I wrote this about a year ago. A year later, I find myself needing to hear it again!
I have been a stay-at-home mom for almost 2 years. Wow! Time flies! I ate lunch with a friend yesterday I had not really talked to much since Ella was born. She said, “How are you?” (It’s nice to have friends who ask that and mean it!) She asked if I like having two kids and how I was handling the adjustment. After I got done telling her (I am never one to be short on words), she had tears in her eyes and thanked me for being so transparent. I’m not sure what she could possibly glean from my situation but I thought it might be good to share.
Maybe there is someone else like me struggling with being a stay at home mom. Maybe there is not but maybe I can encourage you by showing you the way my God works intimately in my life… Even two years in a still struggle… with the “call” if you will. I struggle with feeling…lonely (22-month-olds have limited conversation skills), vulnerable because I don’t bring in an income, guilty for not bringing home a paycheck, guilty because I don’t do enough around the house and that’s my only “job”, guilty because I do too much around the house and don’t play with my kids enough, exhausted because you never get that “clock out” moment… my ‘work’ is 24/7. Mainly I struggle with feeling inadequate, unimportant and forgotten. Daily I get peed on, spit up on, pooped on or used as a snot rag! That can mess with your mind after a while. I start to accept the thought that I do not have value; I’m just a living breathing burp cloth.
In high school and college, I begged God to use me greatly. I wanted to be apart of His plan and His work. I was serious too! I desire that more than anything else. While lugging two screaming children out of Walmart with a hand full of groceries, I start to doubt God answered my prayer. The other day we went to dinner with the staff and some other staff personnel from another church. Everybody took their seats. I was on the far end of a long table with my children. I couldn’t even hear the “adult conversation” let alone engage in it. I thought, “Why did I even come? I can watch my children a lot easier than at some noisy restaurant?” Then the self pity set in and I let all sorts of whiny thoughts dialog with God in my mind. Baby girl had to eat about 10 mins after the food got there. By the time I made it to the car to feed her, I was in tears, loathing in my self pity.
I said, “God, this isn’t fair! I used to lead meetings, plan things, direct, and teach… I used to be important!!! I don’t know if I like this mom thing… especially the ‘stay-at-home mom’ thing! I want a ministry back! I don’t want to be benched anymore! I want to be apart of Your plan! Is that so bad?!!!” In almost an audible stern father-like voice to my heart God replied, “Trisha, when will you accept the ministry I have given you? Just because in your eyes it seems small, does not mean you are being any less disobedient to not surrender to it! This is NOT about you! It is still very much about Me! Now are you going to fulfill YOUR ministry? “I have been “chewing” on this one for awhile! My Father is right (surprise! surprise!). For too long I have been looking over my children’s shoulders for something better, all the while missing what is right in front of me! God is good. He is such a teacher!
And as far as the whole “unimportant thing”…. “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2: 5-8 I haven’t even scratched the surface on true humility.
Trisha is a wife, mom, friend, artist, blogger, couponer, homemaker, cook, and bargain shopper… through God’s amazing grace and love she lives for Him! For more about her check out her blog: writingaboutthejourney.wordpress.com
Thank you so much for putting into words the very things that my own heart has struggled with and that I am still coming to complete terms with, 12 years after becoming that stay-at-home Mom. Now my children are 12, 10 and 6, and homeschooled, so I have been in this “small world” for quite a long time. But more than ever, God is graciously showing me the fruit of the work He is doing in our home. Thank you again. I know that this piece will encourage others as it has encouraged me.
Melanie Robbins says
I really appreciate your heartfelt, sincere post! I wholeheartedly believe it’s so important for us as moms to be real with each other — that is one way we can be an encouragement to one another! I can relate to a number of things you shared — I’m sure many moms could in one way or another. Thank you for sharing how God challenged and encouraged you. Praying God’s scripture and asking for the heart He would want us to have is always so helpful!
Thank you so much for this reminder! I have never thought about those verses in Philippians in that way. If Christ was willing to humble Himself to become a man, why should it bother me to not have a “ministry” that everyone sees and applauds? My focus is all wrong! Thank you for the reminder to focus, and not just focus, but pour my heart and life into the ministry that God has given me.
Wow! Really liked reading this. A good reminder and a refreshing way to start the day!
Thanks for sharing this. I am currently working full-time as a software programmer, and just found out I was pregnant. My husband and I were quite surprised. I have been praying every single day what my purpose in life is to the Lord, while going through the every day battle of working full time at a job I dislike. This is the miraculous answer God has given me. I would absolutely love to be a stay-at-home mom. I feel that in our society, this job is not respected as it should be. As you said it is a 24/7 job and you are nurturing and investing in something of eternal value, whereas all I can think about as a software programmer is that this software means diddly squat in the view of eternity. Now, I am praying for a way for me to be a stay-at-home mom, because our finances simply won’t allow it right now. Your blog has given me insight on what it will truly be like on “the greener side” and a new set of challenges I would face.
Angela Jackson says
You’ve taken the thoughts and feelings right out of my head and heart! Thank you for encouraging me that I’m not by myself. I once stayed at home with my children (3 and 1 yrs. old at the time) then returned to work outside of the home for about 2 years. I’m now a SAHM again but this time, my children are both in school. It’s almost as if I’m venturing out on this journey all over again (and starting at the beginning). I know that God has a plan for me – and my family. Today, (and I literally am going day-by-day these days) I trust that God wants me right where I am. Thanks again!
Wow!! It is as if you were inside my brain while u were writing!! This is exactly how I feel!!!
Mom of 3
Thanks for the post, and the comments about self-pity. I’m sure we all find ourselves wallowing in it from time to time.