My MOMS group is a small, fabulous group of women. We come from diverse backgrounds, have varying goals and dreams, and run our households differently, but we are bonded together by the great equalizer of motherhood.
As part of a meeting that we had a couple of years ago, we were challenged to list five things that only we could do. Just five things. Doesn’t seem too hard, huh? But when I brought up the question that had been asked of us (What are five things only you can do?), I was met with silence and blank stares. No one started furiously writing as I had expected, no intense conversations began between this group of deep, thoughtful women.
I tried to give them ideas, but they were shot down one after another.
“Could anyone mother your children like you do?” I asked.
“Sure,” one woman answered. “My mom could do it.”
“What about being a partner to your husband?” I suggested, “I’m sure no one else could do that.”
Another woman said, “He could find another wife.”
I said to a friend known for her fabulous pound cake, “No one else could make a pound cake like you.”
“Actually,” she responded with a laugh, “I put the recipe on Facebook yesterday. Anyone could make that pound cake.”
I had nothing to say. My mind was blank, because I myself couldn’t answer the question. Is there anything I uniquely do that no one else could ever do?
“We don’t think highly enough of ourselves, ya’ll,” I half-joked, moving on in defeat to the next question.
When I got home that day, I started an experiment. Every single thing I did, from common chores to playing with my children to talking on the phone with a friend who had a problem, I asked myself, could anyone else do this?
Sometimes the answer was yes. I laughed to myself as I balled up my husband’s underwear and shoved them in his drawer, thinking that he wouldn’t have any trouble finding a woman who could do this chore better than me. As I heated up bowls of instant oatmeal in the microwave, I knew that my kids would gladly welcome someone who made better breakfasts than me.
But I also found things I do that I knew could never be replicated by anyone else. Like the time Maddie and I spend together in the mornings, curled up on the couch under a blanket, me doing my devotion while she watches Scooby Doo. Or fixing the perfect cup of coffee for my husband every morning (It has taken me 15 years to do it right, so I seriously doubt anyone else could ever replicate it!). Or sharing Charlie’s excitement over a silly joke that no one else finds funny.
As moms, I think we tend to downplay what we do every day, thinking that anyone could perform the mundane tasks we perform, but realizing that every one of us is unique is very important.
No one else could ever love our children like we do. Sure, other people could provide for their physical needs, but we were specifically created to raise those little people.
No one else could be the partner that we are to our husbands. We were made for them. No one else could ever team with them the way we do to live the lives we have created together.
No one else could do our mission work the way we do it. Whether it’s homeschooling, sharing the love of Jesus with someone at our job, helping an elderly person grocery shop, baking pound cakes for our sick neighbors, or leading a Sunday School class, no one else could do it like we do, and there is a possibility that it wouldn’t happen at all if we didn’t do it.
Ladies, what if we realize our worth? What if we acknowledge our importance? That there are some things that only we could ever do?
Would we perhaps be braver? Would we go about our mornings with a different attitude, knowing that the cup of coffee we pour is important in how our husbands start the day and that no one else could do it right? Would we consider the time spent cuddling on the couch imperative for our children, and understand that no other woman could take our place? Would we do our mission work with a different attitude knowing that without us, this work of God would not get done in the same way?
Knowing that we’re the only one is scary, but empowering. Let’s be brave, own our worth, and see what happens. What if….