Tuesday, December 4, 2012
As a special treat today, I was able to take an hour out of my work day and attend Mi2, a group for moms that meets twice a month at our church. As a mom who works full time outside the home as well as inside, I don't get to spend much time with other moms. Not even my own. Most moms, I would venture to say, feel some level of isolation due to their occupation - spending enormous amounts of time with those "mini adults" - and the demands it puts on their time - bed time, nap time, play time, dining times, etc., etc. Then there are those moms who also work outside the home. The isolation changes because their time is now divided. They get interaction with adults, but still not the interaction they necessarily need. What do I mean by that? Humans need to know they are not alone. As we battle through day-to-day living, we can begin to collapse under the weight of it, especially if we feel isolated, like no one knows what we're going through. This is true of everyone. Now take a mom. There are 24 usable hours in every day. Most of us would love to be asleep for at least 8 of those hours, but we'll be a little more realistic and call it 6 (that is a really good night). If a mom gets up before her kids, let's say she's up by 6, so she went to bed sometime around midnight, but probably before because her precious 6 hours was broken up by needs. OK, so it's 6. Now she gets ready for her day and then she spends it with her kids, caring for her kids, cooking for her kids, cleaning up after her kids, going shopping with her kids, eating with her kids, putting her kids to bed and then hopefully taking a little time for herself from 8 until she collapses into bed. And for most women there is a husband that goes along with all this madness. And I mean madness in a good way. Take a mom who also works outside the home. She gets up at 6, gets ready, gets her kids ready, takes her kids to their care-takers or school, runs to work, works with people who aren't necessarily interested in what her plans are for dinner, what her daughter said that morning that was so cute, or anything else for that matter, picks her kids up, cooks, eats, spends a few minutes playing, puts her kids to bed and then hopefully takes a little time for herself from 8 until... You get the picture. Sleep. Wake. Repeat. Hopefully in the midst of all of this there is a phone call, an email, a coffee date, someone to eat lunch with, etc., someone, anyone, who cares about this mom - stay at home or no - and can listen, pray, laugh, cry, and simply be there for her. We need each other. But here's what I learned this morning. Get ready because it's big. I am designed for my life. I was created as a help-meet for my husband, the good man that he is. I was blessed with the privilege to bear our child, and I have the compassion, love, care and instinct to care for her. BUT ONLY WITH GOD'S HELP. He clothes me with strength and dignity (Pr. 31:25); He gives me the ability to speak with wisdom and kindness (Pr. 31:26); He designed me, He goes before me, He upholds me. Being a wife and mother can be exhausting. We are always on-call, rarely acknowledged, often sleep-deprived, and at times (for some of us most of the time) worried. But God designed us to be that encouragement and burst of confidence our husbands need. He designed us to be the band-aid dispenser and professional cuddler while also teaching good manners and living a life of example before our children. He gives us the energy, the drive, the rest, and the HELP we need. So that is what I realized this morning. I cannot do anything apart from Him. Why do I think my marriage and parenting would be any different? I cannot allow myself to feel or remain isolated. There are a lot of women who are in the same place I am, or who have been there. Women who can walk alongside me and remind me of who I am, what I have been given to do, and that every day, every challenge, every heartache and joy is one more opportunity to love, be joy-filled, peaceful, patient, kind, good, gentle, faithful, self-controlled; opportunities for me to point back to my creator who gives me all I need.