A Mother’s Work is Never Done

I’m guilty of looking to the future more than living in the present.

When my babies are older, then I’ll get some sleep. When my preschoolers can be more self sufficient, then I won’t have to work so hard. When my kids graduate, then I’ll be able to do things for myself.

While I’ve learned that sometimes looking to the future helps to get me through the tough times in the present, I still have to learn to find more joy in the moment. I’m at a wonderful stage in my children’s lives. My youngest is seven, and my oldest just turned 15. Family life is ablaze with possibilities and new adventures and opportunities we couldn’t take when the kids were younger and needier.

But along with my children’s growing independence comes the notion they don’t need me as much. That I’m freer to do my own thing (like lay in bed in the afternoon working on the computer after an exhausting morning teaching or running around.) That the kids are okay doing their own thing whether playing extended Wii time or toiling over homework. But Judges 13, the story or Samson’s birth, enlightened me one morning and made me realize that a mother’s work is never done.

Monoah, Samson’s father, after hearing that his wife was going to have a son (Samson) prayed to God saying, “O Lord, I beg you, let the man of God (angel) you sent to us come again to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born.” (Judges 13:8)

While we all need guidance to bring up the children God has entrusted us with, it’s the next request that stood out to me. Monoah asked the angel of God, “When your words are fulfilled, what is to be the rule for the boy’s life and work?” (Judges 13:12)

The answer is surprising. “The angel of the Lord answered, ‘Your wife must do all that I have told her. She must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, nor drink any wine or other fermented drink, nor eat anything unclean. She must do everything I have commanded of her.”

Did you catch that? No charge to obey the ten commandments or any specific rules for the boy. Even the father got a free pass. The responsibility fell on the mother! Oy Vei!

All moms can relate to having responsibility thrust upon them and feeling like it’ll never end. And it never really does, does it? Even when the kids are graduated and have families of their own, they still need their parents. Their moms.

While I don’t believe that we are all required to follow the strict advice the angel gave to Samson’s mother (though abstaining from such food and drink is healthiest for the baby,) I do believe we can harvest nuggets of truth if we dig deeper and ask the Holy Spirit to interpret those words into our own lives.

For me the words spoken to Samson’s mother is telling me not to overindulge in things that will make me forget my first priority as mom. That I need to be there for my children and watch what comes out of my mouth, so it is clean, instead of rashly speaking words that don’t edify and build up. And most of all, the scripture is speaking to my spirit, telling me that my work in my children is never done. Just because they’re older and more self sufficient doesn’t mean they need me less. They just need me differently.

It’s time I re-evaluate how I spend my time and role as mother once again. I’ve learned over the years that my personality thrives on alone time, and I need lots of it to be rejuvenated, but probably not as much as I think I need. My children still need me, just not it the same way as they did when they were little.

While I know a mother’s work is never done, I’m also beginning to realize a mother’s work does not have to be burdensome. This new season of motherhood is the best so far, and I need to embrace all that it has to offer. With a little scheduling and penciled in me-time, I know it can be one of the most fulfilling jobs I have.

2 Responses to A Mother’s Work is Never Done
  1. Summur Braley
    September 16, 2009 | 9:57 am

    Thank you for encouraging me today!

  2. Gina
    October 3, 2009 | 10:43 am

    You’re welcome, Summur!