Messiness of Motherhood: The Stay-at-Home-Mom

12.08.2016 |

After posting an article about my thoughts of being a stay-at-home mom (link below), I received a lot of feedback from moms who surprisingly felt similar to how I do.

While I absolutely love being a mom and adore taking care of Ezra, the life of a SAHM is not one I hope I have to do forever.  Some might call me crazy, but I really miss work, the hustle and bustle, the deadlines, the adult conversations, the peeing in private, and the feeling of accomplishment. That is only my personal experience.

I realize that there are so many opinions and experiences with being a SAHM, and I think it is important to explore them. I think it is important to learn from others' mistakes and listen to their advice.   I think it is important to have joy in whatever situation we find ourselves. That is why I have asked several women to share their own experiences.   Some may be similar to mine, some were literally fashioned to be the most patient and humble mother in the world.  We can all find encouragement and hope within their stories.  I hope you can read these ladies' experiences with an open mind as we all have different callings and desires in our lives. (Don't forget to see the end.)

The Series Links:

These are the questions I asked these SAHMs to think over and respond to:

1. Were there any motivating factors for you to be a stay-at-home-mom? Was that always the plan? If not, what was?

2. What is your favorite thing about staying home with your kids?

3. What is the most challenging thing about staying home with your kids?

4. How do you stay Christ-centered as a stay-at-home mom? What does your time with the Lord look like?

5. What do you wish other people knew about your experience about being a stay-at-home mom?

Faith S.
For as long as I can remember I knew I wanted to be a mom. My mom was a stay-at-home mom who did foster care and ran a daycare, so I really only ever knew that as “mom-ing."

When we decided to pursue foster care, I was working full time and continued to do so after our 3 children came to live with us. I loved having the professional time and then picking them up from daycare and going home. With the addition of our 4th child, working full time became difficult. She was a premie baby with medical needs and daycare wasn't an option. It was after about 3 weeks that a friend came to me and said "I thought you said if God gave you an infant you were going to stop working and stay home with them.” I felt it in my spirit when she said it. I knew she was right, I had committed to staying home. So Mark and I decided that I would.

My favorite things included chaperoning field trips (when they were public schooled) and never missing a first with Aislyn, I was there for them all. That's probably still my favorite. I am there for all the memories and all the laughs, and they get all of me too.

The constant-ness is the most difficult thing about being a SAHM. The very thing I love, I also hate a little bit. (Can I say that?) I'm a maid, a nurse, all of their teachers, a cook, and a housekeeper. Sometimes I long for the professional days and the validation of doing a hard job really well.

"Please give me patience;” “Please give me wisdom;” “Please, Lord, sew my mouth shut;” “Lord, are you there? It's me, Margaret" haha! No but really, my prayer life is pretty constant communication with Him. Daily. And worship music in the car. We love to worship together. They think it's dance party/jam session, but my very soul needs it. I wish I could read my bible more.

I remember thinking that if I could just get to this “place” as a stay-at-home mom with an amazing husband that my life would be near complete. And honestly, for the most part, it’s been a dream come true.

Erin B.

I was working full time when I was pregnant with Brock. And because it was not paying enough to consider daycare, my husband and I decided for me to leave my job. I never planned on being a SAHM. I actually never planned on having children until I was a little older then 25, but God had other plans. It was a huge transition from going from working full-time since I was 15 to staying home and being responsible for a little baby. I was smitten after I had Brock and never missed any of his milestones. Knowing I'd be able to be there for my kids, made it more motivating to stay home.

My favorite thing about staying home with my kids is that I am their biggest influence. It's the greatest blessing, but scary at the same time! I realize that staying consistent is the KEY, and that can be SUPER hard most days! But it is such a blessing when I hear my kids pray or hear them talking about Jesus to random strangers.

There are several struggles I have and at the beginning of all of this was the comparing game. I was always wondering how other moms did this job and I almost eliminate myself from being "a good mom" because I am my own worst critic. It can be so so hard being with kids 24/7 because you truly don't feel like you get a break. I never get to sit around and do what I love unless the kids are napping, which has become seldom.

