We Are Enough
It’s seven a.m., Monday morning, and I am folding the third load of laundry. It doesn’t take much to understand why Monday’s are not a fan favorite. But this time, this otherwise mundane task, feels different. Most days I would be thinking, “Is this it? Is this all that I was meant to be, to do?” I’d look back at the years spent on my college degree, the decade in the petrochemical industry and wonder what happened to my dreams of climbing the corporate ladder and shattering the glass ceiling? Instead, I gently pat out the wrinkles and fold a shirt in thirds and then fold it in thirds again and think, I am exactly where I need to be.
The difference came about when I attended a bible study hosted by my neighbor. Last week’s discussion related to the perpetual search for our specific purpose in life. The pastor in the short video we watched said that knowing we were doing exactly what God had meant for us to do would be akin to finding a specific single grain of sand in all the beaches of the world. Impossible. Instead, he suggested doing everything we do with Jesus in our heart and in doing so, it wouldn’t matter what the specifics were of what we were doing. The shift in perspective didn’t come from what we did, but rather, how we did it. And suddenly, all the pressure was off.
Attending the bible study has different benefits. One of which is that it is a safe space where the other women and I can open up and share our hopes and fears. A recurrent theme, though the attendees are ever changing, is the topic of the trials of being a house mom, which, at some point or another brings each one of us to tears. Doubts of whether we are doing enough for our kids, our husbands, our homes, our schools? Are our homes up to the Jones’? Are we volunteering enough? Did we collect enough toiletries for the homeless? Did we provide enough goods for the bake sales? Then it’s the to do’s. Did we deposit the check at the bank? Did we correct the wrong charge to the credit card? Did we fill out the field trip form? Followed closely by all the appointments. Dentists, doctors, music, sports. As our days get pulled left and right, backwards and forwards, we end up feeling lost and most days, unaccomplished.
After all, the highlight to my day might be that, though I did burn the morning bagels which I might have accidentally dropped on the floor, quickly picked up, brushed off and set back on the plate, I at least managed not to burn the dinner rice. How can my day ever live up to someone sitting in a sterile room, illuminated by fluorescent lighting working on a cure for the next pandemic? Or the millionaire who’s charitable donation is helping provide water to rural African communities? Or the peace corps volunteer that is helping families rebuild their disaster stricken homes?
Motherhood might not instigate headlines, but it’s enough. It’s being available so you can quell your child’s concerns. It’s giving them a sense of significance when they share their day. It’s giving them encouragement when they might feel like giving up. It is made up of its own share of ups and downs that matter just as much as anything else. After all, we are teaching our kids how to tend a wound every time they fall. We teach them how to conserve water so that others in the future may also benefit. And we teach them that people and relationships are more important than material items. Not bad for a day that usually starts off with folding laundry.