Mom, the Ultimate Essential Worker

Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.—Proverbs 31:31

In this pandemic-weary world, many of us have been labeled either essential or nonessential workers. We either work at our own risk to keep society afloat, or we sit on the sidelines as our bank accounts and self-esteem take a hit. Among those who have risen to hero status through all the turbulence is Mom, the ultimate essential worker.

Mom’s job has no set job description, no boundaries on hours, no physical limits, no cap on drama and no pay. She gets few attaboys and an abundance of attitude. When she signed up for the job, she was unprepared for the physical strain, the emotional pain or the way her life was to be completely upended. She was also unprepared for the torrent of love, protectiveness, joy and pride she would feel toward this tiny miracle who had been knit together in her womb.

Instead of being benched in this crisis, Mom is playing every quarter in multiple positions. She is the coach, the cheerleader, the quarterback, the defensive lineman and the wide receiver. She’s working hard to keep her team on a winning track in an age when there seem to be few winners.

Many moms are helping their kids with distance learning while trying to maintain their careers from home—this while simple things have become more complex and support systems have had to be reconfigured. Finances have become tight. Cabin fever has set in. Sometimes tensions mount. But Mom remains steadfast.

She is hardwired by her Creator to love and to nurture. She loves her brood more than she loves herself, and she gives—and will continue to give—because that’s who she is, and that’s what she does. She is Mom. And she, by God’s grace, will help see our world through this mess.

She is a living embodiment of God’s love. She will be there for her kids even when they don’t want her there. She will defend them, offer them unwanted advice, embarrass them and pray down the heavens for them. She will laugh with them, cry with and over them, and always see in their faces those tiny children she once held in her arms. 

She is their first love, their first kiss, their first teacher. Is her latest role really that much of a stretch? Even when her kids at their very worst, she sees in them their very best. She trusts God for miracles in their lives knowing they were that miracle in hers.

Without Mom, her kids wouldn’t be, and they wouldn’t be who they are. No, she’s not perfect, but she’s doing the best she can, especially now. Yes, she teaches her kids tough life lessons, but she sprinkles them with laughter, love and irreplaceable memories. 

As our world emerges from this crisis, I believe our families will be stronger and our priorities will be more aligned with God’s. And though Mom may allow herself an indulgence or two in the wake of this pandemic, she’ll steel herself in preparation for whatever is coming next, and she’ll do whatever she needs to do with all the love she can muster. Mom is, after all, the world’s ultimate essential worker.