My working life has included being a PA, working in law and running my own business amongst other roles. However, I think my toughest job is definitely being a mum. It is relentless, there are no days off and I feel there are times when I am just a machine and not valued as a person. When the children were tiny, I felt like a milk machine who was also very good at changing nappies, staggering between feedings and trying hard to make myself look human in between. As they got older, I felt I was always answering questions, mopping up spillages and never getting to go to the loo without someone shouting “muuuuummmmm!” Now they are older and I have different hassles – mainly attitude and an unwillingness to accept that maybe I just do know what I am talking about. Sound familiar?
Although it is the hardest job, I reckon it is also the most rewarding. The memories I have of singing praises to God in the middle of the park with my welly-booted 4-year-old scrunching through the leaves of autumn; or how we discussed the best way to love someone who was not behaving correctly; listening to my eldest child pray earnestly for a little sister, knowing I was already pregnant – these things and many others will last forever.
Proverbs 22 verse 6 says “Train up children in the way they should go, even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Yes sometimes it is overwhelmingly hard, but I try to remember that God is my perfect parent and I should take courage and heart from his wisdom and apply it to my family. Yes, I get it wrong sometimes but God forgives me and gives me the strength I need to start again. I realise that my job as a mum is not just to bring up a child who can tie their own shoelaces, but to also bring up children who know and love Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. That means that children need to see parents who are walking the walk for Jesus – we need to be able to say sorry to each other, we need to forgive each other and we need to talk about Jesus as part of our family.
When you are feeling that being a parent is just too hard, remember this – God is on your side and with God on your side, you cannot fail. God values the work of parents far more than the world does, so keep at it. And if things really get too much, put a lock on the bathroom door and take 5….
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