Am I even doing this whole motherhood thing right?
I think for a lot of us, if we sit too long and let our minds wander, some version of these same questions might come up a lot. That’s probably because we’ve been trained and conditioned to see motherhood in a certain light.
For instance, in every classic movie, we see this quintessential mom who is the image of perfection.
Her hair is always done and her outfits are perfectly put together.
Her kids are obedient, smart, and sweet.
She and her husband rarely ever fight.
Oh, and every day at 5 pm, there she is in an apron with a bright smile on her face, holding a piping hot pot roast ready to fill her family’s tummies.
She’s the definition of warm, wonderful, bright, and all things wholesome.
But more often than not, I do not feel like that mom.
I’m the one typing furiously on her laptop before it’s time to grab her son from school. I’m the mom who often burns the dinner, sports chipped nail polish for 2 weeks, and arranges doctor’s appointments around Zoom meetings.
Because I’m a mom who works.
“I’m the mom who often burns the dinner, sports chipped nail polish for 2 weeks, and arranges doctor’s appointments around Zoom meetings. Because I’m a mom who works.”
Admittedly as a Christian, it can be easy to feel the tension in some social circles when I admit I have a job. “So… you aren’t home with your kids?”
But the reality is, I love the work that I get to do. And the Lord has gifted me with opportunities to do what I love and contribute financially to our family.
Still, that doesn’t necessarily make finding the balance between work and family easy.
The Wife of Noble Character
Growing up, I feel like the definition of successful motherhood was defined for me by two things: My own mom, and the Proverbs 31 woman.
My mom stayed home with us, a gaggle of kids, as I was growing up. She did the housework and cooked every meal while my dad worked outside the home. As we got older she sometimes worked part time if it worked with our family schedule.
If you’re familiar with Proverbs 31:10-31 at all, then you’ll know that this woman is a literal POWERHOUSE.
She gets up before the sun. She negotiates with vendors. She makes her kids’ clothes and she keeps her house clean. She buys literal fields for her family.
The Bible says her husband has full confidence in her (Proverbs 31:11) and her children call her blessed (Proverbs 31:28).
It can be easy to look at this impressive resume and think I’m not doing enough! But instead of using this passage as a list for comparison, I think it’s included in God’s divine word more as guidance and inspiration.
Faith, Work, and Motherhood
Here are a few takeaways God has been showing me about this passage of scripture and this impressive woman.
The importance of morning – She gets up before the sun to set the tone for her day. (Proverbs 31:15) She doesn’t lay around in idleness but understands the importance of morning for her focus, productivity, and her faith. (We see Jesus do the same in Mark 1:35.)
She prioritizes her marriage – For those of us moms who are currently married, are we prioritizing our relationship with our spouse above our work, our to-do lists, and even our kids? The health of our marriages spills over into the health of our homes! (Proverbs 31:11-12)
She commits to the work God has placed in front of her – For some of us mothers, this is work outside of the home. For some, its work inside the home. God has not called us all to the same thing in every season, and that’s okay. But we are to commit to the work of our hands with integrity and consistency. (Proverbs 31:16-18)
She fears the Lord above all– The undercurrent of success as a believer is not the impressive things we’ve done, but how well we have followed after Jesus. We are to focus on being praised not just for how beautiful we are or how great of a life we created, but for whether or not we pointed other people to the truth and hope of God. (Proverbs 15:30)
God has not called us all to the same thing in every season, and that’s okay.
So yes, in this season I am not that perfect mother from every 50’s movie.
I’m not a spitting image of my own mother. And I’m not the perfect Proverbs 31 woman.
But I AM a work in progress. And I believe that God honors and loves our efforts every day to become a mother who looks more and more like Him.
Abby Flynn Abby Flynn is a writer, wife and mom of 2 living in Charlotte, North Carolina. She loves coffee, travel and one day wants to live at the beach.