“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her” Proverbs 31:28.
In keeping with the theme that I am not yet a Proverbs 31 woman, let me tell you why. I do feed my kids, change them or give them clothes to wear (whichever is age appropriate for whichever child at the time), keep an eye on them to make sure they are safe, keep a clean house, educate them and of course love them. However, I feel like the Proverbs 31 woman standards are impossible expectations to meet, I mean have you ever really read them? Or compared them to today’s culture’s view of what it might look like now? YIKES.
Here is my reality:
1. My kids get fed, it is not a gourmet meal, Betty Crocker probably wouldn’t even look slightly impressed, it is never what they want because if I tried to cater to seven people I would be in the kitchen before the sun was and long after the sun set. Sometimes my food is boxed TV dinners, sometimes we have cereal for dinner, sometimes we have some sort of pasta concoction all week long because it is easy to make, etc…you get the idea, the important thing to remember is that the only time anyone starves in our household is from their own making because they have chosen not to eat the dish that is being served.
2. My kids are dressed, maybe not to the liking of society, if truth be told they are sometimes not dressed to my husband’s liking either. My kids never dress inappropriately. In fact I do not even let my older girls go shopping without me because all clothing has to be mom approved. Their clothes typically consist of thrift store finds (obviously except for undergarments) because our family usually lives by a motto we heard from another family, “by used and save the difference.” Every now and then I will go out to get a brand new dress or outfit for each of them, from a retail store, but only on Resurrection Sunday and Christmas. The attire I am referring to that my husband isn’t too fond of is pajamas. I love them, my kids love them, God was a genius when He put that knowledge into someone’s head, GENIUS! Did I say G-E-N-I-U-S! Other than the love of my life, our family loves putting on jammies after a long day, or staying in them way to late in a day when nothing is going on. As a side note: my husband only wears real jammies in the winter when it is cold but will wear basketball shorts during the warmer months…around the house when he is not working….even though they were not labeled pajamas in the store we got them from, it still counts because they are jammies to him.
3. My kids are safe, in my opinion. Obviously there are people out there that are disgusting and will do horrible things to people that I have no control over but I do have control over what my kids watch, who they play with and how they act. I allow them to be a little dangerous at times, riding their bikes in the middle of the cul-de-sac, sliding down the staircase on a cardboard box and jumping from the trampoline to the pool but all while being supervised, not because I think one of the adults watching them will prevent any accidents but just in case accidents happen (and they have) someone is there to kiss a boo-boo, dust off a bottom or even drive them to the ER if need be.
4. My house is clean, not spotless and we definitely have our fair share of excess but it gets vacuumed, swept, mopped and scoured at least once a week. Throughout the week it gets picked up but with seven people in one house it rarely looks like it. Another side note: I think us mothers do each other a major injustice by cleaning our houses spotless before company comes over and here’s why…we clean our house spotless to give the illusion that our house is neat but then the people that come to visit inevitably go home and spend hours comparing their house to that of the person they just visited, “why can’t our house look as clean as so and so’s house?” The reality is that your house was no cleaner than theirs was just before you “visitor” cleaned it but their spouses don’t know that, all they know is your house always looks amazing when they come to visit.
5. My kids are educated, not the way I would have liked them to be but there are somethings I can’t control. My two oldest are in public high school and middle school because I have shared custody with my ex-husband and he does not believe I am educated enough to educate them so the courts decided that they will remain in traditional public school. I went to a public school for awhile when I was growing up but wouldn’t wish it upon any of my kids, especially when I live in a state that is like the 49th on the list of best state standards…49th out of 50, that says something. My two middle kiddos are homeschooled and I could not be happier. I often feel inadequate with how I educate them but then I realize that is just lies that Satan is weaseling into my head. My baby boy will be homeschooled which will be quite interesting since I have heard boys are a bunch more bouncy when it comes to sitting still for learning.
6. My kids are loved, none of the other stuff matters, 1-5 is not the least bit important because if I love them well all other things will fall into place. How do I love them? I kiss them, cuddle with them, teach them, discipline them, support them, listen to them, tell them, and many other ways.
I love them by showing them, as best as I can, how God loves them and that is all that matters. So my kids might not call me “blessed” but I feel blessed to have this job called “mom” even on the days when I feel the need for a day off.
Growing up I do not remember ever calling my mom “blessed” probably, knowing my past, just the opposite. Now that I have lived and have become a mother of five, I can call her blessed because I know what it is like to live through parenting as she has. My mother is pretty amazing and maybe one day I will live up to the Proverbs 31 woman and my kids will think the same.
Not Yet But Getting There! (notyetproverbs31)