Monday, December 26, 2011

When Mother Feels Unappreciated

A Mother's Love is Just a Sample of God's Love for Us All

I am shaking this morning. I am weak and weary on this path of life. But I am in good spirits. I know where my source of comfort lies.

I worked very hard yesterday, while the family was all at home. I cleaned and baked and cooked and visited. It was taxing on my fragile body. I remember standing over the stove in the late afternoon and stirring the food in a pan. I was shaking then. I thought to myself, "I am too old for this." I didn't feel young or energetic anymore. I did not have the endurance to do basic things. Then I thought of my own mother, with a crown of silver and a cane in her hand, and how she still cooks, even if she is shaking. (gentle smiles)

I asked my teenagers for help.  They were occupied in the parlour, laughing and visiting and didn't understand my need for help. They had already done so much for me.  It would have been easy for me to burst into tears (like a small, tired child) and collapse into a chair, but I prayed a little prayer and smiled, and said tenderly, "I just need a little help." One of them smiled and came to my assistance.  I realize they see me, a picture of health, but don't have any idea of the deafness, the blindness, the aches, the shaking that goes on in this old mother.  When they grumble and complain about helping (like all normal children), they know not what they do.  They think mother is a tireless saint who can work miracles in the home and kitchen.

I once read about the troubles of Elizabeth Prentiss(1800's), in one of her books. She wrote about her struggle with frail health and how her children would gather around her for stories, or help,  but they would elbow her and nudge her and cause her pain - unknowingly. It "cost her" dearly to be a mother, but was worth every bit of pain.

Patricia St. John,in her autobiography, spoke highly of her mother. She talked about how she and her siblings would giggle and laugh and make fun, at times, when her mother tried to teach them the Bible.  Looking back she realized they had caused her heartache. That mother was greatly admired for her patience and loving guidance, despite the trouble.

There are many moments when I feel unappreciated. My greatest weapon to fight this dark thought, is to smile and to pray and to keep going. . . I have already seen the fruits of my efforts, in my grown children, who are tender and loving and helpful. When they grow up, they no longer think as children. They are no longer focused on self, or unaware of the pain of others. This is why I love the Biblical prayer, "Remember not the sins of my youth." It comforts me to think of that in relation to my teens. They know not what they do.

But most of all, my never-ending goal is to be like the mother in Loretta Lynn's song, "The Coal Miner's Daughter." This mother did not grumble, despite poverty, hard work, and constant cares. Loretta summed it up in one simple phrase, "To complain there was no need. She'd smile in Mommy's understanding way."

I have been greatly encouraged by the writings of Mother Teresa.  This quote, in particular, is the solution to feeling unappreciated:

"In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

The Difficult Times - Chronically Ill Homeschooling Mothers.

Very Bad Days of Motherhood - Trouble with Teenagers.

What my Precious Son did - Presents to Cheer Me Up.

A Look at a Life-Long Marriage - Are you still Tricking your Wife

 - To find out more about this blog, or Mrs. White, please visit our About page. -

  For Encouragement in Christian Homemaking, order Mrs. White's book, "Homemaking For Happiness: Wonderful Days at Home."

In this book, you will find essays, articles, and diary entries about life in a Christian home.

Entries are arranged by season, and include:  "Keeping a Frugal Kitchen;" "Missing the Lilacs;" "An Evening Walk in the Garden;" "At Grandmother's House;" and "Chores for Grandchildren."

You will also find a few photographs showing a little of the local landscape.

Paperback, 307 pages.


Unknown said...

I can relate to a lot of what you talk about. Do you mind me asking what illness you have? I have a neuromuscular disease called Myasthenia Gravis that I have exhausted all treatments for except one. There is no cure. It is a progressive disease and is progressing (those treatments to stop it were not tolerated so I can no longer do)

We are trying to slow it down naturally since that is all we have left. I felt pretty good Christmas Eve eve, but Christmas day was very hard. I was very weak and tired, could barely function. :(

My son is 14. He does what he can, but I hate to burden him with all the chores. ;) My husband helps on occasion, but he is a hard worker (roofer) and needs his downtime. I do what I can to make his home a castle and he does what he can to make me feel like his queen. :) Prayers to you!

Rebecca said...

Oh, How I know that feeling. I was standing at the, baking...listening to the laughter...I was on the verge of tears, this Christmas...has been filled with nothing I had planned, I know, his plans are better than mine. I asked one of my help, I saw...that is NOT what they wanted to do. Instead of harping...I just said...Oh,I know you'd rather play...please, go ahead...I'll take care of it. My heart, my heart wanted to scream: Didn't anyone see me? See how tired and truly the pain I felt? Then...I heard his sweet whisper "Are you still 'doing for them....when are you going to Honor and glorify me? It is my Son's birthday...."....and then...a quiet swept over me. Thank you for this sweet reminder...that other sisters go through the same...and we are to glorify HIM!!! Blessings!

