I was sharing with some new friends last night about the book and talks I'm working on, Mommy, Why Are You Angry? One of the girls, K, gave me a fantastic suggestion! She encouraged me to remind my readers and listeners to "recognize the paydays."
Being a mom, or anyone who spends a lot of time taking care of children, is what many would call a "thankless job." There is no paycheque to speak of, much of the work done doesn't show tangible results, and days off are few and far between. Raising kids is huge investment of our time, energy, mental capacity, patience, prayers, and finances. But it's more like an investment in today's economy than a few years ago - unbelievably slow-growing, taking years before showing a return.
In order to keep it all in perspective (and help keep our cool), it is so important to watch for, recognize, give yourself credit for, and thank God for those "paydays."
A great report card or meeting with the teacher - cha-ching!
Your pre-teen sits close and lets you snuggle with him for a few minutes - cha-ching!
Your toddler poops in the potty - cha-ching!
Someone shares with a sibling (without a lecture from you) - cha-cha-cha-ching!
Your child asks Jesus to be her "forever friend" - cha-CHING!
We need to take these paydays and store them up in our hearts. Because in the 20-or-so years we spend raising our children to be good and Godly grown-ups, their withdrawals from the bank of mom will far outnumber their deposits. When that one particular child says, "No!" to you for the thousandth time and makes your want to scream and shake your fist - stop for a moment, think back (sometimes waaaay back) to that one time that child said, "Okay Mom," without arguing (cha-ching), then discipline the disobedience with the knowledge that the child truly is capable of willing obedience and all hope is not lost.
This advice was especially helpful for me this week, as long summer holidays with little structure provide enough withdrawals from the bank of mom to put me into overdraft.
What about you? Has it been a long time since you've experienced a payday as a mom (or childcare provider)? What are some great paydays you can remember?