When you have little ones who are not yet in school, every day seems to be the same. Most of us cannot tell the difference between a Monday and a Friday morning. At times, okay for most days, the days truly seem to all blend into one lonnnnnnnnnnngggggg day. Nick tells me that's how his two jobs are too, but at least he has a freedom in his movements that a stay at home rarely has. Like not having two kids glued to your hip for every chore and activity.
I can't count how many times I have felt like I was trapped inside my house while the world continued to move around me. Another day of laundry, poopy diapers, food clean-ups, train tracks, and sleep routines. But we do not do any of this in vain.
Dr. Horton wrote something profound in his new book, Ordinary. He writes:
"Many of the things that mothers do in the home are not even measurable, much less stupendously satisfying on a daily basis. Much of it can be tedious, repetitive, and devoid of the intellectual stimulation found in adult company. In a myriad of ways, the calling of dying to self is felt more accurately by mothers. What they need is fewer guilt trips and expectations and more encouragement as they invest in ordinary tasks that yield to long-term dividends."
He goes on to write:
"Yet there is no promotion in motherhood. Successes are measured in years, not days or even months, and you can never be quite sure of all the things you did each that that make a difference. Mothers stand at the core of that gift exchange as it radiates into ever-wider concentric circles, from the home to the neighborhood and church, and to the society at large. Precisely because they are gifts and not commodities, domestic labors sustain communities that cannot be measured or valued in the marketplace, That is their strength, not their weakness."
When I was a mother of only one, I would get bored many times at home and was angry that a world existed outside of my home that I felt I was unable to enjoy because I was stuck at home being "mom." By God's grace alone, I have learned to love my role as both mom and wife. And as my responsibilities have only increased with the addition of Max, I am more and more finding joy in the mundane. Every pile of folded clothes, every lunch clean-up, and every bath reminds me that I have been entrusted to care and raise this family that God has given to me. This is the family I have prayed for as a little girl, before I ever saw their individual and unique faces, and I want to cultivate a heart of thanksgiving and not one of pity.
If you are anything like myself, you too might start to find joy in the ordinary and the mundane. Having some order and a routine in place can help create peace in your home. And who doesn't love that? There will be plenty of unexpected things that happen throughout the day to keep things interesting. Looking back on my weeks, I can see how each little play date, Sunday at church, family dinner, and little excursions help put a little fun into our mundane days.
Be encouraged by knowing that your tasks at home help not only to serve your family, but also that these simple tasks delight God. Motherhood is full of changing seasons, and even if some seasons are more trying and tearful than others, we can be assured that God will use it for our good and his glory.