I’ve done it. You’ve done it.
There are articles and sitcoms devoted to it.
We Moms like to play the “woe is me” card from time to time. I call it, the “Martyr Mom Mentality.”
For me, it starts early in the morning; “Poor me, the kids got up before I got my coffee…I really need coffee, because they woke me up a lot last night.”
“I just cleaned this house last night, now look at it!”
“I’m tired of changing diapers.”
And then when the Bearded Man gets home, I really like to put on the theatrics.
“You wouldn’t believe what went on here today!”
“I don’t get any time alone.”
“I have to do everything myself.”
“I’m so tired.”
I’m proud to be a Stay at Home Mom, but I like to complain sometimes. Actually, our culture seems to enjoy complaining about motherhood. How did we get here? Do we think we’re above taking care of our kids? I know there are bad days, and I’m not trying to downplay that. But when did we get the mindset that taking care of our kids, in a warm cozy home, should earn us a metal?
This has been heavy on my heart, because I had a huge reality check last week. My good friend, Stephanie was over and we were talking about child rearing. I made a comment about messes, and she shared with me how her mindset had changed over the years. You see, 11 years ago, Stephanie lost her beautiful 5 year old daughter, Mattie, to Meningitis. Her story is heartbreaking and amazing. She gently reminded me that waking up to a quiet home, isn’t the bliss that Moms dream of. When we talked last week, what really struck me, is how fast it could all be over. We talk about having “18 years” with our kids, when in reality, we aren’t promised that. We are blessed…so incredibly blessed and privileged to raise these little ones. It must break God’s heart when we complain and act like we’re “imprisoned” by caring for our families. One day, sooner than we think, it could all be over. Those little bedrooms will empty.
How sad that we are wasting precious time feeling sorry for ourselves. Do our little ones pick up on it? That we feel like Martyrs simply for caring for them? Does it break the woman’s heart who has lost a child too early? Who struggles with infertility?
Stephanie, I don’t know if you realize the impact you had on me last week, but I am so grateful. That very night, I was tempted to complain about a pile of books my kids left in the living room. Instead I decided to be grateful to have little ones in my home to read books. The Bearded Man and I realized that there are people out there praying to have messes like ours.
We are put on this Earth to work and serve in one way or another. How blessed I am that God allowed me to serve by being a Mother.
This job isn’t glamorous, but I’m not above it.
It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
Target can wait.
Coffee with friends can wait.
The phone can wait.
These babies aren’t promised to us forever.
I’m not a Martyr for being tired, or missing out on social gatherings to care for a sick child.
I’m not a Martyr for cleaning the kitchen or folding piles and piles of laundry.
I’m not a Martyr for changing diapers, or staying up at night to soothe a fussy baby. My own flesh and blood.
Don’t feel sorry for me.
Don’t let me feel sorry for myself.
Don’t let me act like Martyr.
Pray for me.
Pray that I can, as Stephanie said, “Stop, take a breather, say a prayer, and thank the Lord for my chaos.”
Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him.