Performance reviews are challenging moments that, I believe, everyone involved appreciates after they have been completed. The preparation time is filled with uncertainty and a degree of nervousness on the part of the person being reviewed while the reviewer writes with varying degrees of annoyance that they must somehow elegantly write what they already know in their head. Once the preparation is complete one party wants to know but cannot probe; the other wanting to give indications but knows that sharing part of the story will only dilute the impact of the full story. If the time together is an open conversation the outcome will be a shared recognition of accomplishments. This acknowledged recognition is what many of us long for even if we could have done it better than we did.
Wives rarely, if ever, get a performance review. Their work is critiqued moment by moment, day by day by individuals who are reacting to the emotions of the moment. Kids waking up when they want to sleep or coming home on an empty stomach are never in the best position to provide balanced and complete feedback. Husbands too busy to notice that their tie doesn’t match, rarely spend time reflecting on the significance of the effort that in relentlessly contributed day in and day out. And, as a result, mothers and spouses rarely have someone recognize that their work in a often thankless role has produced extraordinary results!
I wish I could change past years. I can’t but I can do something about the present and future. The reality is that when it comes to Cherry “her children respect and bless her; her husband joins in with words of praise: ‘Many women have done wonderful things, but you’ve outclassed them all!’” (Proverbs 31.28, 29) And I know many others who qualify for such words!
In every human endeavor there are opportunities to do things better. Yet wives and mothers set the standard for the rest of us to follow. Theirs is a work filled with compassion, mercy, forgiveness, acceptance, and buckets of love.