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For the Moms Who Don’t Get Reviews or Raises

It’s the end of my second week at my new job.


Oops. Did I forget to mention that? I took a full time position as Director of Social Engagement for Feed The Children. What an impressive group of people, and the leadership there? So much respect. I still can hardly believe I get to work with them. But I digress. 

This is the first time I’ve worked full-time in a traditional job (sort of – I work remotely since I’m based in Ohio and Feed The Children is headquartered in Oklahoma) since before Elli was born. I can’t tell you how incredible it was to hear words like “sick days” and “paid holidays” and “retirement account” … for ME.

But the best part? I work with people who give each other positive feedback. I’ve noticed a conscious effort to lavish praise on good work. I’m taking notes and trying to give as good as I get. And oh my is it good to receive praise. I’m still so very new and have a LOT to learn, but even with my endless questions, it’s been a good couple of weeks.

All of this got me thinking about how different the job of motherhood from a traditional job. Specifically, how rare it is to get positive feedback on our work as mothers. We work with little people who have yet to learn how to be thankful and grateful and content with what they have. They wield their voices like weapons, driving their shrill screeches straight through our ear drums and into our skulls. And to top it all off, we move around in a world that still believes children should be seen and not heard.

It’s hard and thankless work, with a smattering of fulfillment here and there, but mostly not.

So, here’s to all of you women working hard to raise children. You’re doing good important work.

I see you biting your tongue so you don’t snap at the whiny child who will not stop badgering you. Way to go returning a soft answer once again.

I see you pushing through the fatigue to cook and clean up one more meal, with vegetables that your children will balk at. You didn’t give in to serving up hot dogs and french fries because it’s easy.

I see you fighting the discouragement of doing the same tasks over and over, only to see them undone moments later. It’s so much worse to not do it – trust me. I know this from experience.

Your patience and persistence inspires me to do better. Your kindness and love for those cute and adorable children who in a split second can transform into the most miserable wretches shows me so much about God’s love for me.

Hang in there. Keep up the good work. This is a really difficult job, and you’re doing it.

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  1. I love this. I got a very short and simple card in the mail this week, remember snail mail? It said I was a great mom. Such small encouragements mean so much. I’m feeling more motivated to pass some cards along to some friends.

    Thanks for posting this.

  2. I sorta want to cry right now.

    I love everything about this. I lap up the encouragement like a dog to water, because yes. But I’m also thrilled about your new job and I’m so so so happy for you. You will rock it.

  3. Congrats on the job!!! Wondered where you’d been – you will ace this, Joy. Just because you ARE an ace. And these are such lovely words of encouragement to those in the particular trenches of mothering young kids, where – as you pointed out – there are very few thank yous to be found.

  4. It’s true, isn’t it?

    Maybe it’s because we’re in Canada, maybe it’s because we go to a lot of places with our kids that are not designed with kids in mind, but even when my kids misbehave, I still have the odd person coming up to me and telling me how lovely my kids are or my family is. It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, it’s so encouraging to know that we must be doing something right.

    Then, to remind me of exactly of these “cute and adorable children who in a split second can transform into the most miserable wretches”, my two year old throws a tantrum like you wouldn’t believe…

    (And congrats on the new job! It’s so wonderful to have that positive affirmation in your work and I hope you have great success!)

  5. I’m a stay-at-home Mimi now. I’m blessed to watch our grandson on a part-time basis: our daughter job shares and works 2 days one week and 3 the other. Most of my friends work to assist their spouse for retirement planning. I have the best “gig” in the world between my Mimi days and my volunteer/mentor days.

    There is a need for more encouragement like your recent blog writing for mothers that are home full time or who also work full time,part time, and continue to raise their children and care for their family . We all need encouragement!

  6. Lovely post, Joy. And congrats on the job!

  7. Oh I needed to hear this, and I don’t even have a toddler. My 12 year old is taking her math frustration out on me, and I just summon up all my compassion to see past that to the scared overwhelmed girl inside. You’re wonderful to spread this encouragement.