We pray together as a family at least once a day if not several times. I taught my children to pray when they were very young, but for years, in almost every prayer, every one of my kids has said the same phrase, “Bless Mom that she can get all of her work done today.”
Lately, I have been thinking about this phrase and wondering why they say this every single day. I have been cringing every time I hear them pray for me in this way. Why? Because I am a mom and my work for the day never gets totally finished. There is always more to do and many of the things I do as a mom are not just tasks to be checked off of a list. As a mom, I want to be a nurturer and a spiritual adviser and a rock they can depend on and none of that work will ever be done. I can check off a list that the floors were mopped and the laundry was folded and the lunches were packed, but is that really what I want my kids to remember about me?
I don’t think this phrase is something I taught them to say per se, but it is probably something I made them feel by my attitude and my never ending to do lists and my exacerbation at the end of the day that I didn’t get everything done. I am aware of this and I am trying to change, to be more deliberate in my mothering so they will remember a mother who loved them and nurtured them and not a mother who put her children second over a to do list that was a mile long.
The other night during our weekly family meeting, we talked about the coming week and what everyone had going on. We talked about our plans, and we prepared for a spiritual lesson from my daughter. But before the lesson I told my kids that I wanted to talk to them about something unrelated to our family schedule and unrelated to the lesson we were about to have.
I told them my feelings about the phrase that they say in their prayers. I told them that I am their mom and that there will never be a day where I will go to bed at night and declare, “I got all of my mothering work done today,” because as a mom to them my work is never done. I told them that I hope when they grow up that they will remember me as a mom that supported them, that nurtured them, that helped them and that loved them unconditionally.
I also told them I was sorry for all of the years I gave them the impression that my to do list and “getting work done” was the most important part of my day. I asked for their forgiveness. I told them that I wanted to change, and I wanted my mothering of them and what they needed to be the most important part of my day.
My sweet husband then asked how they could pray for me. I told them they could pray that I could be patient with them, that I could put them before mundane tasks, that I could love them the way they needed to be loved that day.
I am so blessed as a mother. I hope I will never hear the phrase, “Bless Mom that she can get all of her work done” again. More importantly, I hope that my children will know through my actions and my attitude that I feel blessed to be their mother and that the work I do as their mother is the greatest job that I will never be done with.
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