Click, click, click.

Her perfectly manicured fingernails flew over the keyboard as she entered my information into the system registering me for my 20-week ultrasound. Without even looking up, she asked the next question.

“And where do you work?”

The answer popped out of my mouth before I even thought about it. “I don’t.”

Immediately I felt my heart plummet to the pit of my stomach.

Wait . . . what did I just say?

If I don’t work, why do I have a never-ending to-do list? If I don’t work, why am I so tired all the time? If I don’t work, why do others rely on me so much?

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As a full-time stay-at-home-mom of course, I work in the sense of actively laboring and toiling at taking care of my people all day every day.

But as moms, we are so quick to downplay what it is that we do—not only the physical work of keeping a house and children but also the mental, emotional, and spiritual work of raising children who love God and others.

If we happen to convince ourselves what we do is important, someone is bound to come along with a statement like this . . . “Since you are at home all day, I thought you’d have plenty of time to ___. I would do it, but I’m just so busy with work and all that.”

And somewhere along the way we buy into the lie Satan whispers in our own thoughts and in the unintentionally harmful words of others—“Moms at home all day like you don’t do anything important because they don’t actually have a job that pays.”

We buy into the lie that tells us if we are not working outside the home, we are not a valuable, contributing member of society.

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But friend, I am here to tell you, that lie is straight from the pit of hell.

Those children running wild in your living room right now are eternal souls. And you—yes, you mama with Cheerios stuck to your sock—you are the one to whom God gave the privilege and the responsibility of shepherding those souls.

You are the one He has charged with keeping them fed physically and spiritually.

You are the one He has commanded to train up your child.

You are the one He is using to shape the future by being faithful today.

You are the one He has chosen to be called mom by these people who make endless messes, eat all the food, wear twelve outfits a day, drive you to the brink of insanity, and fill your heart with so much joy it hurts.

Stop believing the lie that you aren’t doing important work. The work of nurturing your children, disciplining them, and even cleaning up after them is work that will impact eternity through them.

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We never know exactly how our children will impact the world. Perhaps the boy who spends hours building with LEGOs will become an architect who designs homes to combat homelessness in our nation’s cities. Perhaps the girl who makes up elaborate puppet shows will become a screenwriter who helps shape the media’s influence on the next generation.

All of the practice listening to the baby in mommy’s tummy may lead to an adult who takes maternity care to third world countries. The boy playing with tractors may grow up to be a farmer feeding the people just like his daddy. That child playing with his daddy’s tools might just become a trusted neighborhood mechanic keeping everyone’s cars running smoothly.

That little girl reading stories to her baby brother might just grow up to be a mom who stays home with her babies and raises them up to be faithful and true in raising their own children—the eternal souls of yet another generation.

So next time someone asks, “What do you do?”

Don’t let the lies answer for you—you are a mom, and your work matters.

Amy Juett

Amy is a child of God and a native of the Nebraska Sandhills. She married her sweetheart while still in college. After moving seven times in their first eight years of marriage, they have (God-willing) moved for the last time and are putting down roots in her grandparents’ home only two miles from where she grew up. Her days are filled with all the joys and challenges that come with a house full of young children. When she isn’t immersed in piles of laundry and other messes young children make, Amy enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, doing crafty projects, reading, writing, dabbling in photography, participating in the family adventures her husband dreams up, and sitting in silence.