For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a mother.
When I was six, my sister and I used to fight over who got to be Addie’s (our baby sister’s) “mommy” that day. When I was ten, two brand new babies entered the family… and it was wonderful to get the experience of helping Mama feed them and watch them and play with them (and wash their bottles, my mom’s favorite job to give me). And more recently, now that my “baby” siblings are four-and-a-half, I still get to “practice motherhood” on them.
But there’s a huge amount of pressure these days on girls—people like me— to “get a job, pursue a career, and do something with your life.” For those of us who just want to be mothers, its confusing. Ought we to forget that dream as though it were merely a childhood fad, and go on with our lives like the rest of the world?
There’s more pressure than ever before for girls to get jobs. Everyone in the Science-Technology-Engineering-Math (or STEM) arena is mourning the low percentage of STEM jobs held by women (saying things like “only 25%”). Even in the Christian world, getting a job— and, more than a job, a career— is strongly “encouraged”… meaning, if you don’t, it’s kinda weird.
Sometimes it leaves me wondering. My friends and I often talk about how difficult it is to be a girl. We don’t know if we need to pursue a career, we say, because we don’t know if we’re going to get married and have families. (Then we figured out that as far as careers go, it’s much harder to be a boy… and have to figure out a career to be able to support a family for the rest of your life…) But the point remains… the culture, and even well-meaning Christians, to some extent, leave us confused.
Essentially, we’re asking one question:
Is motherhood worth it?
Is motherhood worth giving up the chance of a blossoming career? Is motherhood important enough to demand a woman’s life for eighteen years, and probably much more? Is motherhood worth the loneliness of being alone with toddlers all day, and not getting to connect with other adults for weeks on end? Is motherhood worth the diapers, the dishes, the disagreements? Is motherhood worth the utter sleep-deprivation and weariness? Is motherhood worth late nights with throw-up-sick kids, fears of the dark and teens in crisis? Is motherhood worth the frustration, the pain, the heartbreak?
As a daughter, I say yes.
Yes it’s worth it.
I was the child that made my mom a mother. And it’s been fifteen years now since she brought me into the world. It’s been fifteen years of her caring for me, loving me, cooking me dinner, slipping me notes, buying me chocolate, helping me when I need her in the middle of the night, listening to me when I talk to her for hours on end, and just being there.
My mother has given up so much— so much— to be there for me. She quit her career to stay home with me. She gave up all hope of a comfortable life (or so it must have seemed at the time 😉 ) to homeschool me. She has denied herself anything and everything in order to benefit me.
My mom has done so very much for me. Was it worth it?
To me, it was.
Did she invent a time machine, cure cancer, solve world hunger, become president of the United States? No, she didn’t.
She may not have changed the world, but she changed my world.
Mama showed me Jesus. Every day of my life, I’ve seen Him and His love for me in her. By His grace, He saved me, and I don’t doubt that it’s in no small part due to her.
So many people argue that motherhood is a waste… a waste of time, of talents, or of a woman’s life. But do you know what? I don’t agree. I agree with the following statement: “When we serve Christ, we waste nothing.” That’s taken from this post, which was written by a critical care surgeon who gave up her successful career to stay at home as a mother.
Motherhood is a lot of things.
It’s a sacrifice.
It can be lonely.
It can be painful.
It can be heartbreaking.
But, if offered to Christ, there’s one thing that motherhood will never be: worthless.
As the daughter of a mother who relies on Jesus and points me to Him tirelessly, let me tell all you mothers that you are doing a very important job for the kingdom. Even if no one seems to notice, even if no one seems to care, your motherhood is not wasted. You’ve heard the quote, “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” But I’m talking about something more important than ruling the world. I’m talking about influencing people for eternity.
Look at what the Bible has to say about mothers:
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all” (Proverbs 31:28-29).
Many women do noble things. Many women have huge careers. Many women invent important stuff. Many women cure diseases. Many women “change the world”. But mothers, pointing their children to Jesus? They surpass them all.
So to all the mothers reading this, thank you so much. Thank you for fulfilling the job God has given you and for pointing your children back to their heavenly Father. Thank you for continuing to unload the dishwasher and do the laundry, even when no one notices. Thank you for cleaning up your own Mother’s Day breakfast, and, most of all… thank you for embracing this important job God has given you. It’s worth it.
And to everyone reading this who’s not a mother… whether its because you’re too young (like me), or don’t want to be a mother, or God has not chosen to give you children yet… remember that when you fulfill your God-giving calling (whatever that may be), you, too, are “surpassing them all” and doing something that’s totally worth it. Motherhood is the focus for this post because it’s Mother’s Day, but the message is the same for any stage of life… So please, keep on pursuing Jesus wherever you are right now, whether that’s mothering or not, and remember that obeying God is the only real way to do something that will last for eternity.
That’s all for now! Thank you, mothers! (Special thanks to Mama… 😉 ) And happy Mother’s Day!