I have to be super intentional with spending time with Christ. Granted I do have a social media page (Anchored in Christ, @myletteredfaith, and Etsy shop) where I post devotionals from God's word, but there are times I feel like God doesn't want me to share what He just wanted ME to learn. Also, He doesn't want me to post on an empty tank either, so I have to really make time with the Lord a priority. I wish I could say I get up before 5am to do all this, but that's a lie. I stay in bed as long as my kids are in bed. If I do not get to that in the morning I try and pick a verse for the day and just leave my Bible open on my kitchen counter. Sometimes my quiet time is during nap time, but it's a sacrifice because watching a movie, lettering, or binging on social media are my releases from tension. I love prayer time. My wall next to my bed has sticky notes with prayer requests and bible verses that I can pray over to keep me focused. For my children, I do small bible stories from their storybook Bible and print out fun pages to color.

I want other people to know that this job is so hard. As a mom of a special needs child, I feel as though I give and give of myself to him. I have to make it a point to ensure my daughter gets time with me and my husband doesn’t get my leftovers. It doesn't always happen like that, but God has been graciously showing me that I need to keep Him my focus and that my love and humility will come out more than my stress and selfishness. It's so much easier said then done. But I would love for others to just be encouraged that if you see a child acting up in public and the mother is looking stressed out, encourage her! She may be literally pouring herself out to her children and just needs a break.

Elizabeth T.
It was certainly not always the plan to stay home with my kids. I was totally sure I could throw them right into daycare and carry on with my career, but God had another plan. My work was creating friction in my marriage with long hours and childcare stresses. When I finally made the decision to stay home full time I felt this HUGE sense of release and relief.

I get to see every BIG moment and the small ones that are even bigger. I know their personalities better than anyone, what makes them tic, what fears they have, what makes them belly laugh, and I feel such a strong connection. I am able to make them feel safe while they navigate the world and explore independence. I can provide a more stable homelife and predictable schedule for my entire family. We have more opportunities to spend time with extended family, friends, and we can serve in a capacity that we wouldn't be able to otherwise. I am able to teach them the importance of Christ's work.

The most challenging thing about staying home: the constant negative self-evaluation we can give ourselves and choosing to believe otherwise. You must be able to laugh at yourself and with your kids over stuff instead of having tough days and whacky moments conquer you. Find joy in the moments. Other people can be harsh evaluators too such as husbands, extended family, friends and even random strangers, but you have to stay focused and serve the Lord and listen for His guidance and instruction. Don't allow yourself to become defeated and overwhelmed, you aren't alone. Reach out to other moms, have play dates, go to MOPS and storytime at the library and chik-fil-a! You can even turn a trip to Walmart with a girlfriend and all the kids into quite an adventure. Remember to see this as an adventure in kingdom work and see through the wonder filled eyes of a child.

I am a late-night mom. I like to include reading and doing devotionals with the kids. Our entire homeschool curriculum is based on scripture and God's creation, so we study scripture daily and talk about it. I enjoy having my own personal quiet time in the early morning during nap time and late night when everyone is in bed; however, each aspect of the day is filtered through God's plan for our day and allowing him to move and work through it even if it isn't our plan.

I want everyone to know I am not bored! I don't NEED projects or things to keep me busy. I don't ignore people, but the kids come first and demand my attention. Texting has become VITAL to communication, not because I don't enjoy a wonderful conversation, but because I don't want to constantly wrangle and correct children during the course of a conversation on the phone. This time can't be bought, paused, or relived. I want to cherish this time and it’s NEVER enough. People may worry about finances and the fear of it all, but God will provide all that you NEED when you choose to follow his call to stay-at-home. He has provided abundantly all of our needs, (not wants), but all of our needs.

A stay-at-home mom's life is specific to her and her family. It is specific to her personality and their personalities. Her day will look different because God has gifted us differently and we need to find a place to live fully in His light while serving in this priceless ministry of mothering and parenting. We are raising a generation and that is BIG work and that is HARD work, but we have the greatest instruction manual out there in God's word. This work is tiring but it has eternal rewards that never fit into a paystub.

