As beautiful and enjoyable as motherhood can be, it also has its fair share of unglamorous moments. The mundane, the monotonous, the dirty — motherhood is filled with them. And when all we see is the drudgery of the same dreaded chores day after day, we grow weary. We long for something better than this. More fruitful than this. More exciting than this.
Our days are filled with the messiness of changing one poopy diaper after another or stripping pee-soaked sheets … again. We’re surrounded by never-ending dishes and laundry. We’re up through the night with a nursing baby or sick child. And it all feels so … menial. Menial and pointless and maybe even beneath us. There are a hundred ways we’d rather be spending our days.
I think every mom in the thick of the season of little ones has felt this way at some point. But there’s a way to turn it all around. Rather than dread the less-than-glamorous chores in motherhood, we can use them as triggers for gratitude and prayer. And while it may not ever lead us to revel in a messy diaper change, per se, this practice will change our mindset and lead us to embrace all of motherhood — the dirty as well as the lovely — with greater joy and intention.
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DON’T DREAD THEM … USE THEM
There are plenty of chores involved in running a household that I do not particularly enjoy. Washing dishes, vacuuming the floors (although I don’t have to do much of that anymore), and dusting all come to mind.
There are also a few motherly duties that don’t score high on my list of things I’d like to be doing. Changing diapers, getting stains out of onesies, and nursing in the middle of the night would all most definitely fall into that category.
But there’s something I’m learning to do that is changing the way I look at these tasks. Rather than dreading them … I’m using them! Rather than turning up my nose at them in disdain or disgust, I am turning them into triggers for gratitude and prayer.
Using chores as triggers looks like this:
As I dive into each task — a load of laundry, a sink full of dishes, a nighttime feeding — I take a moment to thank God for His blessings. I look at each item in my hands through eyes of gratitude and appreciation.
“Thank you, Lord, for …”
… this baby in my arms
… our home in the country that we love
… the food we have to eat
… the abundance of clothes we have to wear
Then I use that opportunity to pray. Pray for the family member whose clothes I’m folding. Pray for our family’s health and safety. Pray for my children’s futures. And so on.
This is something I first learned about in Jill Savage’s book Real Moms…Real Jesus, and it changed my life. It transformed my attitude towards the more mundane parts of homemaking and motherhood, and I’ve been practicing it ever since. I say practice because I am nowhere near perfect at it, but I make an intentional effort to incorporate it into my routine.
5 WAYS TO USE CHORES AS TRIGGERS
Do you need some ideas of ways you can use chores as triggers? Here are some of my favorites:
Use a diaper change to thank God for your precious baby and pray that he/she will continue to grow in wisdom and in stature (Luke 2:52)
If you’re breastfeeding, thank God for the supply and ability to do what so many women have not been able to do. If you’re bottle-feeding, thank God for the modern science that has made it possible for your baby to get what he/she needs that way.
As you fold and put away each item, thank God for the family member it belongs to. Pray for his/her health, faith, and future.
Thank God for the food that will nourish and sustain you. Pray over the tummies it filled, and pray that their minds and spirits will be likewise filled with mental and spiritual food.
Thank God for your home and all the treasures inside. As you vacuum the floors, declare God’s promises over each room of your home, marking it for God’s intended use and rebuking any attempted intrusion by the enemy. As you dust each item, reflect with gratitude over the memories it inspires, and pray for those who may have gifted it to you.
Those are just a few ideas to get you started, but I think you get the point. With the right attitude and a little creativity, any task can be turned into a trigger for prayer and gratitude.
Being a mom and homemaker certainly has its unglamorous parts. It’s not all hugs and kisses; it’s also a lot of diapers and dishes. And those parts, especially in certain seasons, can feel stifling and burdensome.
But changing the way we approach them can make all the difference in our attitudes toward them. If we seek to use them — as triggers for gratitude and prayer — rather than dread them, our hearts toward them will begin to change. And that will lead us to embrace all of motherhood — the good, the bad, and the poopy — with greater joy and intention.
Further Recommended Reading:
- Why “Homemaking” Means More Than You Think
- Why “Homemaking” Means More Than You Think
- 12 Unique Ways to Enjoy Housework (Even When You Hate It!)
- The Huge Frustration That Was Actually a Blessing