Saturday, June 04, 2016

This is the work

In looking for some verses for my gallery walls a few months ago, I ended up knee-deep in "inspirational quote art" on etsy. And while I can stomach few, most of them annoy me. I'll take a funny meme over an inspirational quote any day.

I mean, come on. That's funny.

Maybe it's just that I'd rather laugh at inane internet stuff than make my brain think about anything deeper than what I should eat for lunch.

One such "inspirational quote" floating around right now is this:

It's nice, right? It's one of those quotes that makes you stop and go, "Oh, yes. So true," and then you magically appreciate the little minions in your home just a little bit more. Or not.

I think what gives me pause with this particular quote is that it's hard for me to believe. I know my children are important and I love them all to pieces, but what I do day in and day out doesn't always feel like important work.

I was a teacher until I had Jackson. After a couple other jobs, I decided to stay home after I had Leah. And I'm so glad I did. But sometimes there's a little part of me that is pretty sure I left the more important work in the classroom. Or that I could be doing so much more somewhere else--anywhere but my own kitchen or living room.

But that's a lie. I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be, doing the most important work of all.

And moms? So are you.

The mom working the full-time job AND holding down the fort at home? So is she.

The stay-at-home mom entertaining toddlers for hours on end and washing dishes in her spare time? So is she.

The single mom working two jobs and still giving whatever she has left to her littles? So is she.

The homeschooling mother of seven, taking on the roll of mother, teacher, housekeeper, chef, and more every single day? So is she.

We're doing things that don't always feel important. Packing lunches, cleaning bathrooms, driving kids to baseball practice, nursing a newborn every two hours around the clock.

This is the work.

Rocking babies to sleep, patching holes in jeans, baking cookies, reading books.

This is the work.

Flipping pancakes, watering the seedlings that came home from school last week, sweeping the crumbs off the dining room floor for the third time today, making beds.

This is the work.

Buying end-of-the-year teacher gifts, bathing toddlers, cooking macaroni and cheese.

This is the work.

And someday we'll miss this work. We'll be back in the workplace or adjusting to life as an empty-nester. Because...

See? There's an inspirational quote for just about anything! But really--before you know it, you'll be hosting your son's graduation open house and reminiscing about the fact that he was JUST starting kindergarten.

So take heart, moms. We're doing the most important work. Right this very minute. Don't believe the lie that these little lives are distracting us from anything more important.

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