I remember those days, though - the days of endlessly cycling through meals and laundry and playing games and picking up toys and reading storybooks and naps and meals and more laundry and...At the end of the day, you fall into bed exhausted because you've been on your feet going full-throttle for 15-16-18 hours, and you're disheartened because, as tired as you are, when you look around at your messy house and the unfinished ToDo list, you feel like you haven't accomplished one darn thing!
I remember...except that I don't. Not really. Time has erased some of the fatigue and much of the sense of futility.
I kept baby Lizzy yesterday while her mom attended a class in Martin.
On my Monday ToDo list were: Write two articles (one, 2000 words; one, 500 words); research marketing; read other writers on writing; catch up on emails and write two letters; clean out email inbox; catch up on laundry; exercise;...
What I actually did was: play with Play-Doh; color; read books; fix snacks and lunch; make multiple trips to the potty (I lost count); play outside in the yard; swing on the porch swing;...
When Lizzy and her mom finally headed down the driveway toward their home yesterday afternoon, I headed back inside and pulled out my neglected ToDo list. "I did not get a single thing done today!" I lamented.
But then I caught myself. "No, that's not right," I corrected myself, "I got a LOT done today!" (Just not anything on that ToDo list!)
Later, I was talking with my youngest - the seventeen-year-old - and I commented how easily I had slipped back into that wrong thinking that says play and parenting (or grandparenting) aren't "real" work because they don't enable you to check off boxes on a list of objectives.
That got me to thinking about how tired I so often felt as a young mother of many children, and how so often I felt like I hadn't accomplished anything visible/measurable at each day's end. No matter how hard I worked, there were always more dirty clothes in the laundry room floor, more dirty dishes in the sink, more books and toys scattered over the living room floor, more noses and bottoms to wipe, more boo-boos to kiss...
So today, fresh on the wake-up call I received yesterday, I want to say to all you young mothers out there:
Yours is a high and holy and honorable calling. It may not look like it, and it often won't feel like it, but you are accomplishing great and glorious things in your messy, ordinary, exhausting, day-to-day existence. You are nurturing eternal souls and raising up a new generation of warriors and warrior-princesses.
Young mother: you are a queen among women.
Yesterday, I did not accomplish anything on my ToDo list. No, I had far greater things to do instead.
You are as much serving God in looking after your own children, training them up in God's fear, minding the house and making your household a church of God as you would be if you had been called to lead an army to battle for the Lord of hosts. - Charles H. Spurgeon