Before I was a mother, I got awards and accolades. I worked towards goals that had celebrations and diplomas. Now I've said no to the "work" and yes to the stay at home gig, I realize how much those temporary achievements and "good jobs!" motivated me. I don't miss my old job so much, but rather the selfish ways in which I was recognized for my hard work.
My son is the biggest benefactor of my day to day work. He doesn't give me raises or promotions. He doesn't upgrade me to the corner office when I make him dinner or change his diaper for the umpteenth time. He doesn't give me a certificate for wiping his face after a meal. In fact, most times he's screaming at me at this point. Why do babies hate being clean? He can't even say thank you yet because he doesn't have those words in his vocabulary.
My motivation for doing what I do every day is not what he does or doesn't do, but rather because I love him. It is a privilege and a joy to be his mother. I know this in the depths of me.
But some days, when I'm cleaning up dog poop and kid poop and multiple day old dishes and trying not to count the laundry piles, this life can feel very thankless, very meaningless, very unimpactful, and very isolating. And I suppose that is just where the enemy wants us.
But sometimes. I feel the presence of Jesus with me and I remember. He didn't come to be thanked or given a high five. He came to absolutely die the worst death for our benefit. Because he loved us. Even the people who were screaming at him to be crucified while he was trying to cleanse them of their sins.
So I don't need my people thank me. God is the best boss! God knows the depths of the mess of the sometimes bitter, angry, self-serving heart that I'm begging Him to take and make oatmeal.
Thank you Jesus that it isn't about me anymore. I'm so grateful that you've taken the next promotion out of the picture for me so I can focus on you. I want YOU to get the promotion in my heart and meanwhile I'm going to be just fine down here washing the day old raw steak juice off my cutting board.
THANK YOU for dying for me. Help me to die to myself and bring me back to the joy and gift that is motherhood.
And other mamas, working or stay-at-home, THANK YOU. You are loved and cherished. God sees you on your knees changing that diaper and kissing booboos and thinking before you answer their why questions and spraying mold out of the shower. And while we are at it, come on over. I'd love to make you a coffee and thank you in person. You're doing a wonderful job.