Tell a Friend  

About the Writer:
Amelia Schultz



Motherhood, It's a Poopy Job but Somebody has to do it!

By Amelia Schultz

I hope you enjoyed your Mother’s Day. I have to say that this past week has been less than wonderful for me as I had three kids come down with strep throat and I spent a lot of time cleaning up after vomit and diarrhea. I have washed all the linens in the house, disinfected my bathrooms several times and made numerous trips to the pharmacy.

In fact, in the middle of it all, when I was despairing of ever having time to complete this message, I came up with a short and sweet one which truly encapsulates my motherhood experience to date. So, based on almost 13 years of being a mother, here it is: Motherhood, it’s a poopy job, but somebody has to do it! You laugh, but let’s face it, being a mother is not a frilly, tiara-wearing job. It involves a lot of menial labor, long hours, cleaning up messes no one else wants to touch and receiving little recognition.

Prov. 31:17 says “She sets about her work vigorously, her arms are strong for her tasks.” Motherhood is a blue collar job that requires more endurance than intelligence. I don’t even want to think about the number of diapers I have changed in my 12+ years of mothering. And, like most of you, many of my diapers were rinsed out in the toilet, washed, and used again. Only a group of mothers can have an earnest and fascinating discussion about their child’s bowel movements. I was known on Covenant Seminary’s campus for my accident stories. When ladies were having a bad day, they would ask me for the latest excrement saga from my house, and go away laughing and feeling better about their own problems.

Motherhood is certainly not for the faint-hearted or weak-stomached. It is a monumental task we are thrust in without proper training, few benefits, lousy pay, and ungrateful bosses. So why do we do it? Being a mom isn’t glamorous but it is important and rewarding and God has told us in Col 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a result.” There are many times I struggle to consider it all joy when I am cleaning up yet another mess or mediating another argument about whose toy it really is. There are days when I want to run away from home. Yet although my mommy job doesn’t come with a business card or a 6 figure income, I know that all my nurturing and exhorting and caring are a sacred trust from the Lord. As mothers, we have the privilege to shape and mold a life. More importantly we have the ability to mold that life to know, love and acknowledge its Creator. We have the possibility of being a Lois and Eunice (2 Tim 1:5) - believing women who are the foundation for the belief of others in our home. And I think we do it because although the benefits may seem few and far between some days: a heartfelt sigh of, “I love you, Mommy” as our toddler drops to sleep, the wonder on a child’s face when they figure out something about their world, the joy of seeing our children come to know the Lord, and the blessing and revenge of grandchildren really make our day to day drudgery seem petty and unimportant.

None of us are perfect mothers; in fact we may not be mothers at all. We may be aunts, friends, godmothers, sisters or mentors, but we can all impact children simply by letting them know that we are always there to support them. Why do all the sports figures say, “Hi, Mom” when they get near a camera? Because they know their Mom is cheering them on, proudly saying, I knew he could do it. That, I think is at the core of being a mother ... our unconditional, unfailing love which is a picture of the unfailing love God has for us. I don’t model this perfectly for my kids, but I have told them repeatedly that I will not always like what they are doing, but I will always love them. 1 Cor. 13:8 says “Love never fails.” I think of this verse when I think of mothers who pray for their unsaved children day after day, year after year. When mothers will not take no for an answer, and push and lobby until their child gets the services or diagnosis he needs. When a mother stands with open arms to hug away the hurt inflicted by a friend and when a mother weeps over the sin in her child yet welcomes him home.

I will consider I have done a lot right if my children grow up knowing the Lord and knowing that they are truly loved...knowing that they may disappoint me, frustrate me, anger me, and hurt me, but they will always be loved by me, in spite of themselves, just because they are my children. Mothers live out so many of the attributes of God - imperfectly of course, just ask my kids. Mothers are loving. Mothers are forgiving. Mothers are long-suffering. Mothers are patient (actually, don’t ask my kids about that one). 2 Cor. 13:4 says, “Love is patient, love is kind.” I think of the patience of the mother of a toddler, who must read the same book five times a day because it’s their favorite. Think of the patience of the mother of a teenager who responds in monosyllables and sees you as lacking in intelligence. The patience needed to watch your adult child make a foolish or costly decision or walk away from the Lord.

For some of you, you are now lavishing your patience and love on children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and even great grandchildren. Motherhood is truly about delayed gratification. After carrying a child inside you for 9 months, you then lavish 24 hour a day care on your infant for almost 2 months before you even get a smile in return. Many mothers spend most of their lives pouring into their children without always seeing much in the way of results. You can lavish love and blessings and prayer on a child only to see them walk away from the Lord or do something destructive with their life. Often, apart from an occasional, “thanks, Mom,” we don’t truly see gratitude until they have kids of their own.

Let’s face it, ladies, were superwomen. Who else would continue to work at a job where their work was undone every day and it took 20, 30, even 40 years to see any real results? And with no possibility of retirement. We will be mothers until we die and our work as mothers, though it will change through the years, will never end.

All those experiences, many of which you all have gone through, can be overwhelming and frustrating if we don’t have the Lord as our guide. I am about to step into the teenage years and without prayer I don’t think I would survive. Prayer is such an import part of mothering. Like the ever-changing needs of a child, so our prayers grow and change with and for our children. As infants I prayed for their safety and growth. Then I prayed that they would come to know the Lord and grow in his love. I will always pray for their safety but now I pray for the spouses the Lord has chosen for my children. Ladies, many of you have grown children - in fact you are probably praying some of these things for your grandchildren or your great grandchildren. It is such a blessing that you can. You can lift up the next generation in prayer. Whatever our age, whatever our stage of life, we have a place in the building up of the generations to come through our involvement and through our prayers - whether we are mothers, grandmothers, aunts or neighbors.

At this point in my mothering experience, a lot of my time is spent in reading to my kids, even my older ones through home schooling. A lot of good, spiritual discussions have come from reading about missionaries and Narnia and other pieces of literature. When I read “Love You, Forever” by Robert Munsch, I see an illustration of the never-ending yet ever changing love a mother lavishes on her child. From a tender mother, carefully cradling her newborn - providing every need for her tiny child, to an anxious mom standing back as her teenager flexes his individuality and independence, to the proud parent whose grown child leaves home to make his way in the world, returning sometimes for advice and love. And finally we become an elderly parent who must rely on the values and love instilled in our child to take care of us as we age. It is a sweet story and I hope that you will read it. I will warn you, I can never get through this book without tearing up. Actually, if you ask my kids they don’t think there are many books I CAN get through without tearing up. Now I realize that some of the book is silly - if I see any of you driving down the road at night with a ladder strapped to your car I will be alarmed. But the message of the story reveals the central part of a mother’s love, that it never ends.

I’ve never cared much for Mothers Day. My family called it a Hallmark Holiday. Every day for me is a day spent being a mom. So ladies, I pray that motherhood brings you joy and laughter mixed with tears. There is nothing like a mother’s love - except our Heavenly Father’s love. In conclusion, I exhort and encourage you to fight the good fight and finish the race God has given you as mothers. It may be full of messes, but it will reap a reward in heaven, and it truly is a gift from God.

Copyright © May 13, 2007 – Amelia Schultz. All rights reserved.

Back to Articles Main Page : : : : Back to Articles Sorted By Writer : : : : Back to Articles Sorted by Title

Copyright © 2009 - Next-Step-of Faith and its Content Providers. All Rights Reserved.
Website Design by Next-Step-Up Communications