I recently read a home-school article that was urging us to be real. It urged us not to compare ourselves with others, and it urged us, as home-school mums, not to put false expectations on ourselves.
I had two responses to this article. One, I know this message really needs to be heard by Mums, not just home-school mums. There is this constant tension between women not feeling they have a valuable job and the striving to make others see that it is valuable.
I heard on the news the other day that one of our countrys universities has done all this research on mums at home not feeling as if their job is valuable or respected by the community as valuable. Their solution is to have a course available to mums to study – not the skills of motherhood, but the history of motherhood. So that mums will know that there have been mums gone before them. That they can know what contributions to society these other mums, the mums of history have made.
Once again a role that should be filled with the knowledge of God our creator is being taken over my human knowledge. The thing mums need to know is that God made them. That alone gives value. So much value that Jesus died on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven so that we could have fellowship with God. We are of so much value that God wants us to be His friends.
God our creator also made us with everything that we need to be the person He made us to be. He made us to be mothers He has given us everything we need to be the mother to the child/children that He has given to us. God also built family around us and as the natural families sadly disperse (and mine is dispersed due to distance not a relational dispersion) we find ourselves in situations lacking natural support God intended natural support. Skills that should be passed from mother to daughter, to daughter is just not happening. The knowledge of man is not going to fix this problem God can though. Through relationships with other godly women, and other godly families I believe family units can be built strong again. Women can learn to become mums just the way God intended.
This leads to the second reaction I had to that original article – My place as a woman who encourages other women. Am I real? Do I put forth a real face? I hope so.
I know I dont talk too much about the pile of ironing that is making our bedroom look like a sale yard! Or the pile of books that are cluttering spaces where they shouldnt be cluttering. Or the 2 piles of paper, either side of my computer that need to be followed up or filed away. What about the basket of goodies that need to find homes outside of my house The list really does go on and on. There areas in my life that I dont do well in, there are areas in my life that I am behind in – in the housekeeping, in my ideals of nutrition, in training my children, in education, in my own walk with God.
I am just finding my way through these things, one thing at a time, as they become the most important thing in our family. I try so hard not to be dictated to by the urgent but the important.
This I believe has been a key to me not striving and to live in a sense of harmony and success even while these other so called failures (household failures etc) are around me. I need to focus on the important.
In The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren he so clearly sets out that we are to live a life with eternal purpose. My ironing has no eternal purpose. My training of my children does. My ironing may well come into character training with my children (as a role model of diligence and perseverance) but in and of itself it is a task that needs to be done. It is a task that blesses my family my family are of eternal value.
There will never be any growth in our lives if we continue to compare ourselves with others. My mother has been a role model for me and still is my number one port-of-call. My bookshelves are full of books of women who excel in various areas. I have been blessed to have role models around me in my early 20s. We can see and learn from others around us, but it must always be with the eyes of knowing what Jesus is saying to you personally.
There is so much guilt happening in the lives of Mums home-schooling or not Mums who feel they dont match up to their mother, their neighbour, their friend, their pastors wife. Jesus is the only one we have to match up to and He sent the Holy Spirit to help us with that! God has blessed us, by giving us role models and older women, women who have travelled before us. The blessing comes from being encouraged from their journey, from being reassured that God was there for them and will be there for us. The blessing comes if we dont condemn ourselves and see nothing but guilt the blessings come if we enjoy God family as He intends.