Growing up, I remember my mom being home with us all day, with no care of keeping an employer happy. She only had to concern herself with her family life and to keep us healthy and educated. She spent the mornings on Bible study and when we returned from school, we studied for tests and did homework together. These are fond memories…
But times have definitely changed and most mothers are now working outside of their homes, helping to provide financially. One is tempted to procrastinate against being taken out of your house, having to work and be a mutual breadwinner for the household. Suddenly, the roles between husband and wife are foggy and conflict arises. One even dares to think this is outside of God’s plan for mothers.
When we go back to what the Word has to say about the example of the perfect mother or housewife, a picture is painted of A Wife of Noble Character. Of a business woman; farming, buying, selling, working outside her house and keeping busy until the wee hours of the night to ensure that her family is comfortable and provided for.
This means that God has built us for this task. We should be able to keep it all together. To be the seductive wife, patient mother and an ambitious career woman. This almost sounds unattainable. Well, rather, unattainable with your sanity intact!
Why is it such a struggle for us then? Why do we feel that we are on breaking point every other day? I was overwhelmed by a sense of failure and discouragement. As soon as I was able to remember everything my son needed for school and gave him his medicine on time, then things started falling apart at work, or my husband notifies me that I have been…well… less than attentive! Out of frustration, I usually snap at someone I care about. I think it is just a mommy trait to want to do everything perfectly for everyone.
We need to be sure that we are focusing our energy and resources on the things that are really important to us, God and our families. Otherwise, we will inevitably burn out. Take time alone to get to know your values. Write them down and evaluate what portion of your day is spent on these things.
Set clear boundaries and teach yourself to say no. De-clutter your house. Chuck everything out that you don’t use or need. You will be surprised how much clearer you are able to think and go about your routine if everything has a place and your house is tidy.
I am learning not to strive for sheer perfection. I always end up disappointed. Our faith is founded on Grace, not our own achievements or perfection. My aim is to be better than yesterday. If I mess up and feel like I just want to hide away and cry, I remind myself that God’s Grace is new each day. Tomorrow you will have a chance to do better, having learned lessons from what went wrong today.
Make a list of each hour of the day – you will be surprised at how much time we actually have at our disposal. Next to each hour, write down what you usually do during that time slot. This will open your eyes to the power you have to take control of each day by making each hour count.
Plan ahead. Every night before I go to bed, I pack my son’s bag for school the next day. I select our outfits to wear to school and work. You never know what unforeseen moments the next morning might bring. Being prepared brings me a sense of calmness and clarity.
Discuss your challenges with your partner, we decided that while I do my makeup in the mornings, he gets our son ready for school. This really takes the edge off mornings!
Motherhood is just one of the many examples showing that God wants to journey with us, He wants to hold our hands and make us strong when we feel we can’t do this anymore. He reminds us that we are doing His work on earth, preparing His little children for the tasks He has planned for them. God will not let you do this on your own.