A friend sent me a link to a blog called “Mommy Monsters, Inc.” and the column Do You Ever Feel Invisible? I just got through reading it and although I’m not a big cry-er when it comes to reading, this one had me in tears.
The author makes the point that there are times when moms feel invisible: under-appreciated, under-cared-for, and just plan taken for granted. It happens to all of us, and I’m no exception. Sometimes it feels as though the work of motherhood is one that is less-celebrated and less-acknowledged than other forms of work, be it a doctor or nurse, a professional educator, or a Hollywood star. I’m not in it for the glory (if I was, I’m definitely in the wrong field), but it strikes me that how we (collectively) value motherhood and families signals where our society and community may end up going in the future.
But beyond that, I’m a mom by the grace of God. I’m the mom to whom the doctors said that if I could attain another pregnancy, I’d probably not carry to term. I’m the mom that fought all the way through her 37.5 weeks of gestation to maintain her health and the health of her baby–against odds that most don’t have to fight. So while accolades and acknowledgment would be nice, I didn’t become a mom by the grace of the world, and I don’t work for the world or its praise.
And the author of that column makes an excellent point as she compares the work of motherhood to the building of ancient cathedrals. The cathedrals are monuments to God and are houses of worship, for sure. But they are also testaments to all of the parts of those buildings that aren’t obvious or noticed. The small parts in the roof, in the walls, in the floors. The things that workmen did wonderfully and with excellence, knowing that their contributions would pale in comparison to the painting on the ceiling or the stained glass windows, but also knowing that without doing their best, the cathedral wouldn’t stand. And if it fell down around the parishioners’ feet, it wouldn’t matter *what* stained glass was in the windows or what painting was on the ceiling. Some of these same workmen were challenged about taking time to make beautiful parts that wouldn’t be readily seen by people, and the workmen’s response was, “God will see.”
Which brings me back to the often glory-less job of motherhood. It may not have the praise and attention of positions that are more visible, but without the internal work that isn’t often seen by people and is done for the glory of God, the external structure of our children (future adults) wouldn’t stand. This article did an excellent job of reminding me of that and ‘centering’ me. There are so many opportunities to be critical of myself as a mother and so many things that I’m not doing but “should” be doing (according to those who “know better”). Yet I don’t answer any of the critics, I answer God.
And that makes me much more willing to toil in quiet anonymity and for peanut-butter-smeared kisses.
Psalm 127:3 –Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward..