I got an email from a dear lady who shared her struggles and doubts as a mother and homemaker; is she doing enough, being "just" a wife and mother? Is her work meaningful enough? Does it have long-lasting value? I decided to post my reply here, thinking that perhaps it might be helpful to other ladies as well.
Thank you for writing and sharing the musings of your heart! Please keep in mind that I'm far from being an expert on... in fact, on anything. I'm 23 years old, a young wife and a new mother, and lack the wisdom that usually comes with age, but I'll still try to give my humble perspective.
You wonder what the Almighty has planned for you; don't we all? I believe that we don't actually discover our "purpose in life" until our walk on this earth is over, and until then, possibilities are open. We cannot really know His will, and therefore, the best we can do is grow in loving obedience to Him.
In your case, the Almighty has shown His clear direction by giving you a family and home. These days, when a woman doesn't seek employment outside of the home, she refers to herself as "just a mother" or "just a housewife"; and it's no coincidence that the family unit, on the whole, is experiencing its worst period in human history. How could it not, when women aren't trained anymore to see the incredible value in their calling as wives, mothers and keepers and guides of the home?
Of course, in the endless stream of everyday tasks, it's easy to forget how important your work actually is. Washing the dishes, changing diapers and cooking dinner aren't the most glamorous jobs in the world. You don't earn a paycheck, and you are far away from the public eye. You are never promoted, and even if your work is appreciated by your husband and family - and today, sadly, this isn't always the case - the rewards of your efforts, such as a well-trained child or an organized household, are slow to be seen.
Perhaps some days, you find yourself still in your pajamas in the late afternoon, with no clue what to make for dinner, ripping your hair off because your children misbehave. And then you wonder, what on earth am I doing with my life? At such moments, it's crucial to keep your eyes on the big picture: you are your husband's help mate and the chief supervisor of your home. By answering the call of motherhood, you become the guide of precious, eternal souls, and the results of your investment in them will last forever.
It doesn't mean you must train up geniuses, start an impressive home business, or excel in each and every one of the home arts to make your life meaningful. Even being "just" a good, loving wife, and "just" raising your dear children in a secure, stable environment is a highly important, challenging, indispensable full-time job. Some social movements of the past century would have us believe that the work of a housewife is menial and unimportant, so women were pushed to join the work force, babies were shipped off to daycare centers, and homes were left neglected. And just look how sad and forlorn our communities are today. Families are falling apart, with the most disastrous consequences for children. Turns out that the traditional, humble, unnoticed women's work was not so meaningless after all.
May I suggest that, if you don't do that already, you spend a portion of time with the Lord each day? Pray and raise up all your worries and thoughts to Him. Remember that in His eyes, each and every one of us is precious, not only those who have done things that the world considers "great", but also those who lead simple, humble, honest lives. Modesty, humility and those works that aren't noticed by the world are treasured in His eyes. It also helps to share your burdens with another - talk to your husband, and perhaps to an older, more experienced wife and mother who has a favorable view of traditional marriage, motherhood and homemaking.
Be strengthened. In doing what you do, you are following the will of the Lord, Who gave you a family to care for and a home to guide. You will never regret spending time with your husband and children, being there for them, supporting, teaching, and training. What you do is important and it does matter.