I don’t know if you are familiar with the movie Freaky Friday, but it is one of many movies about two people who switch bodies. Usually the two people don’t like or appreciate each other (in Freaky Friday it is a mom and teenage daughter). Of course once each character has to walked in the other person’s shoes he/she gains understanding and respect for the other.
I bring this movie up because for the past 3 Saturdays I have gone to work from 10-5, while Shane has stayed home with the little one. I am choreographing for a local youth theater and we have all day rehearsal on Saturdays. Shane and I are basically completely switching places. It’s true that he works with 30 adults and I work with 80 8-13 year olds, but we both enjoy our jobs so I think it is a pretty good comparison. I have always been very blessed by Shane’s respect for how hard it can be to stay at home. He never questions if I don’t get a chore done, or if I say it’s a grilled cheese for dinner night because I just have no energy left to cook. He comes home ready to help with (or completely take over) baby duties. There is no kicking back in the recliner and
reading the paper watching ESPN in the McNamee house. Shane has never once complained about this set up. However, sometimes I have felt guilty about it.
I was honestly curious what it was going to be like when we first switched places on a Saturday. I was a little nervous Shane would think taking care of a one year old was a piece of cake, and it would show how lazy I truly am. I was prepared to come home exhausted from work and realize that maybe I need to give Shane sometime without helping when he first gets home. Well the complete opposite happened. I was not nearly as exhausted after a day with 80 kids as I am after a day with my one year old. On top of that when I got home Shane looked like he needed to go sleep for a full 24 hours to recover from the day he had. I immediately scooped Emma Grace up and brought her to the kitchen to ‘help’ me cook dinner while Shane took a nap on the sofa.
I don’t share this story because I want everyone to go tell their husband that he has life easier. Comparing your jobs like that is very dangerous. You are each where God called you to be, and no matter where that is you will have rewards and challenges. Part of the reason Shane and I both are so happy to take over when we get home from work is because we both love our jobs. We both get to work with people we like in fields we love. We are also blessed with jobs that give us plenty of time with our daughter. Shane leaves at 5 almost every day and rarely works on weekends. I only work at night and on Saturdays, so as far as Emma Grace can tell I am a stay at home mom. If any of those many factors wouldn’t be the case this story may not be exactly the same. However, the fact that we come home happy from work is not the point of the story.
I share this story because I want to encourage moms. I want you to know that your job is very hard. If you don’t finish all of your chores or don’t have a gourmet dinner on the table every night, it isn’t because you are lazy. Pouring your every attention and energy into a small child is a lot. It is also IMPORTANT. Some days I feel like I did nothing all day because the house is a mess and we eat sandwiches for dinner. These days make me feel like a terrible wife. They make me feel like a bad mom. They make me feel worthless. Those are LIES from Satan. I have a precious one year old, and God has called me to care for her. It is not ‘doing nothing’ to read to, play with, take a walk with, make breakfast and lunch for, talk to, sing to, and pray with Emma Grace. She is a precious, beautiful human being. Jesus didn’t die for my pretty house and perfect dinner. Jesus died to save Emma Grace. I think that means caring for her is very important, and it is certainly doing something. Is it good for me to also care for our home and prepare healthy dinners? Absolutely! Is it good for me to think I completely wasted a day spent caring for my daughter because those things didn’t happen? Absolutely not. It is God who calls me to serve Him and my husband by working hard while at home. It is Satan who whispers that my worth is found in how nice my family room looks. So Moms, please don’t listen to those lies. Some days it is all you can do to keep your child safe and fed, and that is BEAUTIFUL!