This insight by Danielle Bean is not to be missed, even if you're a veteran mother. All around me, I see restless souls searching for "something more." They are not content to be at home and "just to be mothers." They miss the vast, endless opportunities to grow in perfect way God intended: by serving others in a family. Opportunity for creativity and productivity and growth in love is boundless in the heart of our homes; we just don't stop looking at ourselves long enough to see it. Sure, there are plenty of work-at-home or volunteer-with-the-children possibilities that might feed our egos or assuage our sense of worth. But...are those the things God intended for the purpose He intended? He called us to marriage in order to teach us how to love. If we look at our days, our weeks, our hours in the context of this greater purpose, we can make wise and holy choices about how to spend our time. Those other endeavors might be wholly appropriate, if they are undertaken in the spirit of learning charity ourselves and teaching charity to our children. But Danielle eloquently reminds us:
I just want to caution you about valuing “something else” at the expense of the value you place on mothering. I don’t even mean in terms of the time you might devote to outside pursuits. There are many hobbies you can pursue, and even some kinds of paid work you can do that might take time away from your family, but in a healthy way. What I want to warn you about, though, is the destructive, disdainful, all-too-common attitude toward motherhood which goes something like, “This is all very well and good, but there is more to me than this. Full time mothering is nice, but I need to do something more with myself than this.”
You will find the modern world eager to support those kinds of thoughts and attitudes, but in the end, those who de-value their contributions as mothers hurt themselves and their families. They rob themselves of joy and the kind of satisfaction that can only come from total, self-giving, life-giving love.
There are riches in the vocation of motherhood that will only be discovered if we abandon ourselves to it entirely and stop searching vainly for something more. There is nothing more than love.