Three years ago I made the decision to quit my full-time job so that I could stay at home with Macy. I worked for a few weeks/months while she was still tiny and officially started my ‘job’ as a stay-at-home mom in December of 2009, so not quite 3 years ago, but close enough.
Being able to stay at home with my kids has been the most awesome thing ever. I consider it a huge blessing being that we went from two incomes down to one and we really didn’t know how we were going to make it work, but I stepped out in faith and ever since, it’s been fine. God has seen us through the bills, the budget, and He has really blessed my time at home with my kids.
Yes, I know that we could do more, spend more, take more trips, eat out more, pay for a babysitter more often, etc., if I had a job outside of the house and brought in money, and as fun as all of that sounds, I am fine without all of that, as long as I get this time with my kids (I wasn’t able to stay at home with Andrew however).
As good as it makes me feel to be able to be the one to take care of my kids, spend their summers with them, get them up and fed and ready for school and picked up after school, homework done, dinner fed to them, get them ready for bed, etc…. it’s also a very thankless job. You’ll hear most stay-at-home moms agree with that statement. The kids don’t understand all we moms do, the spouses don’t understand…it’s just something that we do, and it’s never-ending. We work more than a full-time job on some days, because we work from when the kids wake up until they go to bed, and then we still have our houses and husbands and ourselves to take care of. Lots of days we don’t get to shower, sometimes we don’t get to use the restroom alone. But we don’t care. Sure we would love to be clean and have our privacy, but if it means we get to stay home with the kids while they are young, then who cares 🙂
Some days I feel like I need a break but moms, stay-at-home moms or not, we just sometimes don’t get a break. Me time is spent in a bathtub with a 3 year old outside the door asking “are you done yet mommy?” And those times we get to run away to the store or to Starbucks for an hour or two of alone time, you start missing the kids and just really want to go back to be with them.
There are days when I question if staying at home is right for me and our family. Right away God reassures my heart and reminds me that this is a blessing from Him and that He provides our needs for us and that there’s nowhere else He’d rather me be right now at this point in my life. So I know I’m doing what He’s laid out for me to do and I can rest knowing that I’m honoring Him every day, no matter what anyone else says or thinks. Still, there are days it’s good to be reminded, and just the other day, when I probably needed to read it most, a friend posted the following blog post on Facebook, and it really touched me as I read the words. Italicized are the thoughts that stood out to me….
Dear Stay-at-Home Mom,
You are a gift of God to your husband and your kids.
But you don’t always feel that way, do you?
There’s a low-level feeling of guilt that creeps into your heart from time to time. Sometimes it bubbles over into tears, usually on lonely, difficult days.
You scan blogs and read books about being a good mom. You find some helpful tidbits here and there, often from women who are grandmothers now. Women you can learn from but who seem to have forgotten the struggle. They seem to have it all together.
In your heart, you want to be the kind of mom who trains up kids to make a difference for the kingdom. You know it’s an honor to be entrusted with these kids. You know you’ve only got one shot. You want to be the mom who teaches them the Bible, models how to pray, and trains them up in the fear of the Lord.
But most of the time you feel like you’re barely holding it all together.
Your house cleaning can’t keep up with your kids’ mess-making.
The kids embarrass you by acting up right when your guests arrive.
Your husband doesn’t get just how worn out you are by the end of the day.
You come to the end of your patience. You lose your temper. Then you feel worse.
The last thing you consider yourself to be is a “good mom.” And you think to yourself, It’ll be a miracle if my kids turn out okay.
And – surprisingly – that’s right where God wants to meet you. The place where you admit your powerlessness and your need for Him.
It’s only by God’s grace that any kid grows up to be a force for the kingdom.
You see, there are no perfect kids and no perfect mothers. No matter what you read in blogs, see in magazines, and learn in books. There are sinful kids and sinful moms and dads.
And the only thing greater than both is the grace of God. The God who says “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” The God who loves to forgive, to transform, and empower.
God loves you – not because you are a good mother but just because you are His precious child.
God loves you – not because you’ve mastered all the skills of parenting but because He has.
It’s divine grace that will transform your parenting – not guilt.
It’s grace that will keep you going and serving and scrubbing when you’re exhausted and worn out.
It’s grace that will conquer your feelings of inadequacy and remind you of God’s love for you in Christ.
It’s grace that goes for the heart of your kids, not just their behavior.
God has demonstrated the fullness of His love for you through the cross of His Son, even while you were still a sinner.
He has promised you His presence.
He has spoken His approval over you in Christ.
He is the perfect Father who delights in you as a daughter.
Find in Him your Treasure and Joy. Be to others what He is to you.
So walk in freedom. Let Him hold you together when everything seems to be falling apart.
Bask in His unfailing love for you. And rest in His promise of power.
And that right there makes it all make sense…. It doesn’t matter what anyone says, how I feel, how bad my kids may be… God has me in His hands and holds all power when it comes to being a stay-at-home mom.
HE delights in me. HE approves of my decision to stay at home with my kids while they are young. HE sets me free and will hold me together anytime I feel like it’s all just going to fall apart in front of me.
Thank goodness for that.
Now, I’m going to go find something to eat, as it’s 11:54pm and my dinner consisted of smore-flavored Goldfish graham crackers.
🙂 Be blessed, readers.