“Are you happy, mummy?”
Recently a dear friend came for a visit over the weekend. I was telling him about my “deep” need for a dyson vaccum (yes, it is a deep need), and he said something that stopped me mid-speech. He said “omg, you sound like a housewife”. I honestly don’t think he meant any harm, but it sure felt condescending. I felt small. Insignificant. It pricked a small part of my flesh that still struggled. I replied, “Well, I am a housewife”. I then excused myself, and went back in the kitchen to resume my “housewifey” duties. It wasn’t the first time I heard it.
In my first post, I shared about how I was somewhat forced in to this role. When my firstborn turned a year old I had the option of going back in to the working world. My husband certainly encouraged me as he felt that it would make me happy. I did apply for some jobs to no avail. Though I would have liked to start work, my heart had no peace about it. Whenever I have no peace I always use it as a sign that I am about to step out of God’s will. I asked God for a job. He replied, firmly but lovingly “Stay home and raise my children”. I was not happy to hear this. I accepted because it is always better to say yes to God than saying no. But in my heart I grumbled. I felt like God was punishing me.
I complained against him in my heart. Just like an Israelite in Exodus. Why would I go university and graduate school, spend my parents money to get degrees if I am just going stay at home! This is not fair! It didn’t help when all people wanted to talk to me about was pregnancy and kids. It really broke me when my husband’s colleagues started talking science to me in “science for dummies” kind of language. When I mentioned that I used to do neuroscience research, they always replied, “Wow really? Never expected that!” I was not a happy mother or a wife. I resented all that I had to do, and it rolled over on to my kids and my husband. I did not pray, or ask God for help. I was too angry.Though I said yes to God, my heart was not in it. God knew this. He knew that in order for me to be a good mother, I needed to be sanctified. He loved me too much to leave me alone.
Motherhood as a Calling
Through all my grumbling and pride, God was faithful. He was patient. He began to surround me with godly women who took pleasure in their role as a SAHM. The real change came when God shifted my view of motherhood from a chore to a calling. He did this through a book that was recommended to me by one of the godly women He placed in my life. The book is called “Mom enough” (you can download it HERE). It carried contributions from godly mothers who found peace and satisfaction as a mother. I will include below the words that God used to set me free, and shift my mindset from worldly to godly.
“Live the gospel in the things that no one sees. Sacrifice for your children in places that only they will know. Put their value ahead of yours. Grow them up in the clean air of gospel living. Your testimony to the gospel in the little details of your life is more valuable to them than you can imagine. If you tell them the gospel, but live to yourself, they will never believe it. Give your life for theirs every day, joyfully. Lay down pettiness. Lay down fussiness. Lay down resentment about the dishes, about the laundry, about how no one knows how hard you work. Stop clinging to yourself and cling to the cross. There is more joy and more life and more laughter on the other side of death than you can possibly carry alone”.
(Taken from “Mom enough, Chapter 1: Motherhood Is a Calling (And Where Your Children Rank). Written by Rachel Jankovic)
These words are merely a snippet of what God used to set me free. Like rain on a parched land, they brought life into my motherhood journey. I began to see it as a ministry, that involved raising two men, to fear and honor God. I saw my babies as vessels of God’s glory with immense potential to bring people to God. I no longer wanted anything else. I no longer found meaning in any other job. It was the greatest service I can offer to God, one that had eternal value. So I chose to be home and care for my family. But making the choice was not enough. I needed to do it joyfully. Otherwise it would be futile. As I continued to humble myself and allow God to sanctify my heart, I found satisfaction in the knowledge that what I had chosen was right. I was serving the Lord when I changed diapers, cleaned their messes, dealt with their tantrums. I was exactly where God wanted me to be and it was enough. I was satisfied.
There are women whom God quipped to be working moms, and there are those who are called to be home. It is not about whether you work or not, its about the attitude with which you parent. The choice before me was never about going back to work, or staying home. It was whether I was going to be content in what God has asked me to do. You could be a working mother or a SAHM, but if you are not a content and satisfied in the Lord as a mother, your labor and sacrifice will be in vain. You will always be influenced by expectations that come from this world, and the condemnation and guilt that it brings.
Being a joyful mother doesn’t mean that things will always be perfect. God knows that my family drives me crazy. There are times I want to run away and I long for things past, but God always intervene, and challenges me to get my perspective back on track. He uses the voice of my 3-year-old son, who looks me in the eye and asks me “Are you happy, mummy?”
Dear Sisters, Rise up and choose joy. Whether you are working or staying at home, choose to be joyful in motherhood. This broken world will tell you all sorts of rubbish about how you have to do all sorts of things to be content. God tells you to be joyful in Him. So choose joy because you are serving God. Choose joy because you are favored by the Lord to be a mother. Choose joy because raising kids to know the Lord has eternal value in His Kingdom. God carefully made your babies for a purpose and God chose you to be their mother. HE CHOSE YOU. So, choose joy. Choose God and His all sufficiency. Choose your children. Lay your life down for them put them first, because God did the same for you. Do not seek perfection, but seek contentment in the Lord. Because God is most glorified, when you are most satisfied in Him. When you are satisfied, your children will be too. Arise. Have courage. Choose joy.
To God be the glory for evermore.