Being a Stay-At-Home-Mom is a paradoxically wonderful challenge. As I type these words, I am awkwardly nursing Lola, watching the clock to make sure I’m not late getting back to pick up Lea from preschool, waiting to hear back from my mom to see if she can pick up Lucy at 3 o’clock after school and Lily at 5 o’clock after practice so I can make it to Lola’s 3 o’clock doctor appointment, and feeling guilty for sitting down when I need to do laundry, housecleaning, pay bills, taxes, check our monthly budget progress, look over dinner and tomorrow’s breakfast plans, pack school lunches, answer e-mails, make a calendar for parent helpers at the preschool… you get the idea.
I have heard it said that trying to get things accomplished while caring for kids is like trying to brush your teeth and eat Oreos at the same time. It’s true! And while we mamas are good at finding ways to get creative, have fun, accomplish tasks, work towards goals, care for ourselves and our families and all the details that go along with that, sometimes the biggest enemy we face is our own mind.
While my husband is away at work accomplishing grand things and receiving accolades from all over the professional universe, I am home, alone with the children. I can begin to feel small, unworthy, useless, unimportant, unloved, unvalued, and foolish. Packing lunches and changing diapers gets old and dull and driving kids to and fro and buying groceries feels extremely unimpressive at times.
I think over my days, and I seem like George Bailey in my favorite Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. I feel sure, like George, that I’m not making a difference in the world around me. I think that my daily devotion to home and family makes no difference one way or the other. When I feel this way, my husband is amazing at building me up, loving me, cherishing me, taking over what he can and talking about what and how we can make things better.
But the truth of it is, no matter how much he values me or my kids need me or the work I do makes everything our family does possible, if I don’t recognize and agree deep in my heart that God sees me, loves me, cherishes me, and allow Him to be the lover of my soul, everything else will fail. He must be the source of my joy, confidence, and adventure. I can’t force it, or take it from others, or pretend I believe it if I don’t because truth will out. I have to commune with my Lord, and find peace in Him and the rest will follow.
When I truly do this, I see the beauty and the vitality in all that I do. The necessity of ME. My husband is a huge success in all that he does because of ME. My children are lighting up the world because of ME. My home and my family and my ways bring hope and encouragement and inspiration to everyone I touch and it’s because of what God is doing with and through ME.
So take hope and be encouraged Mama! You’re not alone in your valleys or on top of your mountains! It’s not easy but it is worth it and YOU are worth it and it truly is a wonderful life.