Do you have the “I’m just a mom” blues? Feeling bored, burdened, or just plain “blah” about motherhood lately? (Or do you want a killer reply to people who question your work as a mom?) Here are some powerful truths about the incredible importance of motherhood that will light a fire under you and reignite your passion for parenting!
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I recently released my third ebook, The Merry Momma Manual, in which I share strategies for cultivating joy in any and every season of motherhood. (Click here to learn more about the book.)
The very first strategy in the book is to know the value of your work as a mom, because knowing why your work matters is the best way to renew your passion for it.
As a stay-at-home-mom, especially, I know all too well how easy it is to slip into the doldrums of feeling like “just” a mom. To get antsy and restless, wondering if we should be doing more. To buy into the lie that what we’re doing day in and day out is unimportant, unimpressive, and undesirable. Compounding that are the outside voices suggesting (or even outright saying) that motherhood is a waste of potential, intelligence, and education.
Following is an excerpt from my book explaining the supreme importance of motherhood and providing the antidote to feeling like “just” a mom.
Whenever you start to question your worth and the value of what you’re doing, come back and re-read this post. (Or better yet, get my ebook! *wink*)
Feeling Like “Just” a Mom? Here’s What You Need to Know
My first secret to joyful motherhood is to know the value of what you’re doing. Think about it – in a “real world” job, don’t you find more joy and fulfillment in your work when you have a deep sense of why you’re doing it? When you know the good that’s coming out of it and you understand the impact of your particular role? Knowing the value of your work keeps you going, even through the hard days and not-so-fun parts.
The same is true in raising kids. If we’re just going through the motions, trying to survive our kids; if we see ourselves as victims of mom life; if our focus is always on our own comfort, our own goals, and our own desires… then, yeah, motherhood is going to be a pretty miserable affair. But when we grasp the importance of what we’re doing, when we approach it with intention, and when we cultivate a passion for it, we will find joy and fulfillment in it.
Why Motherhood Matters
We often hear (and maybe even use) the phrase “just a mom,” but there is nothing “just” about it. Our society likes to imply that motherhood is a waste of potential, intelligence, and education, but nothing could be further from the truth. Raising kids is one of the most important jobs anyone could undertake, and doing it well is integral to a properly-functioning society.
It’s easy in the midst of the more mundane tasks of cooking, cleaning, and caretaking to feel like we’re not doing much of value. After all, anyone could do that stuff, right? We could do so much more! In those moments, however, we need to step back and take a wider view of motherhood.
You know how, when you’re with your kids day in and day out, you don’t really notice their growth – they look exactly the same as they did the day before? Then, one day, you happen to see some old pictures, and you’re amazed by how much they’ve changed? The work we do as moms is kind of like that.
Zoomed tightly into its day-to-day duties, motherhood may not look like much. Very little seems to be happening. We don’t see a lot of fruit from our labors from one day to the next.
When we zoom out to view an entire year or season as a whole, however, we see how each day adds to the bigger picture. We see the impact of those incremental steps of each 24-hour period. The work that does not seem like much from one day, month, or even year to the next is vital for the success of our overall mission.
And what is our mission? Why does motherhood matter, anyway?
In mothering our children, we are shaping lives. We are guiding souls, building character, and imparting truth and wisdom. We are discipling the next generation of adults who will make their mark on the world and raise the next generation after them. We are leaving a legacy.
What greater, more important job could there be than that?
I divulged in the introduction [of the book] that I wasn’t exactly eager to jump into motherhood. I had plans and goals and things I wanted to accomplish. And I was sure kids were going to slow me down. (Plus, in the spirit of full honesty, I also wasn’t jazzed about the work and inconvenience.)
While reading this book one day, however, God showed me that I had my math all wrong. So focused on my personal calling, I mistakenly believed kids were going to reduce my Kingdom efficacy, when, in fact, parenting was one of the best ways to increase it. I realized that while I could and would do Kingdom work as an individual, by raising little Kingdom warriors who would (ideally) know, love, and serve the Lord, I could multiply my reach and influence. Pretty cool, huh?
But wait – there’s more!
I then realized that once they became parents, my kids would raise their own little Kingdom warriors who would (ideally) know, love, and serve the Lord. And so on, and so forth. Which means I wouldn’t just multiply my Kingdom impact – I would expand it exponentially! How awesome is that?!
Can you tell that, nine years later, this revelation still gets me fired up??
Contrary to society’s narrative, motherhood isn’t something you do when you aren’t good at anything else. It’s not a waste, and it’s not beneath you. It’s one of the most valuable ways you could possibly spend your time, energy, and talents. You are literally changing the world.
There are No “Little” Things in Motherhood
Maybe you recognize that the “big” responsibilities of motherhood matter – things like teaching life skills, instilling character, and leading your kids to the Lord. But what about the little things? What about the tasks we all dread and despise, like diapers and dishes? Or those first couple of years when all we do is feed and change them, before the “real” work begins?
We often downplay them, but the truth is, those little things matter, too.
For one thing, even the simplest acts of caretaking matter to the one(s) you’re taking care of. There are thousands of kids who wish their moms fed them three meals a day (or any at all). There are thousands of kids who wish their moms made sure they had a clean, comfortable home to live in. There are thousands of kids who wish their moms talked to them, hugged them, and read to them each night.
You may be feeling like what you’re doing isn’t special or important or meaningful. But it could not be more special, more important, or more meaningful to the ones you’re doing it all for.
What If We Didn’t Do Them?
Secondly, the little things matter because they are foundational to the bigger things. Those “important” jobs we mentioned earlier of molding their hearts and souls? They can’t happen without first investing in their physical and emotional well-being.
Let’s look at those “little” tasks, shall we? The dinners, dishes, and diapers. The million unimpressive tasks no one notices and yet need to be done day in and day out (the same ones that are then undone in 2.6 minutes). The ones that are so mundane they sometimes make us want to weep at the sheer monotony.
Surely, those tasks are so ordinary they aren’t worth lauding. And yet… what if we didn’t do them?
What if we didn’t feed our families every day? (Beyond the obvious that they’d die, of course.) Would they feel loved and cared for? Would they be fueled for their daily work? Would they look to us for emotional and spiritual guidance if we didn’t care enough to meet their physical needs?
What if we didn’t keep our homes? Would our families thrive there? Would they have a place to rest and recharge? Would it be a hub of cultivating our family culture and building foundations of faith and values?
And what about those diapers? Possibly the most wearisome and prosaic of all motherhood tasks, they tempt us to believe our daily toil has no value. But what if we didn’t change them? We can easily imagine the physical effects of that neglect, but what about the psychological? The emotional? Would our babies grow into big kids assured of our ability and willingness to care for them?
We may see the importance of the “big” things in motherhood – teaching skills, building character, and cultivating lives of purpose and faith. But none of those things are even possible without first laying a foundation of connection and security. Which comes through years of doing the “little” things.
When you think about it, then, there really are no little things in motherhood. They’re all big.
From the tiniest tasks to the greatest responsibilities, our work as mothers matters. And when we truly understand and recognize the enormity of what we’re doing, it’s hard not to get excited about it.
Beat the “Just a Mom” Blues With The Merry Momma Manual!
Did this help? Did it light a fire under you and reignite some of your passion for parenting? There’s a LOT more where that came from!
Learn about the other five secrets to cultivating joy in every season of motherhood in The Merry Momma Manual!
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
- How to Love Your Season of Motherhood
- Flip Your Mom Script: Replacing Negative Thoughts With Biblical Truth
- 10 Things I Know For Sure About Motherhood
- 5 Stay-At-Home-Mom Myths I Busted This Year