18 February, 2016

The value of a mother

Well of course I had to put a wrestling photo with this! Being
a mum supporting my kids as they play sport (or what ever
thing it is, for example music, is very important. The value
of presence is easy to overlook. Your presence at their
sporting events speak volumes about your
love for them. And if you can't be present, at the very least
your interest, your enquiries as to how it was, do not go
unnoticed by our kids.
I have been functioning as a single mum (basically) for 11½ of the last 14 days. It isn't fun, but I've had much worse times with David away (though never as long). Now the boys are older it is a lot easier. But I still get stuck at times, without any other parent to lean on or consult with it can be really tiring and it's easy to lose perspective (evidence: my blog post two days ago).

In the next two weeks I'm getting my parenting "holidays"; it's my turn to go away. On Sunday I leave for Bangkok to receive some leadership training with our mission. I'll be back next Saturday. Then the week after that I go away to a Women in Ministry retreat for two nights—finally we have a one of us going away, but not overseas, this retreat is in far western Tokyo!

I saw this article today by a guy (Jason Ingle) encouraging us mums (especially those of us who are parenting in cultures we didn't grow up in) not to doubt our value as mums. It is easy, in whatever living situation you are, to devalue your importance as a mum.


  1. When they're tiny they are so needy, in fact they remain very needy for many years. But in their neediness they don't express much gratitude. 
  2. The things you do as a mum you do over and over again. The rewards are slow in coming and many days you wonder if you've achieved anything at all. It's easy to wonder if you have no value.
  3. One thing often comes with teenagers is a certain disdain for their mothers. It's part of growing up and gaining independence. In a quiet, sane moment I understand that. But it still hurts and adds further fuel to the feeling that your role as a mum is not so important.
  4. As they get older they aren't quite so obviously needy (although any teenager who can't find their clothes, or who doesn't get a reasonable meal after a long day at school would probably disagree). But the day-in day-out drudgery of motherhood continues. It just looks a little different.
  5. I use that word "drudgery" purposefully. That is what it often feels like and the work never seems to end. You begin to wonder, even as they start to tower over you, if your job as their "carer" will never end. Will all this training, all this work I've put into parenting this child ever produce an adult who can take care of themselves and be a valuable member of society?
And that's just a few reasons.

I've been a mum now for nearly 17 years. I still need the assurance that the article I've linked to provided.

Yes, you are important, you are necessary. It's easy for those of us who are "paid" to do "ministry" to feel as though being a mother is cheating somehow, that we need to do a lot of work outside the family in order to be valuable, to be worth what we're "paid".

To anyone feeling that way, Jason writes:
Moms, you are valuable, even when you don’t hear it from the rest of the world very much. You are valuable even when you look around and are tempted to believe the lie that you have nothing to contribute to the “real ministry” happening around you. Being a mother IS full time ministry!
But even more importantly:
As I’ve said before and will repeat until I die, no matter your role or stage of life, when you wonder about your value you need to look to only one place: the cross. At the cross the creator of this universe sacrificed His only Son because He values you. Your value comes not from what you do, but who you ARE in Him because of what He already did. He also highly values your role as a mother. 
My life verse for parenting is: 
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9, NIV).


Amanda Hunt said...

Thank you for the encouragement. I'm a Mum to two primary school aged daughters and its hard work. Galatians 6:9 has been an important one for me for a long time now.

Jenny said...

We dropped by a coffee shop this morning for a quick coffee before an appointment.
A baby was making a bit of noise and a lady sitting nearby said , " I'm never going to have kids!"
I must have looked at her with a question mark on my face because she promptly tried to explain her reasoning.
Then another young women in front of us smiled and said "Oh you'd miss out on so much, I have a 5 yr old." She proceeded to go onto say "I come here every week to bring my Nanna out for a coffee." H
ow lovely! If someone had not had a child that wonderful gesture would not happen!

Wendy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wendy said...

I'm glad this was an encouragement to you Amanda. Hang in there!
Yes "Jenny" (?mum), kids bring so much into our lives along with the challenges there is much reward, though sometimes those joys don't seem to come at the right time...

Pilgrimmum said...

Amen I agree from a mother of 9.