And for yea those many long years I pined for the time when it would all end; when I could trade in my heels for slippers and gather my children around me in a happy, wholesome, loving little bubble of family.
Now I’m here, surrounded by my children with no job to which I might escape. I’ve been here for about six months or so and I have a question for you: What was I thinking?
I daresay I fell victim to the classic blunder: Romanticism. I was gone so much and so completely that I didn’t know my children very well, neither did I know myself, and I imagined them to be something quite different than what they are. In the working world, surrounded by people who wanted little more from me than fingers on a keyboard and platitudes in the boardroom, life was easy. Stressful? OK. Trying? Yes. But really, fundamentally, thoroughly easy. Because those people didn’t own my heart, drain my body, try my senses, test my limits, or pull my hair.
These people, these children, these evil, sinful, wretched little creatures of my own creation do.
Those office people? They would often verbalize appreciation for something I had done. And they were grownups with whom I might have conversations about something, ANYTHING. And my work was tangible, my paycheck satisfying, my comings home pleasant—the babies were glad to see me and I was happy to play at their games for the 1.5 hours prior to bedtime.
Now? The dishes are never done. The laundry is never done. The diapers are never done. They nursing is never done. There is never enough time. My cooking is never complimented. My questions are never answered. I cannot complete a single thought. I do not have time to read. The house itself leers at me like my demon spawn wanting more and more and never getting enough. I never look pretty. I am cr@pped upon, spit at, slapped, screamed at, and pushed. All this before my husband gets home to find me wild eyed and engaged in mortal combat with the fruit of his loom. And his children. Let the reader understand.
Thanks be to God, the having of the children is easy enough for us. Taking care of them, teaching them, raising them up in the way that they should go . . . that part bites.* Some mornings I dare look in the mirror and when I catch my own eye that other face smirks and says, “You wanted all this and you got it. You’re freakishly disappointed in who your children are and in your constant, dangerous, consequential failure to be a good mother. You’re lonely, cold, and dreadfully unhappy. And you’re not going to use birth control to stop all this? If you keep having more, you need to go back to work. If not, do you really think you can handle it?”
The only answer I have for myself thus far is this: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Col. 3: 23-23). And, “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ . . . doing the will of God from your heart . . . because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does . . . and masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him (Eph. 6: 5-9). And, “I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked” (Psalm 84:10).
I think I may actually be a toilet scrubber or shoe licker (DV), but that’s beside the point. My enemy myself scoffs at this my life every chance she gets, and the weak Romantic myself hangs her head in defeat, and the chorus of selfish myselfs sing out their desires and plans and all that stands between them and this my life, these my children is the conviction that these sinful wretches are baptized unto life everlasting and that indeed it is better to be spit upon by an eternal creature of the living God than to type 10,000 clever things that pass away with the season.
Come quickly Lord Jesus, and reveal your kingdom to us all.
*And it bites whether you work outside the home or in, eh? But when you’re outside you get coffee breaks, right? That’s all I’m saying.