Today I saw a clip about a mom who got a well-deserved make-over. The hostess of the clip kept going on and on about how busy this mom is. Indeed, she is a busy woman, but a busy mom? She works 3 jobs, is working on her master's degree, coaches soccer and is training for a marathon. She bemoaned the fact that she hadn't been to a stylist in 11 months! I couldn't help but utter a sarcastic "boo hoo." But snarkiness aside, the first thing that popped into my mind was, "when is she a mom?" Self-admittedly, she said that some days she works from 4 am to 7:30 pm.
A busy mom changes diapers, reads stories, settles arguments, soothes booboos, cradles a sick child, helps with schoolwork, sings silly songs, does housework, chaperones, chauffeurs, cooks, grocery shops, etc etc etc. I just don't see her being much of a mom when most of her time is spent away from her children.
Then, the judging stopped. When I became an adult, God started doing this: whenever I judge, He's got a lesson for me. I could hear Him whispering to me, "Yeah, you're home and that's great, but you're often too busy with housework and things to be the mom your children need." Ouch!!
Admittedly, I'm busy! I shoulder a LOT of this family's life, more than many women. I try to include my children in what I do, but sometimes it's just easier to put in a DVD and throw the baby in the pack and play. Yes, there are times when we do have to do something like that. After all, the toilet needs to be cleaned sometime. Dinner needs to be cooked safely. Or sometimes hubby needs help with something that's a bit urgent. However, when it becomes a more common practice to put the children away, something needs to be re-evaluated.
I'm learning to eliminate the metaphoric "soccer coaching" and "marathon training" until the important stuff is done. I'm learning to better organize, prioritize and include my children in the metaphoric "3 jobs" and "college classes."
This woman in the clip is probably sucked into the world of perceived success through doing it all. Sure, I stay home, but I get stucked into that world as well. We read about some mother of a gazillion children who's house is spotless, children homeschooled, garden weeded, bread baked, widows helped, husband satisfied, God worshiped, pantry stocked and baby nursed until 3 years old all while wearing dresses and smiles and dealing with a debilitating illness. We feel we need to measure up.
Balance, ladies. We each have different circumstances. God broke the mold when He made each and every one of us. We can't expect to fit into the mold of someone else's life. It ain't gonna work!
It's time to stop looking around and comparing ourselves and our abilities to others. It's time to look to God. He is the ONLY constant. He is the ONLY wisdom-giver.
I'll tell you one thing the mom from the clip had going for her....she smiled and had fun with her kids when she was with them. I could be home with my kiddos for the rest of my life, but if I don't smile and have fun with them, I might as well have stuck them in daycare.