Today is a rare and special kind of day. I’ve spent the past week feeling giddy just anticipating it. It’s not sunny, or warm, or especially beautiful today. But, today is all mine. My loving husband gave me the day to myself. Alone. I woke up early, got dressed, kissed my boys goodbye and left them for the day. Two years. Two years is how long it’s been since I’ve had a day without taking care of anyone else. Honestly, I almost didn’t know what to do with myself.
Being a wife and mother is the very best part of my life. It is the best part of who I am. But between the house cleaning, the laundry, the lawn care, the cooking, and the parenting, I’ve lost a little bit of my self. I tend to be task-oriented and I often let my responsibilities outweigh my identity. I think a lot of women get lost in motherhood. It’s easy because of our natural tendency to sacrifice all we are and have for the sake of those we love. It’s actually a beautiful thing. Honestly, I no longer want every day to myself. It wouldn’t feel nearly as purposeful as it does when I spend it caring for my family. But, as women and mothers, I think we do ourselves and our families an injustice when we lose ourselves in the midst of our responsibilities.
Yes, washing clothes, cleaning toilets, preparing meals, and changing diapers is hard work. It’s laborious and sometimes tedious and exhausting. And I know that I sometimes feel like that’s all I do in life. But I’m not a maid or a childcare provider. I’m a wife and I’m a mother. I clean to create a comfortable environment for our family. I cook to share meals with those I love. I take care of my husband and my son because they are blessings that have undeservingly been entrusted to me.
However, it’s important for us to have time to ourselves -time to breathe, time to rest, time to play, and time to reflect on who we are. It’s important for us to let God nurture our souls and renew our strength… and to remind us of who we are as individuals. Because remembering that we have a sense of humor, or that we like to be silly, or that we enjoy pursuing our own interests, reminds us to value ourselves and what we have to contribute to life and to our family. And then, whatever we do… whether scrubbing toilets, going into the workplace, or dancing the Hokey Pokey for the twentieth time, we do it as the woman God created and we do it for His glory. And therein lies our joy.