After lunch today while Ben cleaned the usual mess our self-feeding daughter makes during meal times, I decluttered the living room, and Bethany explored around, I remembered an incident that took place when I was still teaching overseas.
In our Advanced Conversation class with Grades 4-6 students, I asked my students a question that elicited quite a response from them. I am not sure what the exact question was but I am sure one of my students responded with, “I like my dad because my mom is lazy. She doesn’t do anything. She just stays in the house.” I am certain I commented something positive in defense to his mom. That boy that said that was not the only one that said something similar to that effect. Some children have this notion that moms are lazy because they don’t go out to work and earn money for the family. They think that when moms choose to stay home to take care of the family or manage the home that they’re inefficient, not smart, and are not able to meet the demands of the outside world. How unfortunate of them to think so!
Managing a home and taking care of everyone is surely not an easy task. I’m just in the beginning of my motherhood journey and I can attest that it’s no easy job. There’s the daily tasks that must be done such as making meals three times a day and when the baby isn’t eating table food that’s times two of the job, cleaning up after, doing dishes, doing laundry (clothes, towels, beddings, etc) and putting them away, maintaining closets/drawers, decluttering every so often though at the same time teaching your child even at an early age to learn to put things away after use, keeping the house neat, safe, and clean, planning meals, cleaning the bathroom, taking the trash, vacuuming, mopping, dusting, paying bills, scheduling stuff, etc. That’s a lot of work! If I was married and had a baby when I heard the response from that student, I am not sure how I would have responded. There’s a ton of things to do daily at home. There’s also the weekly chores and the monthly chores! Whew! Did I mention teaching and training the child as well?
I think it’s about time to change the mindset of our children by appreciating not only our fathers but also our mothers who choose to stay home to take care of the family. Working from home has surely helped me see how challenging it is to do two jobs–teaching and motherhood. It’s so hard to focus. There’s that ginormous desire to succeed in both arenas but it’s impossible to give 100% in both. Some things got to give.
Motherhood is a full time and should not be frowned upon. Motherhood is a full time job. It requires finding that quiet time sitting at the feet of Jesus to be able to meet the demands of life for it is only through Him that we can find wisdom, grace, strength, and patience. It is both a gift and a responsibility. While I am grateful and enjoying every bit of my motherhood, I cannot help but think about the single moms out there who have to work and make sure that needs are met and bills are paid. My mom did it, and I am thankful for relatives who took care of me and my siblings. (Unfortunately though, I am much closer to my aunt that was there for me most of the time, that patiently taught and trained us growing up. I wish my mom stayed home. No, I wish my dad stayed with us and chose us. 😦 )
Anyhow, here are some thoughts to ponder for you coming from Ellen G. White “Our High Calling”, Page 230.
“It is of the highest importance that Sabbathkeepers live out their faith in every particular. They should be prompt and neat, and keep their business matters all straight. . . .
None should be so fearful of being like the world that it will lead them to be careless in their houses, leaving things in disorder and uncleanness. It is not pride to be neat in dress, cleanly in person, orderly and tasteful in their household arrangements. . . . These outside appearances tell the business character of those living in the house, and not only this but the religious character of its inmates. It is impossible for a slack, disorderly person to make a good Christian. Their lives, in temporal and religious things, are just as disorderly as their dress, houses, persons, and premises.
There is order in heaven. There are rules and regulations which govern the whole heavenly host. All move in order. All there is cleanly, all in perfect harmony. And everyone who will be counted worthy to enter heaven will be thoroughly disciplined and will be without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. The uncultivated have spots and wrinkles upon them now. They had better lose no time in commencing the work of cleansing themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord.
God loves purity, cleanliness, order, and holiness. God requires all His people who lack these qualifications to seek them and never rest until they obtain them. They must commence the work of reform and elevate their lives, so that in conversation and deportment their acts, their lives, will be a continual recommendation of their faith and will have such a winning, compelling power upon unbelievers that they will be compelled to acknowledge that they are the children of God.
The truth as it is in Jesus will not degrade but elevate the receiver, purify his life, refine his taste, sanctify his judgment.”