on my job as a mom…

Posted by on Feb 9, 2012 in motherhood | 2 comments

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord…” Colossians 3: 23

I have heard plenty of sermons about “working for the Lord”…and I have listened to many speakers talk about the “profession” of being a mom. But never before have I been so challenged about putting the two together as I was this past Sunday. When our pastor bluntly stated that “sloppy workmanship with a bad attitude is an insult to God” using including example after example of being a mom, I couldn’t help but mentally squirm.

Put me in a workplace – office, classroom, ice cream shop, whatever – and I will work my hardest. I will go above and beyond the call of duty and rarely complain. Extra work? No problem. Tight deadlines? Sure thing. It has always been a big deal to me to give 110% to my work, especially when I remember that there is a distinct “end” to it, whether it is the end of the semester or when I clock out for the day, mentally or physically.

But where it all starts to unravel is with my “real” job…my job as a mom. I consider it my primary role at this point in my life, and even though I jam in plenty of other responsibilities, it is still the predominant way I spend my time. But take a busy life, sprinkle in occasionally cantankerous children, seemingly unending chores, and lots of fatigue, and what comes out is not always my “best work”.

It is a tough gig, and there are plenty of times where there are things “I just don’t want to do”. I always have to chuckle at the women (kids or no kids) that say to me, “I just don’t know how you stay home with your kids all day” like I should win some award for being so long-suffering or that my brain must be mush because I enjoy smushing play-dough into balls or doing the same puzzle over and over. Do  you think that it is always things I “like” to do? Heavens, no. And unfortunately, I am pretty sure that my kids know when I don’t like doing something. I can be plenty irritable and cranky when Parker asks if he can do a “project” that I know is going to turn into a huge paint and glitter mess…or when Fiona wants to play a game when I know her attention span may not last through the set-up.

I think that somewhere along the way, my focus has shifted slightly away from doing my best work as a mom because I am called to “work at it with all my heart” to doing my work as a mom because “someone has to do it”. Don’t get me wrong – I love my kids with all my heart and would do anything for them – but when I put them at the center of the work, it is little surprise that frustration follows. They are cranky. They don’t listen. They let me down. They are human.

But when I put God at the center of my work, it takes it to another level. I am not just getting one more snack because the kids asked me…I am getting their snack with a good attitude because I am commanded…compelled…that not doing so makes God look bad. It may seem like an imperceptible difference, and in most situations, probably no one notices. But this week? It has made a difference…in me. It has given me a fresh look at my responsibility to be the best mom that I can, and to approach my work differently. Because yes, it can be tough and monotonous and frustrating…but yes, it is my work, and I need to “work at it with all my heart”.

Parker is asking to play with clay…the goopy, sticky kind that gets white film on everything…I guess it’s time to put this into action…

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2 Comments

  1. What a great reminder today! I loved – and am very convicted – by the idea of how I act making God either look good or bad to my kids! Wow. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Kate…it has been rattling around in my head all week. We are in a series called “Commitments that Matter” at church and every week has had some sort of crazy impact on me…:) Good, I guess…

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