Marie Osborne (regular contributor to iBelieve.com) recently confessed,
“My name is Marie, and I'm a stay-at-home mom with three kids. And hired help.
Months before the birth of our twins, my husband and I decided we would hire someone to help me care for the kids and manage our home. We knew everyone would be happier for it. I posted a question on a Facebook page set up for twin mothers, asking what hours of the day most moms of a toddler and twins found they would benefit from an extra pair of hands. The overwhelming response? You don't need help. You can do it all by yourself.”
But, Marie, explains, sometimes we can’t do everything ourselves. Stay-at-home moms report high levels of depression and anger – something Marie wanted to work against preventatively by hiring someone to help with her little ones during the difficult early years. And, writes Noelle Kirchner on iBelieve.com, sometimes marriage is in danger of being sacrificed on the altar of all-consuming-motherhood.
“Growing up, my father impressed upon me the importance of prioritizing the husband-wife relationship. He described it as the base of the pyramid the rest of the family is built upon. If there is a crack in the base, everything else is affected. Eleven years of marriage and two little kids later, I remember his words.”
Kirchner explains that sacrifice and creativity is a small price to pay for making sure that the marriage is the solid foundation on which a family runs. If everything becomes about the children, that leaves only leftovers for your spouse.
Another point Marie Osborne makes in her piece that, while independence and self-sufficiency is a great American virtue, sometimes clinging to that attitude can lead to unhealthy attitudes of pride. According to Felicia Alvarez of Crosswalk.com, pride:
“Strangles Communication – When we are prideful about a situation, tension builds, and it’s difficult to communicate. We are so set on being “right” that we are willing to sacrifice fellowship with the people we care about.”
“Restrains us from Offering Grace – When we are caught up in our own self-righteousness, it’s hard to be gracious to others. Yet God calls us to live full of grace: 'Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?' (Matthew 18:33) 'Show mercy and kindness to one another' (Zechariah 7:9).”
No mom is an island – even the oft-exalted Proverbs 31 woman had a house full of servants to help her accomplish her many tasks. Osborne encourages us to remember that humility is a core Christian virtue.
“In inviting others to help us in our household tasks and child rearing duties, we can put our humility to practice, increasing our flexibility, and strengthening our sense of community.”
What about you? Is it time to hire that nanny, or book a babysitter a few nights a month? Even if it’s just making time to attend a women’s retreat every so often, remember that living in community helps us love God, our families, and each other, more deeply!
Debbie Holloway is the Family Life Editor for Crosswalk.com
Publication date: March 19, 2014