I know I have already touched on my love/hate relationship with nighttime. I say love/hate because I always look forward to laying down at the end of a long day, but sometimes it is not always so relaxing.
On the bright side, I seem to uncover some of my greatest ideas when I am in between periods of rest. You know, when you are kind of asleep, but not completely. I usually sleep with a pen and paper beside my bed, so I can jot those down, otherwise once I do reach that good R.E.M. sleep and wake up the next morning, those ideas are nowhere to be found.
During the dark hours, is also a time where I will play back scenarios that happened during the day or perhaps weeks before. Last night, I found myself playing back an occurrence that happened many months ago, but first let me touch on why this particular case was brought back to the forefront of my mind.
Halloween night, whilst trick-or-treating with my family in our neighborhood I was walking my little minions around (they were actual minions from Despicable Me). As we were leaving one house and going to another, we were talking about their costumes and how I didn’t dress up this year.
Ashton said to me, “We are all minions, but you’re just a mom.”
I looked at my husband and said, “Yea, I am JUST a mom.” We both laughed and carried on collecting our candy.
I have thought about that comment and even though I know she meant absolutely nothing by it, it reminded me of the scenario I mentioned earlier. The one keeping me up last night. Like I said, this was many months ago, during a routine doctor’s visit.
I am sure most moms can relate to this. We sometimes put ourselves, our needs and definitely our wants on the back burner. It just happens while you are carrying on day to day, making sure everyone else’s needs are met and before you know it, it has been two years since you have been to the dentist for a cleaning or in this case a regular check-up with my primary care physician.
When updating my paperwork, the nurse asked me about my occupation and I replied, “I am just a mom.” She went on typing away and never even gave it a second thought.
I certainly have. I have given it a second, third, fourth and fifth thought.
I have given this same answer to anyone that would ask over the last few years that I was staying at home with my girls, numerous times in front of them.
“Oh, I am just a mom.”
When Ashton said this while trick-or-treating the other night, it did not bother me. I thought it was cute and funny and to her I probably am just a mom. So, why did it keep me up last night? Why did it bring me back to sitting in that doctor’s office months ago?
It was probably because of the wave of emotions that hit me every time the words left my lips.
“I am JUST a mom.”
Sometimes, I felt insignificant. My days were spent being a homemaker and I did not feel like I had a life outside of that. Every day was the same. Wake up, take a bath, maybe put real clothes on, get the kids dressed and fed, then feed them again at lunch, clean a little bit, go for a walk, then start preparing supper. Every single day. I had no life outside of being a mother. I did not feel like I was contributing in any way to society just because I did not have a “real” job.
Then, here comes the guilt for feeling that way. Why do I feel like I should be doing more? Why do I feel like working a “real” job equals significance? Why do I feel like I should be more than just a mom? Why can’t I be happy and appreciate this chance that not every mom gets to have by staying at home with their children?
I now know it was because my perspective on motherhood was slightly skewed. I did not see the value I was bringing to my family. That the job I had was indeed an especially important one. I did not need to be a brain surgeon, politician, lawyer, or an inventor to be significant or to play a key role in society.
I was reminded of a quote by Andy Stanley, “Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise.”
Just wow! If I just looked at it from an eternal standpoint, how could I ever feel insignificant or that my job was not important? I was doing God’s work. I was raising children of God and I was contributing to His kingdom by doing so.
So, I am not JUST a mom, and I am THE mom.
I am the mom that God hand-picked to raise these girls and I thank Him every day for choosing me. My eyes fill with tears every time I think about it even as I am writing this now, my heart is overwhelmed with joy and gratitude.
Being a mother is a reflection of God’s love. Mothers are the peacemakers, they make sacrifices, their love surpasses all boundaries with no conditions, and they would lay down their lives for their children without hesitation just as Jesus Christ did for us.
I now know full-heartedly no worldly job I ever have while I am on this Earth could ever be as significant as the job of being a mother.
(Paige Nash is THE mom and a digital journalist for the Webster Parish Journal.)
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