The Work Mother Dilema

How we have been raised by our own mothers significantly affects the next generation.  Parenting and coupling. Central issues to almost everything.

The day after mother’s day and a rousing discussion in our “sinner’s club” Saturday evening has me questioning.

Women strive to live up or live to make up for what they missed. In both parenting and marital relationships.

Men expect out of their wives what they saw or didn’t see their own mothers doing. Yet they want their marriage to be something entirely different then what they witnessed growing up.

Put any variety of couple together and you have issues. He thinks she should stay home with the children.  She wants to work and have meaning and value in her life. He wants her to work to add to the income. She wants to spend but not work frustrating the balance. She needs and wants. He needs and wants.

There are relational implications. Economical repercussions.  Driving social desires.

It seems what there isn’t is contentment.  We wish the past were and press for the future to be but do we enjoy the moments in between?

One particular mother/wife in our sinner’s club is working full-time doing very well (valuable).  She was raised by a mother with a mental illness who did not function in a parental way at all. No father in the house and  her mother gave her older sister at age 9. Other people filled in gaps but her whole adult life has been attempts to be the opposite of her incapable mother. She wants to stay home and clean the house and have food ready. Her husband is hesitant of not having her income but wants her to “be a better mother”.  Her desire is that her kids would have everything she didn’t.  While she is at it they are absent a mother that only she can be. The husband had a stay at home mother in a different culture. Who lived simply. He sends her money to support her now. What a ton of issues! So glad we are all in the club together!

Pondering the evening as I awoke on mothers day.  My college student but married son and his wife are staying with us for a few weeks. Our new foster son is here on a weekend visit. His 15 and 16 year old brother and sister who call me mom, are in the house too. The shoes of many variety are scattered at the back door which is also my living room. A shirt is hanging over the couch. A book on the mantle and cups equaling more than the number of people in the house are scattered on the counter.  I stop and realize. All this is evidence I am a mother. I smile. Give thanks and repent of my desire to have a home that looks otherwise.

How odd. We want a happy family. Secure and respectful. Good stewards of stuff and considerate. Can the house be a bit disheveled? Absolutely. I am learning contentment. I am not longing for an empty nest. I have an opportunity to impact the next mothers and fathers. I am a mother.

I hear grand-parenting is much easier.  I am very willing to wait!


About Jackie Anderson

Desperately dependent, praying, wife of 1, mom of 5. Jesus is everything to me. For His fame.
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