I’m a stay at home Mom.
There is so much stigma surrounding this job.
Either it’s not a job. It’s a lazy woman’s way to avoid working.
Or it’s a calling, a purpose, a lovely way to raise our children to love God and learn how to make the best decisions in the world. And turn out perfectly, unlike those kids who attend daycare and whose heads are filled with Satan’s thoughts from their teacher.
But what if it’s not that? Not that at all.
Let me tell you what. I’m a stay at home Mom. And I don’t feel like I’m lazy. And some days I most certainly don’t feel like this a calling, or like I’m making any difference at all.
Sooooo, what exactly is up with being a stay at home Mom?
1. It’s a job.
It totally is. I wake up and have a to-do list. Sure, my to-do list is pretty flexible, but if I don’t get it done, I eventually have to do it. I have a long list of chores to do at my house, outside my house and due to my job I can also pick some volunteering “extracurricular”. So if you are tempted to think that I’m lazy, I’m not.
2. It’s not all fun and games.
Pinterest and social media often make it look like stay at home Mom’s just make fun sandwhich cut outs and pictures with grapes, then head to the splash park but only after putting together and completing an entire pre-school curriculum made entirely out of paper products found in the most gorgeous craft room.
Run on sentence? Yes. True? Nope. Some days I’m in tears by lunch, and Tera eats cheerios and a cheese stick. Before I go absolutely insane being at home for one.more.hour, I throw Tera in the car and go to the splash park just to keep my sanity. That’s the reality. Some days it really is fun and games, but that is the the overarching reality.
Which leads me to my next point….
3. It’s simultaneously everything.
I know that is a horrible sentence, but let me explain. It’s delightful. And then the next minute it’s terrible. Some days it is boring. But then the next day I’m so busy I forget to eat my lunch. Some days I’m organized and can accomplish so much. Other days it’s all I can do just to keep Tera entertained for an hour. Some days I’m lonely beyond anything I’ve ever felt before, and the very next day I feel like Tera is my best friend and I’m so lucky to have a constant companion. Some days I have time to do the dishes, blog and take a shower. Other days I can’t even fit a shower in.
And the crazy thing about it all is that I don’t know what the day is going to hold. I don’t know if I will be able to follow a schedule or if Tera will need a new schedule for the day. I don’t know if she will have a wonderful day and I will also have a wonderful day, or if one of us will be off, or if the weather will affect our plans or or or! There is much beauty in not having someone else dictate the hours of my day, but the flip side of that is that my day can be completely unpredictable. No matter how hard I strive to build a sold schedule, sometimes it just doesn’t happen.
4. I don’t always feel like “I’m made for this”.
As I mentioned above, the word on the street about stay at home Mom’s is either that they don’t do anything or they feel like “they are made for this”. Well, I don’t feel either way. I often don’t feel that this is the perfect job for me or that I’m made for it. I often don’t feel like I’m accomplishing much or that my role in life is absolutely necessary for the world to spin round. Sometimes I wonder if I’m really meant to stay at home with my daughter, or if I would actually be useful paying someone else to watch Tera while I go back to work as a teacher. I mean, I LOVE teaching. Maybe I’m just not made to be a stay at home.
But then I think about it….and I realize this:
5. It requires contentment.
It’s not all rainbows and butterflies, and most days I ask myself if this (diapers and laundry and dishes) is really what I’m meant to do. But then I think about the gift of Christian contentment. And how rare it is these days. I think about how so often we Christians get all caught up in the wordly concept that God wants us to be happy. And surely if we aren’t happy in our role, that must not be where God would want us. And while God does give us desires and dreams, he also sometimes has us in a place that we have to chose to be content, even if it is not necessarily 100% our happy place. But when we learn the art of contentment, we will be happy. And not just happy, but filled to overflowing with joy.
And that is kind of how stay at home Mom-hood is for me. Some days it truly is a joy. But some days I’m tempted to let myself belief that it’s not happiness for me. And then I start to think about what would make me happy outside the home. But then I’m reminded of the words in Scripture
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who gives me strength (Phill 4:11-13)
Godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Tim 6:6-7)
I’m remembering that God has me here. To raise and love my children and the foster children that will be in our home. I’m reminded that God has provided for us to have one working parent and one stay at home parent. And I’m reminded me that he equips me with everything I need for life and godliness.