One of the greatest struggles I have as a mom is feeling like I’m not doing anything significant. Sometimes I sit back and feel like I’m caught in the mundane. I’m stuck in a routine of a ruthless, meaningless to-do list, with my main aim being to make sure my kids and I come out alive at the end of every day, without too much drama and maybe with my kids having learnt a few life lessons along the way. Oh and we included a bit of Jesus in there somewhere too. Phew.
Everybody wants recognition. Whether you want to be the best graphic designer, the best chef, best soccer player, best student, best artist. The list is endless. Everyone in the world wants to feel like what they do, matters. That they are changing the world in some way. As humans I think our basal instinct is to crave recognition for things we think we do well at. Acclaim from the world means you’ve made it. Fame validates us for some reason. Recognition for something we’re good at, that’s the key to strive to want to be better.
The thing about motherhood though is that most everything we do is done when no-one sees it. Nobody sees you in the dark hours of the night trying to curb a fever. Nobody sees you at 5am (probably having just gone back to sleep and having to wake up again 45 minutes later) making school lunches. Nobody sees you sitting with your pre-schooler on your lap, explaining why it’s ok to lose and winning isn’t everything. Nobody sees you ironing sports uniforms, or sewing sequins on dance costumes. Nobody sees the tears you cry, when you just don’t feel like you’re coping.
Picture it. Spilt juice on your clothes, running down the passage to find a towel to mop the floor in your bathroom that is now flooded from bathtime, hair in a messy bun because you didn’t have time to shower yet, with a 4.6 second pit stop at the kitchen counter to have a sip of a cold cup of tea. Glamourous, I know. Famous for the amazing job we think we’re doing with this motherhood thing, while looking so glamourous? Hardly.
Wait. Take a breath. There it is. You have all the acclaim you need right in front of you.
YOU ARE FAMOUS.
When that school bell rings and those kids run into your arms, you’re famous.
When a bad dream wakes a sleepy toddler and your name is the first thing to leave their lips, you’re famous.
When your little boy falls off his bike, needs a plaster and wants his mom, you’re famous.
When you sit on the side of a sports field in the pouring rain and your baby looks over and waves hello, you’re famous.
To the only people that matter, you’re famous. Not only that, nothing you do is invisible to Him who gave you this calling in the first place. He sees you. He holds you close. He cheers you on. He picks you up. He loves you more than you’ll ever be able to love your kids.
It doesn’t matter that the no-one sees everything us mothers do. What we do when no-one sees, makes our children want to be at home. What we do when no-one sees, means our kids know they are cared for. What we do when no-one sees, means our children know they can count on us. What we do when no-one sees, means there’s meaning in motherhood, even if most days it seems mundane. Everything we do shows our children something about selflessness and sacrifice.
The mundanes of motherhood are necessary. The mundanes of motherhood are essential. The mundanes of motherhood mould our children and who they think we are, who they think they are and how they see Jesus in it all. The mundanes of motherhood have meaning. The mundanes of motherhood are messily magnificent.
To the world, you might ONLY be a mom.
But to God, you’re a world changer and generation shaper.
To the babies entrusted to you, you’re what it means to be home.
That’s all the recognition we need.