I have become “that mom.”
What does it mean to be “that mom”?
- You run into the UPS delivery driver at your kids’ school, totally out of context and in passing, and he says “Oh hey! I have a package for you. I can just leave it on your porch.” (Thanks Amazon Prime)
- You can’t go to BOOK CLUB because your PTA meeting was rescheduled for that night (WOW, nerd alert).
- Your daughter’s dentist appointment is canceled, but you pick her up from school early anyway because you knew she was looking forward to it (also I’m a little scared of her and I don’t want to make her mad).
- You haven’t been to the doctor for a checkup in years because it’s too much work to find a babysitter during the day.
- The staff at the school knows you by name, and while you’d like to think it’s because you’re such a spectacular volunteer, you realize that it’s probably because nobody could forget the name of the resident hot mess (I’ve only left my driver’s license in the scanner twice. Well, okay, maybe three times.)
- Your toddler finds a week-old French fry in his car seat and you don’t even flinch as he takes a bite, and then throws the rest out the window (it’s biodegradable, don’t judge).
- You let your kids have ice cream for a snack, but only as a bribe so they’ll stay outside while you fold laundry and watch your trashy TV show (come on, it’s a beautiful day, it’s for their own good).
I confess, I feel like I am a far cry from the Proverbs 31 woman. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have actually won “I’m a Mess” raffles more than once in my tenure as a mother (if you don’t know what it is, Google it…it’s exactly what you’d expect). I am not the mom everyone dreams they’ll be…but I’m willing to bet that I’m the mom many of us become, despite our lofty dreams!
I used to hate studying Proverbs 31 because it just made me feel so inferior and unworthy, but I have come to appreciate it and apply it to my life in a way that even I can palate.
An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
Well, I don’t know if I’m an “excellent wife” by everyone’s standards, but my husband likes me pretty well I think.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
My husband does trust me. He leaves his children with me every day, to care for them, feed them, and nurture them. And you know what? Some days are more nurturing than others, but these children have always been cared for. His trust in me is not misplaced.
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
Do I treat my husband perfectly? No. But when I mess up, I try to own it and make our relationship right again. That’s all I would ask of him, and that’s all he asks of me.
She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
Okay…no wool and flax. But I do make sure our children are clothed.
She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
Well, Aldi is like three miles away, that’s kind of far if you were to walk. Anyway, I do buy it and at Aldi, I have to bag it myself.
She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
Well, first I make coffee, then I let the dog out, but yes, then I do make breakfast. Even if it’s just cereal, they eat. That TOTALLY counts.
She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
Well. I helped pick out our house, and I planted a bunch of flowers. It’s really beautiful.
She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
I work out. True story. Partially because they’ll watch my kids for me at the gym…and partially to get stronger. Either way, it counts.
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
I do work hard, even if others sometimes don’t notice, and even if I feel like I should do more, I still work from before anyone else gets out of bed in the morning, to long after the others have gone to bed (or in my husband’s case, he goes to the sofa to watch sports). I always feel like I should do more, but the reality is that I am doing okay after all.
She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
I try to volunteer and help with whatever charities can use me. Again, I could do better—but I am doing it even so!
She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
It is my job to make sure that my family is clothed, warm and presentable. I usually manage two out of three.
Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
I try to never speak ill of my husband to others. Sometimes I do get frustrated with him, of course! We have been married almost 11 years now, and we naturally have disagreements. But his reputation is of the utmost importance to him, and to me.
That is just a short excerpt from the list of virtues of this woman described in Proverbs 31. She can be intimidating, but I’ve realized that with God’s help, and a healthy dose of grace, I am able to become more like her. I struggle daily with many of these virtues, but I have learned that the most important one is found in verses 28-30:
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Oh, how I pray this for myself. The word translated “blessed” here can also be translated “happy.” I want my children to rise up and call me happy. Oh Lord, let it be so. I want my husband to be proud of me, and to truly believe he has the best wife in the world. And most importantly, I want to be known as a woman who fears the Lord. With all my flaws, and all my shortcomings, Lord, let me still be known as a woman who seeks you and loves you with all her heart.
What areas of marriage or motherhood are difficult for you? Do you identify with the Proverbs 31 woman, or do you see yourself as “that mom”? Do you believe that, in God’s great grace, you can be both?
Eryn is a thirty-something mother of three, living in the beautiful city of Richmond, Virginia. She, her kids, and her husband Bo attend Multiply House Church and she is very involved in Community Bible Study. She relies on Jesus daily to cope with her children’s shenanigans, which are plentiful. She also enjoys running and fitness, being involved in her kids’ school, and watching bad reality TV.