A couple of years ago my husband and I decided, totally out of the blue, that we should become beekeepers. Doing so would provide us with a hobby, homegrown honey and would most likely help in the pollination of flowers in our yard. So, we ordered a “nuc” (pronounced “nuke”) whereby our starter bees would be delivered the next spring. Honey bees are absolutely fascinating. Since their arrival, we have learned more than we could have ever imagined there was to learn. And, somewhere along the way, our daughters, who started out this episode of our lives being somewhat fearful of the new residents at the back of our yard, began filming their dad giving bee “updates.” He has garnered a bit of a following on their Instagram stories (much to his delight). And the little one liner he works into each of his updates: “Bees just doing what bees do.”
So it got me to thinking – – – that’s exactly what can be said about so many of us: “Moms just doin’ what moms do!” The thing is, most of what “mom is just doin’” is hardly heralded in the world around us. But that doesn’t make it any less vital to the lives of our children, homes and families.
Here are a few things moms are justa doin’:
Moms justa listenin’ – – – Yes, not saying anything. Not putting forth our own agendas, opinions or advice (Indeed! It is sooooooo hard to do!) Just, simply, listening. To listen we have to be there. We have to have time to listen thoughtfully to what our kids are telling us. Sometimes they won’t say a thing – but we still have to be ready to listen when the words finally begin springing forth from their hearts, thoughts and mouths. We also have to be so tuned in to their lives that we also hear what they are NOT saying. Again, that takes time and attentiveness. Try to be the first one they share their thoughts and experiences with. Be ready to listen even if it is inconvenient! A very wise mother/friend once told me that children, especially teenagers, say things once and once they have said it they are done saying it! Seek to be the one they give their “once” to! I don’t want to be the one coming in at the “done saying it” stage! Eventually you will have a chance to share your thoughts – and then hopefully they will be the ones listening!
Moms justa prayin’ – – – and praying and praying and praying! Prayer is one of the best ways to spend your time and energy in raising your children! Pray with them, for them, around them, day in, day out, night in, night out! Pray for their days, their futures, their spouses, their comings, their goings, their choices and decisions, their wisdom, their friends and relationships, their walk with the Lord and first and foremost for their salvation. And most assuredly, let them know you are praying!
Moms justa lovin’ – – – You can never say it or show it too much! There should never be any question to your children, even if you are really angry or disappointed with them, even if they are being disciplined, even if you are at the end of the proverbial rope with them, that you love them! Make sure any message you send them by your looks, actions or words is accompanied with a huge, never-ending dose of unconditional love! If at all possible, never let them head out the door, hang up the phone or go to bed at night that they haven’t been reassured of your love for them. Don’t just assume they know!
Moms justa playin’ – – – Of course, this is going to look different at various stages of our mothering. From peek-a-boo to hopscotch, from board games to sporting events, from just being silly to teasing them – sometimes even mercilessly – play with your kids! Tickle them, hide from them, joke with them, even make (respectful) fun of them – – – show them not all of life has to be taken seriously.
Moms justa workin’ – – – Whether you are working out of your home, at home, in the yard, at church, at school, for pay or volunteering, allow your kids to see you are working for the good of your home, your family, your community. Display a joy for your tasks, not drudgery. It will show them the benefit of helping others, helping themselves and not always expecting life to be full of fun or reward or self. Working through life betters all of us and helps us better others. So whether it’s cooking or cleaning or weeding or baking for a bake sale or performing heart surgery or preparing a lesson – exemplify a good work ethic and mindset for them. It will help everyone’s work “attitude” and expectations.
Moms justa goin’ and then justa waitin’ – – – Yep, sometimes in our go, go, go mentality we get somewhere to take or pick up our kids and we end up waiting for them! Whether a teacher, or coach, or friend or party-giver is on your time-table is usually not the question. Because the answer will usually be – no! But we moms still go and take and wait to allow our children to experience and learn and grow. It may, at times, seem to be the biggest waste of time (and gas) but it isn’t. It is enabling our children to venture into the world with us as their chaperone, their guide, their chauffer. We’ve seen so many parents be ready to push their kids into their own cars and be done running them around as soon as they can legally do so on their own. Yes, there is freedom in handing them the keys and your not having to be tied so desperately to their schedule. But once you let go of your goin’ and waitin’ for them – you also let go of valuable time to talk and question, dole out some wisdom and guidance, and experience life alongside them. You will eventually miss that goin’ and waitin’ time so don’t rush it!
Moms justa helpin’ – – – Help is a gift. It may not seem like a big deal – but helping our children is something that can keep us connected to them for as long as we are able. Whether it is helping them tie their shoes to helping them in later years with their own children, we moms can give a lifetime of simple, often unheralded, help. The concept of “help” is interesting. In the popular book and movie “The Help” the “help” were the women hired to serve in homes. At dinner we (is it only in the south?) often call “servings” of food . . . “helpings.” In Genesis 2:18 the Bible says God made a “helper” for Adam, i.e. the first woman, Eve. I think we as women, wives and moms have a heritage of “helping.” That is we assist, serve, facilitate, ease, better, relieve, aid, lend a hand and encourage those we love. Though many times done without fanfare, acknowledgement or recognition, “helping” our children along life’s paths is a priceless thing to be justa doin’.
Moms justa huggin’ – – – Hug your kids! Hold them tight within your grasp! Hug them when they are newborn, toddling around, heading off to school, going out on a date, leaving for a new phase of life or sitting beside you on the couch. Hug them when you pray with them, console them or congratulate them. Hug them when they squirm, roll their eyes, shirk away or when there are tears falling. Just simply hug them!
Moms justa bein’ – – – It is the most remarkable role for which you will ever be selected! Just be a mom. You don’t have to be the most popular or best dressed. You needn’t be the thinnest or most talented. You don’t have to be a friend or a coach or a comrade (though you will have those opportunities along the way). Just be their mom. Just be. Just be there! Just be near! Just be available!
There are dozens of other things a mom can just be doing. Being a mom just doing what a mom does is one of the most special, extraordinarily ordinary things to be!
So, getting back to bees just doing what bees do . . . . You know there is the infamous “queen bee” that reigns supreme in each successful, thriving hive. But do you know that in order for the queen be to even become a queen bee and to maintain her “status” she must first be fed by “nurse” bees and attended to by “attendant bees” and served by “worker bees?” All of these other bees also must just do what their assigned roles require them to do in order to keep the hive alive. They aren’t given the status of “queen,” but what they are justa doin’ is as important as any other bee.
So take heart as you just keep on doing what we are called to do as moms. You are doing what just needs to be done to raise your children in the very best way possible. Don’t ever minimize your daily activities as “Moms just doing what moms do.” Every second and every effort is invaluable to those justa bein’ in your life!
Thought to Ponder: Do you regard your daily “justa doins’” as immensely important and selfless sacrifices? Losses or gains? Wastes of time or invaluable investments? Do you think what you are “just doing” as a mom is less than you might be accomplishing in other venues and roles? Are you content with what your season of life has you “justa doin’?”