Amanda T.
After I had my first daughter, Addy, I went back to working full-time as an LPN. However, I just kept feeling the need to stay home with her more, so when Addy was 1, I decided to go to work part-time. It was going great, but I still felt a little empty inside. I felt like I should be the one taking care of my child. I should be the one seeing her all day, watching her hit the important milestones. I prayed about it and we were fortunate enough that my husband was given multiple raises after I quit my job.

My favorite thing about staying home is seeing them for longer than just a couple hours a day. They may drive me bonkers, but I’m pretty sure that is a kid’s purpose in life. haha! I feel like the most challenging thing about staying home is no "me” time, especially with a newborn. It was a little easier with one, but now with the demand of 2 kids, it's pretty hard!

M.O.P.S has saved me! The special time around other crazy SAHMs is just good for the soul! It's harder right now for me to have God-centered time at home, but at night when I lay in bed I talk to Him and thank Him for everything with which He has blessed me.

I have learned that being a SAHM is not for the faint of heart! It's hard! Like really hard! I never would have imagined that a 4 year old and 4 month old could have that much power over an adult! I wouldn't trade it for the world. God has blessed me with these beautiful, healthy children and I intend to raise them with God's love in mind!

Chrissy N.
I never thought I'd be a SAHM! Once I got pregnant with Abi, my husband and I realized my income would not be worth putting 3 kids in daycare. We also decided the chaos of my hospital work schedule was not worth the time away from the kids. I love how flexible the schedule of being a stay-at-home-mom is! Not only do I get to care for my kids, but I also help take care of my elderly mother, so being at home allows me to take her to appointments. I love having the ability to volunteer at Hudson's school or to take a vacation whenever we want without having to schedule time off.

The most challenging part about my job is that I don't ever get to leave work. I don't get a break, ever.  I often have a short fuse and I have to remind myself how important it is to us that I stay home with them so I can be the one to mostly influence their behaviors.

Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) is a huge part of staying Christ-centered. I think it is so helpful to stay connected with moms of similar faith to lean on and get advice from. Honestly, my time with the Lord is often praying for strength as my toddler throws a tantrum or reading devotions while on the potty!

Being a stay-at-home-mom is the most rewarding job I have ever had. I stayed at home during the last year and a half of Mason's life. That is precious time that I wouldn't have had with him and I am forever grateful for that.

Kristin C.

When my husband and I were dating, I always told him to never ask me to stay home because that was not going to happen.  I was career driven! I wanted a kid or maybe 2 tops, but having kids was not our top priority.  After our first child was born, I quickly changed my mind and loved being home for the most part.  It was a very big change, but I loved it.  Once I was pregnant with the twins, we quickly realized me going to back to work at a regular 8-5 job would never happen due to the costs of childcare. Now that they are a little older, we are home full-time homeschooling.  It's amazing what happens when God places things on your heart that are so far from your plan.

My favorite part about being home with my kids is that I have never missed anything. I was there when they first smiled, when they held a bottle, rolled over, took their first steps; but I was also there to watch them learn. As they get older, seeing the light in their eyes when something clicks, or they discover something is just amazing! It has been a joy to watch and take in everything that they have done so far in their short lives!

I think the most challenging thing is that there is never a break. It’s a 24/7 job that can be thankless and exhausting. The list of chores is never caught up and sometimes it can feel like the walls are closing in!  But even when you are in the trenches, I have learned that someone else is going through it too, so stay connected to other mom friends because chances are, they have been there too or heading that way!

Stay Christ-centered is tough.  My time with Christ is the biggest part lacking from my daily schedule. It needs to be the first thing that I do, and instead it’s the last.  Sometimes it is put off completely. Most of my daily time with Jesus comes from our school lessons with my kids.

If you found these women's stories and experiences to be encouraging, take a minute to share your thoughts below in the comments!  If you are a stay-at-home mom yourself, take a minute to answer these questions (feel free to share in the comments so we can all be encouraged!) and ponder how much you have over come as a mom!  

1. Were there any motivating factors for you to be a stay-at-home-mom? Was that always the plan? If not, what was?

2. What is your favorite thing about staying home with your kids?

3. What is the most challenging thing about staying home with your kids?

4. How do you stay Christ-centered as a stay-at-home mom? What does your time with the Lord look like?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...