It was a fine spring afternoon. My baby just woke up from his nap and I decided to take him out for a walk along the Geneva lake.
The crispy air brought the hearty fragrant greeting of the spring flowers. The lake reflecting the soft sunshine looked like a huge glowing sapphire. My baby was happily enjoying the weather and the view with a piece of apple in his hand. I, on the other hand, was mentally disengaging from the surroundings and trying to focus on my own thoughts and prayer.
It’d been a while since I sent out my CV to two job openings, and I still hadn’t heard anything back. They were the positions I’d felt relatively confident about, but now the hope had grown thin.
I always thought I would be involved in a ministry or a job. I’d never imagined myself to be a full time mom. I mean, what’s desirable about the messy living room always full of toys and impossible to stay clean for an hour; wearing the old stretched t-shirt all day long and constantly trying to clean off the baby food dropped on it; chasing a toddler around and being on guard all the time to make sure he stays alive? What about a nice dress and a quiet tidy office for a change? And some contribution to the society that actually gets paid for?
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I hate to be a mom, I actually love it. I just didn’t want to be a mom “all the time”. Whenever I scrolled through my social media for a minute and saw the photos and stories of my working mom friends, seeing how glamorous they were in their suits and working fields, I more often than I should have, slipped into the comparison mire and felt miserable about my life.
That’s why I’d finally applied for the two job openings. Not only did I hear nothing back, soon afterwards, I found out I was pregnant with our second baby.
By the time I found out I was pregnant again, I figured that it’s probably not God’s will for me to have a job for now. Instead, to be a stay-at-home-mom looked more like my calling for the season.
Watching the grand jet d’eau shooting straight into the sky and a half rainbow forming just above the lake, hands on the stroller handle, I took a deep breath. What now?
Well, like I said, I love being a mom and I love my kid. It’s just the workload and responsibility of being a full time mom day in and day out dreaded me. And to be fully honest, it felt less valuable when someone asked me what I do, to have my answer be “I’m just a mom”, than to give a certain career title. And, what about my other passions and dreams? Will I have time to pursue them?
I looked around, saw one woman sitting on a bench feeding her toddler a banana. There’s another one breaking some bread for her daughter to feed the swans in the lake. I wondered, are they happy and satisfied? Or they feel weary and discontent like I did many days? Motherhood, a beautiful journey that demands some soul searching for purpose and meaning.
I somehow knew there’s something wrong with me feeling not enough for “just being a mom”and jealousy of the moms who work. I was afraid of being not enough and less valuable as a full time mom. But, am I ? Who gives me value and defines who I am? Who supplies all my needs daily?
Just at that moment, a breeze came my way as I was facing the lake, like it’s bringing me an epiphany. All of sudden I realised, I’d let the value of the world lying to me for too long. If God says I’m inherently valuable, can anything else (a job title or not) add or lessen any value to me? If Christ inside of me is sufficiently enough, can I ever be not enough? If being a full time mom is God’s calling for me for the season, wasn’t I made to thrive into it with all the grace and strength supplied to me ? I mean, what else would I live for if it’s not for living out my calling? Isn’t it the purpose of motherhood, well, even the purpose of life, to faithfully live out God’s calling one moment, one day, one season at a time?
God, the Creator of you and me, will surely take care the rest. He knows me and my dreams. He has been and will be the dream fulfiller as I simply do the next right thing. Just like what Ann Voskamp wisely said in her book The Broken Way , “Life (motherhood) isn’t overwhelming when you understand how to serve in this minute.”
I was thankful for the fresh realisation from that walk. And I made a decision that afternoon—- I was going to make the most out of this season of being a full time mom with my young children, to remember what a privilege to walk in the calling of God and to thrive with a grateful heart. I was going to be a happy, content mama by the grace of God.
Have you ever been there, my fellow moms? Can you somehow relate? Or maybe you are not a mom but in a stage of life where you feel overwhelmed and reluctant to stay on, may I suggest that you do some soul searching and find out why. What are the exact things that make you feel dreadful or overwhelmed ? Tackle each one of them and find out the truths and lies behind. Let your thoughts abide in the truth and reject the lies. There is always enough grace to do the next right thing, to stay on the path if we are called to, which is paradoxically the shortcut to our promised future. Remember, to live fully, to thrive wherever we are doesn’t require having everything we want. It does require gratitude for what’s already been given to us and faithfully stewarding it. And, a believing heart.