Nicole Johnson is an author, performer and motivational speaker. She creates skits to portray women and their struggles and challenges. I saw her once at the Women of Faith conference and she was wonderful. While I did not see this skit in person, I have seen it in the past and it resonated with me then. But, I it just resonated with me big time. I know it is not a coincidence I ran into it again now. Take six minutes and watch.
I have wanted acknowledgement that raising three kids is hard and I am underappreciated. It is a great sacrifice to be a parent. It is an honor to be my children’s mother. And, yes it is underappreciated in the day to day moments of mothering. It is a thankless job. I think intellectually most people know these things when they become a parent. Any parent would sacrifice their life for their child. What is difficult is how that sacrifice plays out in the day to day walk of everyday life… the homework monitoring, the struggle to clean the house, the soccer practice routine, the paper hoarding of a seven year old, and the dents in the wall from thrown toys.
Where I have steered off the path is that I should not expect thanks. It is not my children’s job to pat me on the back and say thanks for doing their laundry. It is my job let them know in everything I do that they are loved no matter what, regardless of the thanks or acknowledgement I get. My selfishness will not accomplish that. My responsibility is to build the best people I can… build the character of these little people entrusted to me… all without thanks, acknowledgment or atta boys.
On Nicole’s website freshbrewedlife.com and in the video, she speaks of a book about the great cathedrals. After reading the book the following four life-changing truths emerged and after which she would pattern her work [of raising children]:
1. No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no records of their names
2. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished
3. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit
4. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything
She goes on to say “As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, [but] at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.”
I do not want a record of what I have done and I do not want credit. I want my kids to come home.