Early motherhood was a huge adjustment for me. I was used to being productive, and keeping busy with different things, and I didn’t really have much of a concept as to how to experience that “productive” feeling while home with my children. I was at home all day long with toddlers, and some days, before really catching a vision, I would allow the apparent monotony of my new life get to me.
At the time, I felt like being home with the children was the right thing to do, but I had very little foundation in this sort of thing. I was sure that it was a good thing to be home with my new little one, but on those wearying days when everyone was telling me otherwise, and doubts were creeping into my own mind, I’d start to second guess my decisions.
Sometimes, especially when the children were young, and the most mentally challenging thing I got to do all day was read Green Eggs and Ham without even looking at the words, I did not necessarily feel as though I was accomplishing very much with what God has given me, and too many people stood around reinforcing this thought. However, we’re not to go by our feelings, but walk by faith, based on His Word.
As I was reading through the Gospel of Matthew recently, I paused at a familiar passage, regarding the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30). This is one of those passages that had actually given me a lot of trouble in the past. I’ve heard it misquoted as a reason against being a stay-at-home mom, and again recently, an online mommy-blogger friend was mentioning that someone went after her using this passage, going so far as to call her wicked for “burying her talents” by being at home with her young children.
When my children were still very young, we were at a church that didn’t really value women who didn’t have their names printed on paycheck to validate themselves as being productive. At a time when I was struggling with a good many other, unrelated things, on top of everything I got to go to church and get nagged on by well-meaning brothers and sisters in Christ who thought I was an idiot for having more than two children and not having an out of the home job. It was really the last thing I needed, because I got enough of that from family members, especially on the in-law end of things. Eventually I got over it. It’s refreshing to be in a church that values moms, with or without a paycheck.
So, as I continued to think about this recently again, I started realizing a few things that we don’t often realize when we are sitting there reading Green Eggs and Ham for the 500th time today, looking back with that 20/20 hindsight, and seeing truths in God’s Word that I couldn’t see then, and which this woman confronting dear Chelsey apparently couldn’t see either. Over the course of this week, we’ll look at each of these in more detail:
Part Two: Life is lived in seasons, and our opportunities change as the seasons of life do. A good example in my life is how I had to lay down art and computer programming down for a season, while my children are little, and yet now, I have older children that are fascinated by these things and enjoy doing them with me.
Part Three: There’s more than one way to use a talent. Talents don’t just count when being used publicly or for pay.
Part Four: “Talents” don’t just mean skills, but anything God has given us stewardship over, including (especially?) our children.
Part Five: The phrase stay-home mother is really a misnomer, because it implies passivity and doing nothing (“staying”). There is so much more to embracing domesticity than we would assume through common stereotypes.