I mentally ticked down the clock until bedtime: nine hours to go. It was only 11 a.m. Already I was fighting ennui—not because I don’t love my children but because the day stretched ahead of me with the same activities I’d been doing for days before and would be doing for days afterward.
I am deeply grateful to be a mother. But if I’m honest, sometimes the work feels . . . boring.
Particularly this year, many of us have been with our children, and only our children, for most waking hours. Days and weeks stretch ahead and behind in blurry sameness. Much of our work as mothers—whether we’re at home full-time or not—requires repeated tasks. Washing bodies and clothes and dishes, preparing meals and snacks and drinks, driving the same routes to grocery stores and pharmacies and school and church, over and over again.
But in this season of mothering, I’ve taken great encouragement from the ways God’s Word helps to reframe what often feels, to me, like boredom.
Sameness ≠ Monotony
From a biblical perspective, sameness does not equal monotony. The Word declares that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8), and that every gift we have been given is from the Father “with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17). God is, wonderfully, always the same. He does not change his mind about us. He is consistent in his character and unshakeable in his glory. His law remains, and his truth will endure for all time.
The daily repetitions that seem boring to us are a gift to our children.
But God is far from boring! His sameness does not in any way detract from his splendor and beauty. We can spend a lifetime marveling at his goodness, truth, and light.
So, although I may equate the sameness of my life with boringness, God shows us this isn’t the case. His unchanging character enables us to navigate the world we live in. Moreover, our children need stable routines and predictable interactions to point them to God and help them make sense of the world. The daily repetitions that seem boring to us are a gift to our children.
Excitement Does Not Equal Value
In a culture that prioritizes excitement, change, newness, and thrill, the reality of caring for children can seem quite unexciting. If we compare the daily work of mothering to the images we see of exotic travel and fancy meals, we may start to believe our lives aren’t as interesting—and therefore not as important—as those we see on screens.
But what we might consider boring, God considers valuable. He even likens himself to a mother (Isa. 66:13; Matt. 23:37). The daily act of caring for children is a worthy and beautiful task that reflects his daily care for us: “Blessed be the LORD, who daily bears us up” (Ps. 68:19; cf. Isa. 46:3–4). God does not neglect caring for us even for a single day. As we care for our children, we reflect his character.
The daily act of caring for children is a worthy and beautiful task that reflects God’s daily care for us.
This gives our work as mothers the truest thrill: knowing we are obeying God and displaying his goodness here on earth to our families.
Weariness Doesn’t Diminish Our Purpose
Sometimes our boredom comes from weariness. The responsibilities mothers carry seem never-ending—at least for many years into the future. But the exhaustion—and boredom—we experience in our mothering can actually help guard our hearts from idolatry.
If motherhood always went perfectly, and our children fulfilled our needs, it would be much too easy for us to idolize our kids and make them the primary focus of our lives. Even when our children are far from perfect, many of us struggle with orienting our lives around them rather than around Christ. But when we’re bored by our mothering responsibilities and, yes, even drained by our own children, it reminds our wayward hearts that only Jesus satisfies.
When we’re bored by our mothering responsibilities and, yes, even drained by our own children, it reminds our wayward hearts that only Jesus satisfies.
Just because we are weary in mothering doesn’t mean the purpose of our work is in vain: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Gal. 6:9). The exhaustion and boredom we feel reminds us that what we do here on earth is not for our own fulfillment or pleasure; it’s for the purpose of glorifying God and making disciples.
Finding God Faithful in Boredom
Graciously, seasons of life—and mothering—do not last forever. Every life circumstance has challenges and gifts—and God has us in our particular season to grow and shape us into the likeness of Christ.
When life feels boring because things always feel the same, we can ask our constant God to give us fresh eyes to see his beauty and glory in the middle of our days. As we make the fourteenth meal of the week, we can ask the Lord to give us a fresh desire for that great wedding feast of the Lamb (Rev. 19:6–9).
As we put a Band-Aid on yet another scraped knee, we can ask God to help us remember how he comforts us (Isa. 66:13). And when we see a to-do list identical to yesterday’s, we can pray the Holy Spirit will give us an eternal perspective to enable us to live and work for Christ, not for ourselves.
The Lord is at work in the sameness of our days, and because he is the God who is always the same, we have the opportunity to encounter him in our mothering. And he is never boring.