Faith Inspiration Kids Motherhood

I Refuse to be a “Stay at Home Mom”

I Refuse to be a "Stay at Home Mom" www.herviewfromhome.com
Written by Candace Kikkert

The phrase “stay at home mom” has always made me cringe. The word “stay” makes it seem as though women are commanded or instructed to stay home with their children (like we would tell a dog to “stay”). It completely disregards the choice and the sacrifice that so many women make to be at home with their children during those early formative years. Furthermore, the phrase “stay at home mom” is completely ambiguous as to what actually happens when I’m home with my kids. So often, I feel as if my husband comes home from work and looks around at the toys and clothes on the floor, the dirty dishes in the sink, and the still-full-of-clean-dishes dishwasher and thinks, what does she do all day?

And yet, I am asked all the time what it is that I do. It has got me wondering: What else could I say when asked about my occupation? I could say that I’m an appointment-maker, calendar scheduler, closet organizer, craft preparer, outfit-picker, housekeeper, laundry-doer, bed-maker (occasionally), floor-scrubber (again, occasionally), tear-drier, owie-fixer, back-rubber, picture-taker, encourager, meal-maker, price-matcher, teacher, bath-giver or grocery shopper.

The problem with each of these titles is that not even one comes close to how I see my current occupation. I don’t want to be just these things and my soul often feels deflated when I consider myself to be one or the other. I want to wake up each day and know that I am serving in the way God has called me to serve in this season of my life. I am no “stay at home mom.”  I am nurturing souls for work in God’s Kingdom and for eternity.

Isn’t it silly how when asked what it is we do for a living, we as “stay at home moms” pause for a second and say, “I’m a stay at home mom” or “I’m just a mom” or “I’m not working right now.”  Good grief, women! I don’t care what anyone says. There is no harder job than shaping little minds, cleaning dirty bums, and never being able to fully “clock out” for the day. I beg you: Do not diminish your role to the duties you perform. Do not do as I have done for so long and seek to find joy in the “other” things (that is, those things you do when you’re not actively “mothering”). When I look at my Pinterest board, I see the ways in which I’ve attempted to be a better mom. I see pin titles like “Organize your home in 30 days,” “Meal planning to save you money” and “Couponing 101.” While none of these desires to run an organized or put simply, less chaotic household are inherently bad, they do not support my belief that nurturing my children’s minds for God’s kingdom is what my primary job is, needs to be, what I want it to be.

Whether your body housed and nourished your child for nine months or your child was brought to you some other way, the most important job you will ever have is now. So forget this “stay at home mom” garbage. Take ownership of the decision that you made to nurture the souls of your children for work in God’s Kingdom and for eternity. And when the tough gets going, know that He has appointed you for this position and that He goes before you and with you.

“Stay at home mom”? Whatever. I’m nurturing souls for work in God’s Kingdom and for eternity.

About the author

Candace Kikkert

Hi there! My name is Candace and I am, first and foremost, a daughter of the King. I am also a wife and mother to two beautiful girls under the age of two. You can often find me perusing the local thrift shop for a chance to reclaim the beauty of things thrown away and forgotten. I like to think that Christ does the same with us, as He looks past our brokenness and calls us beautiful. My hope is that the tedious and seemingly insignificant things like changing diapers, cleaning hands and faces, and preparing meals for my kids (only for them to be hungry again an hour later), will be the very things that show my girls how to be God-fearing, Jesus-loving, people-serving women. I find tremendous peace and joy in reflecting, writing and piecing together the lessons He teaches me daily. The bottom line? We all stand in need of grace.

3 Comments

  • I don’t know where you all go that you get asked this question. I never get asked this. Anyway, I would probably say, “clean up poop’ just for fun.

  • I was asked this question frequently and I too would hesitate before saying “I’m a stay at home mom” because I knew it did not sum up my life or all that I do. But we live in a society that values our worth by what we do or what we have accomplished. Knowing who we are in Christ on a personal level gives us all the value one will ever need. And yes, we are shaping a person’s soul and that work will continue long after we are no longer a stay at home. As long as we have breathe we are shaping our children and the legacy we live behind will continue to shape them.

  • I posted the following on the Facebook page, but I wasn’t sure if Candace would see it there easily, so I’m posting it again here.

    “I’m a “Stay at Home Dad”. It’s hard to be known that way, number one, because in the process of being a dad, I don’t always stay at home. I take my kids to appointments, get them out in the community to get exercise and have fun and basically do many of the things for my kids and wife that my wife can’t do because she works full time outside of the home.

    At the same time, I don’t very much outside of my home. I am disabled due to a mental health condition. I cannot work full time for an employer. I have started a couple of very small businesses as a sole proprietor and largely work at those in my home. I provide a little extra cash for my family and I watch my young kids (almost 5 and just 7 years old) when they’re not at preschool or elementary school.

    So, I don’t take that label as a slam or some sort of negative term. Stay at Home is what I do. Dad is who I am.

    I understand the author’s point. If taken the wrong way, it makes it sound like staying at home is some sort of commanded, ordered thing, some sort of subservient role.

    As a “Stay at Home” parent myself, I know it’s not, but I understand how it could be perceived that way.

    Good article.