Mrs. Laura Lane said...

Thank you for putting in words what many of us feel. Being a mother in pain is very difficult. It's still the most rewarding thing to do.

Anonymous said...

I, too, have nerve damage; as a result of a hip replacement gone wrong. It has been nearly 6 years since my surgery. We didn't know it, but the doctor sent me home walking on a broken thigh bone-he split it, while inserting the prosthesis, wired it, BUT NEVER TOLD ME, OR MY HUSBAND! (We only found out 9 months later, when reading the surgery records). At any rate, I was instructed to get up and walk, and do therapy, and "live life normally"; when I was released from the hospital.
So, that is what my children expected. (I had actually undergone 2 surgeries in one day, as the first one resulted with complications.) So my body was in agony. I needed desperately to rest for weeks. But my children, (teenagers, at the time), thought they were doing the right thing, by getting me up every day, and insisting things be normal. They always helped with chores, but they did not want me in bed. It took a while to realize that they were very SCARED, they only knew their strong Mom, who fought against all odds, who never gave up, and who rarely let them see her cry. And overnight, that all changed. I needed physical therapy. My muscles cramped, until my toes curled under, and would not release. The doctor denied any problems, so was not willing to give me the proper medications to relieve the pain and severe cramping.

But again, the children only wanted their Mom to be normal. They hated the walker I had to use. They didn't like to put the brace on my leg, and put my shoe on, because I could no longer do it myself. It was a hard time of adjustment for us all, because I hated it as much as they did.

As Mothers, we all have expectations of ourselves, to do our best, and be our best; and to be able to serve our families. It is hard to adjust to having our families sometimes serve us. But, it does also teach them to serve the Lord. And to serve others. It teaches them compassion, and patience, and One-Anothering, so that when they leave our homes, and go out into the world, they will have a better understanding when they find someone in need.

And, as children of God, we know that the lessons that are the hardest for us to learn, are the ones that stick with us forever-and often what He uses to create our life's missions.

Thank you to each of you for your stories, to encourage me, and others. And may all who come behind us find us faithful...

Anonymous said...

This is truly encouraging to me, Sharon. I have mentioned before how I struggle with health issues that leave me weak with flu-like symptoms.

But He gives me a different kind of strength that helps me endure and have a sweet spirit that can only come from Christ and abiding in Him!

By the way, my fellow New England sister, we will be taking a trip to Vermont this week:) A different part than where you live, no doubt!

But I just wanted to know I'll be thinking of you!

Catherine said...

I hope today was a restful one for you. I'm also in recovery mode, but it is worth the pain to give them special Christmas memories. xo Catherine

Susan said...

My grandmother, bless her soul in heaven, was a wonderful woman. Despite breaking both hips, having one knee replacement, and breaking both ankles, she was able to complete all the things that one thinks of as her 'grandmotherly duties.' Her best friend was a stool with a small pillow that she would move from the sink full of dishes, to the counter to cut cookies, and to the stovetop to stir boujoulis or her famous chicken needle soup. Perhaps such a stool would be of help to you as it was to her?

Barb @ A Life in Balance said...

Thank you for sharing this at the Homemaking Linkup! I've been struggling with feeling unappreciated and some minor health issues.

Anonymous said...

This is how I feel today. Our closest town for shopping (and post-Christmas returns) is one hour away. I have only been shopping there ONCE by myself since my child was born 2 1/2 years ago. I wish I had a better support system for myself. At least your kids are older! I'm still dealing with pregnancy and tantrums. Hope your day is better.

Becky Ward said...

Dear Mrs. White,
Thank you SO much for your post. I have been following your blog for more than two years, but I have never left a comment. I have six children 15,12,10,9,7,3. I have had them later in life. I have had to limit my computer time to be able to give my children and home the time and attention that they need. I also consider it a privilege to be a wife and mother at home and realize what a high calling from the Lord that it is. I believe that when we as wives/mothers serve our husbands and children in our own home homes that we are serving the Lord himself. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom and encouragement!!! I only follow two blogs due to time limits and yours is one along with Large Family Mothering. My oldest two children are my daughters Bethany (15), and Ashley (12). They are precious girls who love that Lord with all of their heart. I will often read a post from your blog only to have them read it to themselves as time allows. We also have enjoyed Stepping Heavenward and have re read it several times. I just wanted you to know how much you have been a blessing to me, my girls, and our family. Your reward in heaven will be great. Godspeed.

Solo Christo,

Becky Ward