Angry tears threatened to spill over as I knelt down on my hands and knees. Rag in hand, I began viciously wiping up the spilled juice.
Only hours before, my linoleum had been swept and mopped to perfection. Already in the midst of morning sickness, this was the last thing I needed. Sharp words left my mouth before I could stop them, aimed at the child who had ruined my clean floor.
Frustration rose up and bitter thoughts crowded my mind as I swiped at the sticky mess.
Is this all there is?
Am I to forever be wiping up after everybody else? Does what I do even matter to anyone?
Motherhood had lost its appeal.
Some days it feels like our role is more of a servant than a mother. We clean our homes – only to have them dirtied up again within minutes. We spend an hour cooking supper so that seven mouths can eat it in ten minutes and then go on with their activities. And there’s still the cleanup to do.
Laundry piles high and never stops. It comes every Monday and Thursday whether I’m puking in the toilet or not. Nobody cares that I’m so nauseated it’s invaded even my brain. All they want is breakfast, lunch, and supper.
When I can barely even remember what day it is, the six-year-old wants to know the hows and whys of everything.
Stop with the questions! What do you think I am – a walking encyclopedia?
Motherhood doesn’t hand out employee of the month awards. You won’t be getting that big raise at your next annual review. No compliments from the boss or emails saying how great you’ve done. You don’t graduate from anything with honors or have plaques to hang on your wall.
Have I made a difference anywhere? Is the rest of my life to be doing the mundane tasks nobody else wants to do?
Then I hear a little voice.
Singing of baby Jesus in the manger.
Giggles from the bathtub.
Two little boys holding hands as we stroll into the grocery store – best friends.
Daddy asks, “Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?”
A little girl with blonde curls pipes up, “To save us from our sins.”
There is a big lump in my throat.
I matter. What I’ve done really matters.
All those days of teaching, explaining, disciplining, and training have done something. All those tiny seeds I planted into those equally tiny hearts has taken root. Little green shoots are visible if I look closely at that fertile soil.
Maybe someday . . . someday it will bear fruit.
There is no plaque for mothers or awards to recognize how great one is above another. For there is no career that compares to the love a mother has for her own children.
The love when she wipes their tears and rocks them when they are sick. Loving hands wash behind their ears as her lips kiss their soft, clean cheeks.
Arms are there to hug away the fears and calm the hurting heart. She laughs with them, cries with them, and loves them in a way nobody truly understands.
And she lives out her amazing career, remembering this:
Mundane tasks become noble when there is love in them.
And someday they will know just how precious that mother’s love is.