“One thing missing when I began staying home with my children was the affirmation that the work I was doing was good, or even valuable.”
My friend Cathy Fowler said this yesterday and I remember clearly (even though it was almost 40 years ago) that I felt the same way.
Our first child was born on the last day of school, the third year of my teaching career. Unless you have taught young children, you may not know the special way kindergarteners have of making you feel that you are special, loved, and just generally amazing!
- “Mrs. Woody, you are SO pretty!” (this when I had gained 50, yes, 50 lbs. in pregnancy)
- “Mrs. Woody, I want to be just like you when I grow up.”
- “Mrs. Woody, you are so good at drawing!” (I had drawn a generic looking flower labeling the parts of a plant)
- “Mrs. Woody, I like your shoes!” ( red Earth shoes, this was 1977)
I could go on and on….
Cathy and I agreed that being new mothers, alone most of the day with an infant who did NOT give us much affirmation, was a real adjustment.
Both of us were thrilled to be mothers.
At the same time, we did miss the social interaction and professional feedback.
A new baby does not appreciate our shoes, how good we are with numbers, how organized or creative we are, or anything else about us at first. (except for those two essential body parts, oh, and arms for holding)
Yet that time with small children is of utmost importance.
We often hear young women who stay at home with their children say things like, “I’m just a mom.” “I just stay home with my kids .”
Using the word “just” seems to minimize the value of the most important responsibility you will ever have. As women of God we desire to serve Him first and foremost. Sometimes we think that ministry is a ministry to “others”, like children in an orphanage in South America.
Are children in a foreign country more valuable in God’s eyes that those children right here where we are?
No, once He blesses us with children, God has entrusted us with those He loves with an everlasting love and He wants us to be faithful in our service as mothers.
If we ever doubt the absolute importance of our ministry as mothers we must read Matthew 19:14.
Jesus said “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
If our Lord thought that children were so important, shouldn’t we?
In Matthew 18:2-4 we read
“He called a little child and had him stand among them. And He said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
I love this next part – it blessed me so much when my children were little – verse 5 ”
And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.”
Amazing! Every time I welcome my child into my arms, snotty nose and all, I am welcoming Jesus!
Being a mother to your children is the GREATEST job you can have at this time in your life. It is more important than working on Capitol Hill, as an RN, teaching special needs children, or any other career.
May you embrace God’s calling for you at this time in your life and may He give you strength, wisdom, patience, and most of all – His Love.
God Bless You!