When asked how to promote world peace, Mother Teresa responded, “Go home and love your family.”
In a busy world it’s easy to forget such simplicity. We get caught up in to-do lists that need to be checked off, work that needs to get done, errands that need to be ran, and let’s be honest – watching Netflix on the regular. We try and solve the world’s problems with presidential debates and organizations that promise change. Don’t get me wrong, these things are all extremely important (yes, Netflix included), but only if we start at home first. Having a family that knows they are loved and a priority can solve a lot of the world’s problems preventatively instead of as a reaction. Instead of neglecting the roles we play in our families, we need to embrace them for what they are.
Today it isn’t always looked at as the highest honor to sit at home and just love your children. Our society wants us doing more, being more. It isn’t always enough to change diapers and do laundry. Somehow the world wants us also starting a nonprofit or selling something trendy online. I can say from experience that staying at home with your children can seem like a whole lot of nothing at times. It sure can seem like changing another diaper or making another meal isn’t enough. Too often it can create feelings of doubt in our souls that because we are not doing enough, we are not enough. I used to always laugh when a stay at home mom would say her “job” was “hard.” I would dream in my mind how nice that “hard job” must be. Sipping coffee, taking cute strolls with that adorable baby outside, going to Target every day. Sounds like a dream job to me.
Then I became a stay at home mom. I quickly realized I had to chug my coffee if I wanted to get some (had to get some) before my toddler was trying to grab it out of my hands and pour it on the floor. Then I learned that those cute strolls outside were really moments of sanity from a screaming or crying child that needed a little environment change. I also learned that going to Target really was a mom thing, but only because it may be the only time you get out of the house in a week, and bonus, I’ve learned how to distract my toddler with any means necessary to at least make it around the store without a meltdown (sometimes).
Becoming a mother has changed my world more drastically than I could have imagined. Every day is a sacrifice to make sure my family has everything they need and they feel loved and cared for. Sometimes, most of the time, all this means is that there is another meal to eat, another diaper changed and another load of laundry done. These things may seem insignificant but they can change the world. Jesus changed the world by laying down His life for others and calls us to do the same daily. This is what parenthood is all about – laying down your own desires and sacrificing daily to ensure a better life for your family. Feeding the hungry kids at home. Loving the crying baby at 3:00am when all you want to do is sleep. Taking the time to teach your kids how to be kind and how to love. We need parents that take the time to do the small things because they will make a big difference in the end.
If we slow down and take the time to raise children who are nurtured and loved, the world would be a different place to live in. Would it be easier not to parent at times? Yes. Would it be easier to continue to stay busy so that people could see my contribution to the world? Absolutely.
But sometimes you need to just go home and love your family.