A Woman’s Worth: More than My Mothering

For those of us in the stay-at-home-mom camp, there is a tendency to derive our worth from our mothering skills. We seek value and validation in how well we raise the children God has entrusted to us. We have even calculated a salary exceeding $100,000 based on a 94 hour work week for ourselves. Then, we spend a lot of time and energy trying to prove we're worth it, too.

I know I fell into that trap when I stopped earning a pay check. I started looking to my mothering as a measure of my worth. I'll admit I even thought maybe if I'm a good enough mother, nobody will think I ought to be out there bringing home the bacon, too. And, If I'm really honest, I began measuring my mothering the minute I gave birth to our oldest son.

Mothering is MESSY

There just seems to be something about becoming a mother that makes us want to prove ourselves.

Meet milestones ahead of schedule. Read the best books. Make my own baby food. Pack healthy lunches. Go organic. Free-Range. Pesticide-free. Non-GMO. The right toys, friends, and teams. Homeschool. Montessori. Public. Then it is AP Classes. College credit in high school. Early graduation. Proper lessons for prodigal artists and musicians. Enough independence, but not too much or too soon. And on and on and on.

There are a million ways to MESS up mothering. Believe me, I've made more than my fair share of mistakes already. Like my youngest son’s baseball practice I missed this week, the collection of snacks masquerading as lunch as we approach the end of the school year, and the fact that my boys are watching TV while I type.

I know it's Mother's Day weekend and I promise I'm not trying to put a damper on your celebration, but if our worth isn't established by our income, it cannot be determined by our mothering either.

Yes, being a mother is both a beautiful blessing and a gargantuan responsibility, but it isn't a measure of our worth in God's eyes. 

It can't be. Not every woman is blessed with babies. And God doesn't play favorites. We are all valuable in His eyes. Children are a far too unpredictable currency on which to calculate our worth. Sometimes amazing parents have kids who let them down. And then there are kids who's achievements surpass those of their parents by a mile. Kids will embarrass us. They will let us down. They may even turn their backs on us. But none of those is a measure of our eternal worth. Nowhere in Scripture does it say we are worth more to God if we are good moms.

Mothering well is not the full measure of our worth. #AWomansWorth #MASTERPIECE Click To Tweet

Fearing God is worth more the mothering well.

In fact, the enviable 'Proverbs 31 Woman' is praised for her fear of God above all her other accomplishments as a mother.

There are no perfect parents, except our Father in heaven.

Even Mary lost Jesus for a couple of days.

So, let's stop being so hard on ourselves (and each other). Mothering is not the measure of our worth. Yes, we should aim to do it to God's glory because He has entrusted the next generation to our care. Yes, His Word declares children to be a blessing. Yes, we are to train them up in the way they should go.

But our worth to God does not depend on how well we mother those He loans to us.

Let's celebrate the mothering wins and let go of the losses with an understanding that neither has the power to add or detract from our eternal worth.

Mothering well is not the full measure of our worth.

It doesn't matter if you’re an amazing mom, a bad mom, or never get to be a mom – you're still worth dying for!

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20 thoughts on “A Woman’s Worth: More than My Mothering

  1. Beautiful! I have always loved being a stay-at-home but in the last year or so I’ve struggled with feeling “less than” because of all these stay-at-home Mom’s who are making an income through blogging or online work. I love blogging and I’d love to make some income, too, but I want my heart to be in the right place. So, I’m learning to check my heart on a regular basis.

    1. It can be a hard road to walk. It is so important to have our hearts in the right place, or as I like to say, mine our motives, before making any decisions! Sounds like you are on the right track, Rosanna! Blessings!

  2. Liz, this is just amazing. And I come back to the truth (all the time, unfortunately) that many of the tasks of mothering are just not my forte. I do them, and I’m grateful for the strength and ability to keep things running around here, but I’m just not particularly talented in some aspects of homemaking. God enables me to keep my eyes on the big picture (when I cooperate with Him) and I see that my job here has nothing to do with furniture arranging or noticing the dust on the ceiling fan. Mothers shape lives, and that’s holy work. So thankful to be cooperating with God in that!

    1. I hear ya, Michele. I struggle with a lot of the tasks on my list these days! Holy work indeed and it is so important that we help the next generation find their worth in God and not themselves. And to do that we have to fully understand how much He values us, first! Blessings!

  3. I have struggled with this ever since I became a stay at home mom. I tied almost all of my self-worth into how well I was parenting. Thanks so much for this, Liz: “It doesn’t matter if you’re an amazing mom, a bad mom, or never get to be a mom – you’re still worth dying for!” Such an important truth!

  4. Thank you for for this gental reminder of Worth . I have had and empty nest for the last 10 years . And unfortunately I made my children everything it seemed at the time when I was raising them I spent too much time worrying about being the perfect mom and not messing up the job so to speak . That in the fray of raising children I forgot myself and somehow I got really lost so fast forwarding it’s has taken me a long time and has been just tell recently the last few years that I’ve started to build A life for myself . Now my children are grown and married and I have grandchildren unfortunately in recent years I’ve had a few issues with my adult children and at times of spent Too much time worrying that maybe if Had been a better mom basically filled with lots of guilt that as moms always seem to think that we have to carry .We would be this Walton family so to speak ha ha Ha . What a lie from the enemy as moms we need to remember to love ourselves before we can love other people and not to worry about things .Have a sense of humor and most importantly lay our worries at the feet of Jesus . For we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior .

    1. Amen, Colleen! I just love your openness to share what it’s like on the other side of the full nest! And I’m so thrilled God is showing you what you’re worth to Him apart from you mothering abilities! XO

  5. Loved this-so many ways to mess up mothering. Ahh…but so many ways to get it right. It is very tempting to find our worth and value in our mothering rather than in our identity in Christ. In completely different ways, we’re tackling the same topic. Loved this, Liz!

  6. Too often, I measure myself by unworthy means. Motherhood is a worthy calling, indeed — but a rather unworthy measure of worth. On the flip side, I struggle to extend grace to myself, so often I’m measuring myself (negatively) by the coulda/shoulda/wouldas . What a good God we have to measure us by His grace alone. And, His grace is enough. <3 — Thank you for this sweet reminder today, friend. ((xoxo))

  7. Liz,
    Even when you think you’ve done everything “right” your children will still go down prodigal paths or make decisions that we have schooled them on not making. All the more reason why, as you pointed out, that we need to make our main objective loving and fearing the Lord. If we base all our worth on how our children turn out, then we are not focusing on what God would have us focus on. I’ve learned this lesson first hand with two adult children. Great post!

    1. I know, Bev, because I made some poor choices in my late teens and twenties and I had a great upbringing and my mom is NOT to blame. Blessings!

  8. This is wonderful encouragement, Liz! After almost a decade as a high school teacher, my transition into life as a full-time mom had some challenges. I still struggle with wanting to do this perfectly. Thanks for speaking encouraging words of truth today! Happy Mother’s Day!

  9. Thanks for the encouragement. I tend to measure my worth as a mom by my kids’ maturity level, which is utterly ridiculous because everyone knows it takes time, years, and experience for kids to mature. Love the point about Mary losing Jesus for a couple of days. lol

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