In this land of motherhood it is easy to get depressed, and feel like you are doing a thankless job. How many times do you wash and dry and put away the same ol' clothes without anyone even noticing? Making the same bed day after day (okay I never make the bed), putting away the same toys. You catch my drift. You nurse around the clock for six weeks to a little super sucker who can barely manage a grunt, let alone a thank you.
I was talking to my mother-in-law about this. This feeling of never being done. Never feeling like I've accomplished anything at the end of the day. And she told me when her daughter got married in the temple, and she was in there, in the temple with 5 of her 8 children (the other three aren't old enough yet), a temple worker said to her, "This is a paycheck". That resounded with me, and has been bouncing around inside my head for weeks now. A paycheck. As a mother! What a concept. So do I have to wait until my children are grown before I get a paycheck? As this thought bounced around I realized, no. No, I do not have to wait. I receive paychecks daily. Maybe even hourly.
A three year old seeing her pajamas left on the floor, hurriedly picks them and puts them where they belong without a word from you... Paycheck!
A two year old who sings a song back to you, that you've sung her a thousand times, filling in her own words where needed... Paycheck!
Two little girls who seem to fight endlessly, finally playing nicely together and saying "I love you" to one another... Paycheck!
Three year old holding the door open for an older gentleman at the YMCA... Paycheck!
Two year old telling you she loves you more than her binkies... Paycheck!
Watching two little girls oooh and aaaahh over their sleeping baby brother whom they absolutely adore... Paycheck!
A three year old teaching her little sister the songs she learned at church... Paycheck!
Listening to a newborn baby "talk" to you... Paycheck!
Watching newborn baby grow, chub up right before your eyes, knowing all his nurturing is coming from you.. paycheck!
A husband coming home from working so hard himself all day, taking a moment to appreciate how hard you've worked today too, and wraps his arms around you and hugs you and thanks you... PAYCHECK!
....and countless more.
So maybe this job isn't so thankless after all. Maybe I am accomplishing something every day. Maybe I just need to open my eyes a little more, and look for these paychecks that are given to me so freely. Even on days I don't deserve them at all. While it might be nice to be able to have a paycheck I could cash and go spend on whatever I want... I think I prefer these paychecks I'll never cash. These paychecks that I'll treasure forever. These paychecks of the heart.