I’ll let you in on a little secret I have learned. It doesn’t matter if you are a mother who works outside of the home or one that spends every waking hour with your children. All mothers struggle with finding their value.
In fact, every individual desperately desires significance and we often look for that in all the wrong places before ideally understanding our purpose.
Life circumstances, divine intervention and the financial reality that my husband and I will most likely have three children in college over a span of TEN years, has resulted in a major life change for us. Mama is going back to paid work! In fact, I start TOMORROW. Fortunately, I thrive on change and I’ll be resuming career work in a field that I thoroughly enjoy. However, regardless of job status, my “value” remains unchanged.
Interestingly enough, when my oldest two were little and I worked outside of the home, I always felt guilty for being away from them so much. Ironically, for the first three years of being with them full-time and adding on a third kid, I felt guilt for not contributing financially and frustrated with having little tangible goal achievement. In either role, I had a hard time determining my value. For the last three years, I found contentment in my role and changed my mindset. Now that my daily duties are changing again, I now know that my value is steadfast.
If you are a mother struggling to find your value in whatever season of life you are in, I share these three truths on motherhood that I have learned.
1. Our purpose as mothers is to love our children
It’s quality time not quantity. When we are with them, make the time count. Play with them, make lasting memories, meet their daily needs, allow them to grow up in the healthiest family environment you can provide and show them the discipline when they need it.
Also, when you have bad days and feel you have accomplished no loving of any kind, then that means you are normal.
2. Our purpose as mothers is to communicate with our children
This one is particularly tough. Why can’t they all be the same and why are we always tired, right? Of my three kids, one tends to keep emotions bottled in, the other won’t stop talking and the third tends to want to have heart to heart discussions right at bedtime after he has stalled for forty five minutes and I’m about to drop from exhaustion.
As they get older and spend more time at school and with friends more than they do with us, we have to make the increasingly limited one on one time intentional, introspective and investigative. Regardless of our employment status, there is the certain reality that our influence and talk time will become less but diligently working to communicate a safe and honest open door policy is a must.
3. Our purpose as mothers is to provide for our children
Whether that means through food on the table, a trip to the park, college funds, our limited free hours spent at their extracurriculars, etc., mothers make it happen.
Learning and accepting our value as mothers is a process and it isn’t how much money we can save for or spend on them. Nor is it how many awards our children can accumulate. Value also isn’t necessarily defined if our children choose to make the right choices 100% of their adult lives because at some point they become accountable for their own actions.
What mother is perfect? None. What mother tries their best? Most. What mother has value in what they do and who they are? ALL.
As I return back to career work tomorrow, I take these truths with me and believe myself to be a better mother and employee. When mothers are at work, we’ve got this, because we can juggle chaos 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. When mothers are at home, we’ve got this, because we know that loving our family means putting the family unit first when we are together.
Mothers are imperfect, yet perfection in our own unique way.
Do what you do and how you do it mama because the value of motherhood is priceless.