It was Rose Kennedy who said, "I looked on child rearing not only as a work of love and duty but as a profession that demanded the best that I could bring to it." Like Rose, I have found that indeed motherhood is a profession, and it certainly deserves the best I can bring to it.
What happens at home is central to a child's ability to function throughout his life. Home is where bonding takes place and a child learns to attach to relationships. When a child can attach, that means they learn to trust people. Learning to trust is essential for having healthy relationships throughout life.
Our adopted son, Kolya, lived in an orphanage for the first nine years of his life. While it appears that it was a good orphanage, as orphanages go, the reality is that group care is never the same as mothering care. Since Kolya became a part of our family, Mark and I have been intentional about helping him learn to trust. Because I couldn't snuggle him as a baby, I've worked to snuggle with him in other ways. Sometimes I rub his legs, arms, and back with lotion at bedtime, other times we snuggle on the couch watching TV. This child doesn't need quality time; he needs quantity time. He needs to know that we're there in the morning when he wakes up and there at night when he goes to bed. He needs to know we'll be there after school and at any sport or music event he participates in. Home is where he is learning to trust, to love, and to be loved.
Home is where a child learns who they are. Each of us is created uniquely by God. We have unique gifts, talents, and temperaments. Home is the place those are discovered and celebrated.
Home is where we learn whose we are. We're not designed to journey through life alone. God created us to have relationship with Him. The most effective place for us to learn that is not at church — it's at home!
Home serves as our base camp. It's where we rest our head every night. It's the place we find clean clothes and a warm meal. It's a place of protection from the world and all that it demands.
With all the diverse roles that home plays in our life, someone has to be on duty to stay true to the construction blueprint.
On a construction site, the site manager is an on-site leader. He or she is present every day to make sure plans are followed, jobs are completed, and people are doing what they need to do. The site manager and the general contractor regularly communicate in order to keep the construction plan on task and on time. They confer and strategize together, and then the manager oversees the on-site work.
There is so much diversity in what goes on at home that an on-site manager is desperately needed. Someone needs to have the time and energy to invest in each member of the family as well as manage all the different facets of home. That's the essence of the job description for Mom, the site manager.