Can I be honest with you? There are days when the daily routines of motherhood get to be a little – gasp! – boring, monotonous, annoying even.
In a typical morning, I will start a load of laundry, unload the dishwasher from the night before, prepare breakfast for three little mouths, rinse dishes, load them in the dishwasher, wipe up the table and kitchen counters, sweep up breakfast crumbs, help three little bodies get dressed for the day, hop in the shower and get ready myself, switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer, wipe down bathroom counters and clean off toothpaste splatters (yuck), double check I have everything ready for dinner that night, maybe even get the dinner started in the crock pot (my biggest sanity saver during the school year!), review my schedule for the day and my to-do list, and, finally, dive in and start getting things done. Holy run-on sentences!! And that’s all before 9:00 am!!
There are many times we can look back and wonder, “Surely I was made for more than this! There has to be more to life than sweeping, feeding, cleaning, cooking, and all of the other daily to-dos of motherhood.” All of these moments seem like molehills – meaningless, thankless, and sometimes downright dreary.
But!! Don’t lose heart, mamas! These moments are teaching moments. Are we teaching our toddlers to grumble and complain about the work we are assigned to do, or are we modeling how to do all things as if we are doing them for God, not for man? (See Col. 3:23.)
Are we teaching them to focus on a to-do list instead of people? People who might interrupt our to-do’s because they need us to just be. To be an ear for listening, to be a shoulder for crying on, to be a hug for comforting, to be a lap to cuddle on.
These underrecognized and underappreciated tasks of motherhood, of womanhood, of life, are lessons for the littles. Lessons in integrity – doing the right thing when nobody is watching. Lessons in diligence – doing a job well the first time. Lessons in discipline – practicing self-control in our actions and words. Lessons in serving – finding joy in meeting the needs of our loved ones.
Never underestimate the power of one moment. Know that you are setting an example, and that your little ones will one day jump at the chance to be servants as well.
One day, while my two older girls were upstairs getting ready for the day, my youngest decided she was going to surprise everyone – her mommy included! – by finishing up the breakfast preparations all by herself. She took it on herself to serve the eggs, sprinkle them with cheese, pour cereal, get drinks AND set the table for breakfast.
At one point in my mommyhood, I might have seen this picture and sighed at the extra work it created for me. Cereal crumbs on the floor, shredded cheese all over the counter, and a big ol’ pile of dishes in the sink. Now, I am so proud of the little lady she is becoming, putting others’ needs before her own, finding joy in something as ordinary as serving breakfast, and working hard to put a smile on this mama’s face. Before you know it, you will be rewarded by seeing the fruit of your labors of love as well!
Little moments will make a bigger difference than we realize. Don’t be discouraged at all of the molehills we make as mothers…the seemingly mundane, boring tasks. Those little tasks are forming the character of our children, teaching them more than we realize.
Those molehills will one day make mountains. Mountains that are formed as a result of years and years of teachable moments. Mountains that will not fall away, but will be rooted and firm in faith and integrity. Mountains that, when formed, will be looked up to by many. Mountains that can find joy in all things, even something as mundane as sweeping.
So please don’t get discouraged at the neverending to-do list, or the fact that your days might not be spent on a mission field or serving in full-time ministry. What you do DOES matter!
Every little moment is a sermon in and of itself for the little eyes and ears in your home. Now, if you’ll excuse me. My broom is calling my name…