When No One Sees All Your Hard Work

There is nothing more discouraging than spending all day cleaning, refereeing, training, correcting, cooking, keeping a “sweet mama face”…and having all your best efforts rewarded by…the house looking like war zone rubble filled with hollering insurgents lively children when your husband saunters carefree and well rested walks in the door.  He callously sweetly asks, “How was your day, hon?”, and you’re left with the horrible decision to start babbling like a crazy lady and telling him how it really was, or replying with a canned, trite, completely anemic simple “It was fine.”

I usually opt for the latter option, right at first.  ‘Cause, let’s face it, Superman doesn’t really want to know every grisly detail of my day right off the bat.  His first moments home, he might not need to know:

  • How the one-year-old thought it was fun to shake a leaky sippy cup of orange juice all over the floor, and the 3 year old (with a horrifically sagging diaper) was using his trucks to run over an unsuspecting ant, and the 5 year old was in tears about her favorite pair of skinny jeans being in the wash.
  • He might not want to hear about how in the middle of mopping up orange juice and ant parts, I had to enter child #2 into the witness protection program to keep child #1 from putting out a hit on said child #2, because in the heat of the moment, a 5 year old does not really care that scribbling over paper is just what 3 year olds do.  Never mind that it was a painstakingly beautiful picture for a favorite little friend that got scribbled on.
  • Probably, the highlight of his day would not be hearing about how I made PB&J like a boss, with a fussy baby on my hip, or that I instructed the older two for the two millionth time to “please put your boots away and wash your hands for lunch.”
  • It just might glaze his eyes over if I went in detail about the post-lunch-juggle: how I carried a combined total of 100 pounds of small children up the stairs, wiped bottoms and tucked covers and fluffed pillows and brought warm milk for nap time.
  • No, he doesn’t need to hear about how impressive it is that the carpet got vacuumed and one load of laundry got washed (albeit not put away…this is not the age of miracles, people!) And the reason dinner is late (again) is because the baby was trying to climb the table while I was draining the pasta, and I had to pause everything to rescue him, and while I was doing that, I realized that the 3 year old was ready to drop kick his sister because she took his favorite book.  (No, pasta that sits too long in the pot is not appetizing.  In case you wondered.)

I don’t blame Superman for not wanting to get a diaper load of verbal diarrhea when he walks in the door.  I really don’t.  I don’t know all the details of his work and his day, although I enjoy hearing what he does share.  Honestly?  It’s not his job to be the recipient of my acute case of “I’m around small people all day, and LET ME TALK TO YOU, TALL PERSON!!!”

Don’t get me wrong, he is an amazing guy, and he really makes an effort to acknowledge and thank me for what I do.   But sometimes I forget (maybe you do too?) that being a professional appreciater isn’t on a husband’s resume.

It’s not his job to notice the barely visible vacuum lines in the carpet.  Or the dent we made in Mt. Laundry.  Or any of the other mundane things that keep a house and a family from falling into disrepair and anarchy.

Maybe you’re a single mom, and you’re thinking, I have NO ONE to EVER notice.  Not ever.

My hat’s off to you.  Seriously.  Also, I wish I could buy you a latte and hire you a housekeeper, ’cause I have zero idea how you do it all.  Hardworking single moms have Superhero status in my book.  If this is you, I’m sure you can identify 500% with what I’m about to say:

Sometimes, I’m desperate to have all this good, hard work get noticed.

I will tell you a secret of the universe game changer.

Psalm 121.  My affirmation comes from God.  Hubby is off the hook.  (And all the husbands let out a huge sigh of relief.)

God Himself is witness to every detail. 

He sees.  Oh, He sees.  All the above stuff?  He didn’t miss any of it.

He doesn’t sleep, so He is up with you when you soothe the fussy baby, or change the wet bed in the middle of the night.  He watches over me as I wake up, bleary eyed and fumble the pen over the prayer journal.  He sees you trying to simultaneously focus on Bible study and prevent casualties from World War 3 breaking out over the Little People Zoo Train gorilla piece.

He sees me choking back the piece of my mind that wants to have a tantrum over the muddy boot prints tracking all over the freshly swept floors.

He sees you, brave and beautiful, and oh-so-tired because of that kid who won’t listen, that hard issue that won’t go away, that stack of growing bills, that loneliness because you haven’t found a group of friends.  He sees.

And oh, those hands that hold your face and see into your eyes are gentle ones, sweet mama.

Unload it on Him.  He wants it.  And when you have no words?  Let the truth wash over you with certainty – He knows.

You have a witness to all your unsung, unnoticed, unglamorous moments.

He is EL-ROI, the God-Who-Sees.  It makes me want to weep with relief that all of this stuff – it’s not for nothing.  None of the seemingly pointless tasks of my day (such as wiping chocolate off of small faces, only to wipe dirt off the same small faces 20 minutes later) slips by unobserved. (Don’t even get me started on laundry and floors.)

It would change me if I remembered that God sees.  Maybe Superman would notice the crazy lady tone in my voice receding just a little.  🙂

How would it change your attitude if you remembered to pray today to EL-ROI, the God-Who-Sees?


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This entry was posted in Homemaking and tagged ElRoi, God Who Sees, hardworkin' mama, motherhood.

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