased with your love for your family. He is pleased with your faithfulness.

So chin up, there. You’re doing a great job. Even if you’re still in your jammies.

 

Grace and Love

Helen x

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