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.