This morning I have conquered laundry, dishes, breakfast and catered to every whim of my 3 year old (minions, milk, sausage biscuit). I have been awake for 40 minutes. This is very typical.
I imagine to my family I look like a vacuum wielding, dinner cooking, tazmanian devil. Some days I feel like a tornado tearing through the house to keep some kind of order and make it to the next engagement on time. It’s overwhelming and sometimes unrewarding.
I admitted just the other night to my man that I sometimes get so stressed out that I cry in the shower. Yes, I have to pencil in the time to cry appropriately without worrying my family. Sometimes I’m just so tired or worn down that all I can do is cry. I have talked to other working mothers and I do not feel alone or unique. It’s tough.
I think I have convinced myself that the kids will remember how spotless the kitchen floor was when they were growing up or how mom/Stephanie made 3 dinners every night to appease every palette. But will they? My guess is they will remember the days I was able to play outside or when I made time to have a dance party instead of worrying about a pile of laundry.
I imagine my partner would care less about coming home to a clean house and a hot meal if he had a woman who wasn’t so tired she nearly passed out in her dinner plate. I’m not saying that I do not value you these things. I do.
I feel empowered being able to feed and show up for my loved ones. I am mastering making it all happen, even on days when it seems impossible. I don’t, however, believe that these things are the biggest indicators of my worth as a mother or wife.
I think the most valuable thing we can give to our families is our time and devotion. I read the story in the bible about Martha and Mary not long ago and I could totally relate to Martha. There she was doing and moving and catering to their very precious guest, Jesus.
I would have done the same thing. I can picture me asking Jesus if he had dietary restrictions, if gluten was ok, or if he needed another ice cube in his tea. I would probably apologize for the clutter and immediately start organizing. I saw myself in Martha. In that, I even understood her frustration.
Here she was cooking and cleaning and where was her sister? Sitting at the feet of Jesus just listening to him speak. Um…hello? This dinner ain’t gonna make itself! But what did Jesus say to Martha when she expressed her irritation?
40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a]Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Well, I think Martha and I just got put in our places. Mary had chosen to devote time and attention. She had chosen what is better. Let me say that again, she had chosen what was better.
God wants our time and devotion. Our family wants the same things. Why can’t I give it to them both? I wake up early each morning for scripture, chores, and coffee. Why not for extra snuggles because he is going to miss me today or to hear a presentation for the 3rd time because she is extra nervous?
I look at the living room clutter. There is a sippy cup and 3 pairs of toddler boy’s shoes strewn across the floor. It may kill me to ignore it, but I am going to do what is better. Excuse me, while I go play batmom with my son.