Tuesday, April 16, 2013

the very good job of motherhood

Traffic lightsMotherhood involves a lot of driving for me at the moment.

Yesterday, I drove to Ben's school four times. Each trip, there and back, took at least half an hour. The morning trip, through traffic and a detour around local roadworks, took an hour. The last trip included an hour at the local doctor's.

All this driving was necessary to get Ben, who suffers from chronic headaches, to and from school so he could get through his first day of term 2. (He had a wonderful day, by the way, headache and all; praise God for his answer to prayer!)

Ben, being the sensitive child he is, apologised for taking up so much of my time; and I, being the good mother I am ;), answered, "Don't worry, darling, I don't mind at all."

Except, of course, part of me does mind. I mind the frustrations of driving through traffic. I mind the hours I could be doing something else. I needed to be reminded why this is something I shouldn't mind.

So, to myself as much as to my son, I said, "Benny, this is my job. If I was working in an office, I'd be driving, running errands, and they'd be much more pointless than this. You are my job. You and Lizzy and Thomas and Andy are my job. The house is my job. Helping your dad is my job. That's why I don't do paid work at the moment, so I can do this job."

My words spoke to me. They shifted my perspective. They reminded me that, yes, I have a job, and it's an important one, and one that I love.

And yes, I'd like more time to do ministry outside the home (at the moment, I'm limited to a frustratingly inadequate half-day a week). And yes, I'm aware that one day, soon, I might need to start working for part of the week and earn some extra money. But right now, especially with Ben so sick, this is my full-time job.

This is my job. It's a good job: helping Steve, caring for our kids, managing our home. Let me never forget that! Let me never forget how much I would miss it if I didn't get to do this. Let me never forget that, in doing this ministry-at-home, I love and serve Jesus.

Next time I'm stuck in traffic, driving my kids to or from school, I'll try to remember that.


DevonMaid said...

I could have written that ...

Thanks for sharing x

Deb said...

Very convicting for me this week, Jean, as I have a sick child at home and I've been rather a grump about it.

Jean said...

Always happy to oblige, Deb! ;D

Anonymous said...

This is exactly the struggle that I go through time and time again. To view being a full time SAHM as my main ministry right now, and not feeling bad/disappointed that I'm missing out on more exciting/important things in the meantime. In saying that I don't want to be doing anything else, but there is an inner struggle that goes on quite frequently. I can't imagine how much more difficult it must be with the stress and emotional strain when a sick child is involved. I read a verse in Ps 27 the other day which encouraged me during a particularly long day: 'Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord". I hope that might be an encouragement to you too.

Fiona McLean said...

Thank you, Jean. This post resonated with me too!