I will be the first to admit. I have always heard that motherhood is a thankless job. I have thought it myself. I have been a mom for just over 22 years. Has it been an easy road? No.
But thankless? This job is not thankless.
I came downstairs this morning to a kitchen that was a mess. The counters had food on them. There were neighbor treat crumbs on them too. Both sinks were full of dishes. The diaper bag was emptied and the items all over the kitchen. the floor needed to be swept. It was trashed.
Then, i moved on to the laundry room. I swear, I did not know people wore that many clothes in a day. *sigh* I did around 9 loads of laundry yesterday and I have another 5/6 today. On average, we do at least 6 a day. Today, it has to be folded and put away, as well.
The floors need to be swept and vacuumed.The bathrooms need to be cleaned. The kids need to clean their rooms. John and I cleaned our room this morning. This new room has become the hang out place for the kids. (I love that part.) The part I don’t like is the mess they leave behind after they are done up there. The yard needs to be cleaned. Well, you get the idea.
Does anyone rush up to me and say, “Thank you mom for doing those dishes.” “thank you mom for vacumming the carpets” “Thank you mom for sweeping the floors, cleaning the bathroom, scooping the dog poo”? Well, no. So, i guess in that regard it is a thankless job.
do any of kids say Thank you when they are disciplined and have to repent, apologize and try and make it right? No they don’t.
As I came downstairs this morning, saw my list of things to do being made for me, I sighed. My shoulders slumped. My husband said, “What’s wrong?” I said, “nothing”. I put the baby in my Moby wrap. (which is the best thing ever invented). Then,I got to work. I don’t think I have to include this but I am sure you know what it is like to clean a house with 4 toddlers and a baby. (That is a blog for another day)
Anyway, as I was cleaning, I thought “this IS a thankless job”. Then, I thought about it some more. Do I really require someone to thank me for doing every aspect of my job? DOes my husband have someone thank him for stapling his papers, emptying his trash at work, going to work to do his job ? No. He does have people tell him thank you when he talks to them, goes to their home or talks them through some issues they may be having. But then, I have people who thank me for doing things too. Just not necessarily about motherhood.
What I realized is my job is far from a thankless one. My thank yous come in different ways. They come from children who can be children and not have to worry about the mess of a home. (They do have to help clean it. But, there is no deep nasty messiness) Kids that are allowed to go play outside and laugh.
My thank yous come later. They come in the form of a son who has a home of his own and keeps it cleaned up. (because he learned how to do it from me) A daughter who teaches her son games and songs that I taught her and my mom taught me. I get my thanks when children are older and they come home to visit and say “Thank you mom for everything”. “I love you mom very much”.
My Thanks will come when my Savior says ” Matthew 25: His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
why do I need thanks? well, I don’t exactly. I don’t need a bunch of people walking around saying “Oh thank you mom for________” Quite frankly, I probably wouldn’t believe them if they said it. As it is, I don’t always believe people when I am issued a compliment. (Again, a post for another day)
I just would like acknowledgment that I am noticed. That I am loved and appreciated for my daily, sometimes tedious life.
But, then I realize I get that. Just not verbally. I have a kids who I love to cuddle with when they wake up and are still sleepy. A husband that doesn’t have to worry (well, I hope he doesn’t) about the work he will have to do when he gets home. He knows and can be comforted that they house isn’t falling completely apart. And if it is today, then a strawberry banana shake is in order. (medium, please. ;))
I have to look for acknowledgment of my job in various subtle ways. I also need to feel at peace with a job that is like the movie Groundhog Day. It doesn’t change until I get it right. Since, I will probably never get it perfectly right, this is what I can expect for a long time.
And you know what, I am okay with that. Because I have a job to do. One of the most important jobs that anyone could ever have. That of being a mother. I shape and mold our future leaders. I help our future teachers, vets, builders, soldiers etc… to become the people we need them to be in these latter days.
So, a thankless job? Maybe, for now. But later. Much later, is when the thank yous come pouring in and I will know that I have done my job. And I have done it well. Not perfectly mind you. But well. To the best of my ability. Then, on those days I will wish for little hands to be messing up my walls, piles of laundry and dirty dishes because it will mean I am with my family. And I am always so thankful for that.