The Unseen Work of a Parent

He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. (Isaiah 40:11)

The sunglasses ARE on correctly, mom.

The sunglasses ARE on kor-ec-ly, mom.

Much of the service of parenting goes unnoticed, unrecognized, unseen. I think that was one of the hardest things for me at the beginning of this parenting journey. I have always been competitive, a hard worker, a studious student. I loved receiving acknowledgment for good grades and bonuses at work.

Yet, this part of me never hindered my NEED to stop “working” and be a stay-at-home mom. But it has been an adjustment that continues today. In talking with friends over the weekend I think we all agreed with this on some level. Even if you’re all-in and committed to spending your days raising your children, participating in your kids classroom, or homeschooling; it’s still a different kind of work. It’s ongoing, relentless at times, unscheduled, 24/7, in-an-instant type of work.

One thing brought up in conversation was the reminder of who we do this work for? It is not for approval by others, not even for our own approval. It is a calling by God and a service we do for Him — a stewardship, a mission of the hardest kind. He has lent us these children to love, raise, and guide for a short time before we must let them go into the world.

Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him. (Psalm 127:3-5)

Sometimes I think being a mom is a total assault on all my senses. LOL! Am I alone here? Lord, I hope not. 😉  Really, it’s not always stressful. Sometimes the joy and pride I’m filled with is remarkable and BURSTING! However, it’s often the hardest aspects of parenting that go unseen; and that’s difficult at times. Sometimes even unseen to me. Have you ever noticed how you could be going along day by day with your little ones (and older ones I’m sure) and the gains, or developments seem nonexistent or slow to happen?

BUT THEN, out of nowhere your angel does something or shows you something that is incredible. And you think…it clicked! Amazing! They’re growing, learning, and becoming who they are meant to be!!!!! THANK GOD!

I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. (1 Samuel 1:27)

There’s really nothing better, but the world of parenting is very different from the working world. There your accomplishments were seen often and acknowledged by many. Yet, how important were those accomplishments and awards in the total scheme of things? Looking back, probably not that much.

The thing to try to focus on is God cheering us on. He has our back wherever and whenever we do this work. Whether it’s in the middle of the night when your comforting your child back to sleep, or when we are encouraging our kids to do something they’re a little shy about. When nobody is watching, except Him, that should be reward enough.

I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

There’s no better mission. No service we could ever do means more than when we do it for His eyes first.

Try to revel in those little, magical moments that happen in secret, behind the scenes, that even your children might not understand. It’s something special for you and Him to share. Even when it’s difficult or exhausting, everything you do for your family matters and will have a lasting effect.

Thanks to Lisa LaFortune at “Families! Change the World” blog.