Friday, August 5, 2011

But the Greatest of These is Love

It's an interesting phenomenon being a working mother. You feel guilty when you're at work for not being home enough for your family, then you feel guilty when you're at home for not focusing hard enough on work. You're in this not so comfortable limbo of not fitting completely in either life and just barely getting by.

Many a times I have fallen victim to what some call "Stinkin' Thinkin'". It's when all you can think of is what you aren't doing right. You only made dinner once this week. You didn't get a chance to scrub the ring around the tub. You didn't pay enough attention to the hubby today. You forgot to write that progress note at work. You didn't get back to your client in time. Tsk tsk tsk! And before you know it, you're in this whirlwind of a pity party because you "just can't do anything right".

The other day, in my self-induced pity party of one, I was thinking about how UN-domestic I am, yet not completely career driven like some of my co-workers either. I felt like the maladjusted middle-child, not knowing where I belonged, and feeling like a terrible mother to boot. But that's when God snatched me up by the collar and shook me out of the pool of lies I was allowing myself to drown in.

I realized that I'm doing the best that I can and my little guy loves me like crazy regardless of whether there is a cheerio (or 4) left on the living room couch. And what's more important anyway? The bit of cat hair on the carpet or the "tickle monster wars" that happen in that very same spot? Love covers over all those minor imperfections. That's what we as mothers need to think about. "...whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—think about such things." (Philippians 4:8)

My mother was a hard working single parent, and though I had my fair share of frozen fish sticks and happy meals, the memories I cherish most are the special "mommy and me" trips to the library on the weekends. The side-splitting laugher we shared over the silliest of things. The times she let me hop into her bed and cuddle - and didn't complain when I tinkled a time or two. Those are the things that fill my heart with joy, and my little monster will feel the same.

There was a study done of two groups of baby monkeys. One group was given food and water, but no interaction with their mama. The other group was given food and water and allowed to cuddle up to their mama, nurse, and interact with her freely. At the end of the study, the group of monkeys that did not feel the love from their mama failed to thrive. They were sickly, violent, and anti-social. The ones with their mama ended up just fine. It's all about LOVE. As long as we make our times with our little ones count, there's no need to sweat the small stuff. LOVE. That's what our children need. "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13:13) Give your children extra hugs when you can. And while you're at it, give your hubby extra kisses too. ;)

1 comment: