A Sacred Career

A Sacred Career

My job is not a glamorous one. It does not give me a corner office in a high class firm. The hours are not 9-5, Monday to Friday, nor for that matter, is it a job with health benefits and cash bonuses. It is none of those things.

In my job,  all areas are grey, there is no “instruction manual”, and the pay is not in conventional currency. The option to quit or change jobs is not an option. Oh, and by the way, it does not allow time for a lot of formal Torah learning, or set times for tefillah.

You might be wondering where I am going with this. To me the ratzon of Hashem is, drum roll please: parenting. The uniform for this job is sporting my husband’s old university t-shirts and a schleppy skirt, while I perform my holy task of mothering. It means diaper changes, bottle-feeding and veggie cutting, kissing booboos and playing dress up. It’s providing a safe, nurturing environment for these neshamos to blossom and grow.

Along with this great responsibility that Hashem has generously bestowed upon me, comes my informal requests - prayers and chatter throughout the day, and night. “Please Hashem make sure my Leah has a good day at school today” “Oy, Hashem these kids need to get into bed now… help me” “Hashem please heal my baby and make him healthy”

I am fortunate to have the most important job in the entire world. The responsibility of raising these children is mine. Before I conceived there was a conversation in the heavens where these specific neshamos chose my husband and me, to be their Mommy and Tatty. Hashem agreed that these neshamos needed us, and all we could provide, as their parents. We were entrusted with the sacred task of raising these sweet, beautiful children.

A job like this may sound too lofty for a simple human being! Believe me when I say that I spend my days bringing it down to a realistic level. The times when I am with my five-year-old son in the supermarket as he chases our shopping cart with an armful of nosh that he ‘neeeds’, or when I feel like I ’m at a political protest, which is actually our nightly bedtime routine, or when I have just cleaned, and organized the toys, and my children, with their great imaginations have dumped them all over the floor preparing for their latest performance, I stop and  take a deep breath and remind myself, this is the foundation for great things. Ten years down the road what are these kids going to remember? The performance they put on with Mommy cheering, or crazy lady screaming about the chaos and mess?

I am not perfect, far from it, just striving to see the bigger picture. There are lots of different people in the world that have trained to do all kinds of jobs. Mechanics that fix our cars and vans, how many of us can routinely do our own oil changes? Doctors we see when we get sick. Seamstresses to sew beautiful gowns when we have simchas and need something to wear. But every child has only one Mommy and Tatty, and they are irreplaceable.

We all know who runs the world. Nothing is by coincidence. So the next time you think you have reached your limit, dear mother, remember this: You were created for this, chosen for this. All these seemingly ordinary and mundane tasks are really holy and extraordinary.

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