Sometimes I get tired. Really tired.
And when that happens, I usually get miserable or philosophical or both. This past week I’ve been looking at my life and wondering if it is worth it. Mostly in relation to the kids. Not that I don’t love them, but homeschooling three kids is hard work. Its a huge investment and a sacrifice of many other things I’d rather be doing. So I started thinking about what makes it worth it.
Then Jonathan threw up last night. For the fourth or fifth time in two weeks. I know. I’m thinking I need to get that checked out. Another thing for the list. Not only did he throw up, but the kid has no aim, no warning system and sleeps on the top bunk. Yup. I had to wash and dry his bedding, take it outside, shake it out, clean out the washer, vacuum out the dryer and then wash it all again. In the middle of all this, Arianna decided that instead of just moving the ironing board out of the way, she would try to manoeuvre around it and ended up smashing my very good iron. This, after just this morning, I figured out how to squeeze the new sweater I really wanted out of the budget that should go to the kids winter boots. Now I have to buy an iron. Considering my love of ironing in the first place, not too happy with this turn of events. So when I finally got to the lunch dishes at 3:30, I contemplated this some more.
Here’s the thing. I see all these moms on Facebook and Instagram and blogging who talk about how hard motherhood is but just one hug (or insert some other mushy comment here) makes it all worth it. Really? Am I a horrible mother? Because I don’t remember ever getting one hug that I thought, “huh, that really was worth the hour of cleaning up puke late last night”. I know I’m not a really mushy mom, but cleaning up puke isn’t even the hardest thing I’ve done. I’ve sat and rocked crying on the floor over the tantrums Emma has pulled. I’ve done the same thing every night for weeks on end when I had postpartum depression after Jonathan. I’ve worried over Arianna, cried with them over things other people have done to them, freaked out over every sickness and the list goes on. There is no bragging here because this is just plain motherhood. Nothing special. In fact, I’ve had it easier than a lot of people. I started praying at the sink. I only got out the question, “What makes this worth it?” when the Lord spoke the answer to me.
Its not worth it. It might never be.
I’ve let our crazy, selfish world creep into my thinking again. The world that says we sacrifice for others to get something for ourselves.
One of the most important things about love is that it doesn’t keep score. There’s no time in life where I get to stop doing things for my kids because I’ve reached the limit of what they can give in return. Maybe one day they’ll pay me back. Maybe they’ll take care of me in my old age, treat me well when they get older. Or maybe they’ll turn out terrible. Maybe they’ll turn their backs on me, take advantage of me, never do another thing for me again. Either way it won’t matter as long as I keep remembering. Remembering the love that is supposed to be flowing through me, from God, to them. Remembering to throw out the scoreboard and just pour out myself for them each day. When the sacrifices I make for them come from a place of love, they seem less like sacrifices. So maybe the hugs don’t make it worth it for me, but the little people in my house are worth the sacrifice. Each day I clean or don’t wear new sweaters with a smile on my face is an investment in their little souls. Maybe I’ll see the rewards of that in our relationship in the future, maybe I won’t see any rewards until Heaven. Either way, my job here is to show God’s love to everyone He has placed in my life. Even my husband. Even people at my church. Its hard to have no scoreboard in life. So, so hard. So for today, I’m reminding myself before the world creeps in and I forget again. Sacrificial love. Maybe not worth it in the traditional sense, but then, so many things about the Christian life are upside down.