I have a bunch of professional Mom friends—moms who doctor, teach, style, run companies, serve on mission.

And I’m amazed at their sacrifices and strength and stamina to keep on balancing and budgeting and doing it all for their families and coworkers and communities. They’re inspiring and adored and strong enough to do it, and do it well.

So, when I’m asked what it is I do for my job, I often hear myself quick to say, I’m just a stay-at-home mom.

And I let it be, and the conversation continues, and I rarely think on it again.

But not today.

Today was by no means an impressive day. We were all home, so no school drop-off, no packed lunches, no hurry to get out the door.

Yet, there was lots of fussing, lots of mess-making and lots of little boy pretending and hugging on mommy just because I stopped to sit down.

And that’s when it hit me.

I’m not just a stay-at-home mom. And I never will be.

Sure, I have no name plate, technically no boss above me, I’ve got no paycheck or annual review. I get no promotions, time off and little assurance that I’m getting any better at this job I’m whole-heartedly called to do.

Yet, I’m committed.

Bottoms need wiping, I wipe them. I teach and discipline and listen to the same croupy cough all day that kept him awake last night all. night. long. And even though my mommy heart hurts each time, and I can’t ignore it, and I can’t make it all better, I hug him and I pray all. day. too.

And I’m not just doing something small. Not “just” a little bit at all.

And even if it feels like the same day on repeat over and over—same laundry, same budget, same messes and spills and fusses—it’s not. And the truth is, we’ve not got a promise of even another day like this one to come.

And so, it’s time to own our job, savor our time and make each of these days count. They’re already going fast.

So I will keep doing more than just staying at home.

I’ll be listening to their little questions and made up stories and how their voices say new words. I’ll be assuring them they are important and helpful and can make a difference in this world.

I’ll be giving direction and sometimes spankings and making sure they know consequences will come. I’ll be reading and studying up on what my heart says is important, and I’ll be letting my kids watch me learn.

Because I’m not just a stay-at-home mom.

For this short season in life, my kids are paying attention. They see me more than anyone. So what I do and say matters more than just a little bit. And the grace that comes after the mistakes, all the mistakes, I make counts for more than just a little bit, too.

And that means this stay-at-home mom is making a much bigger difference than even I can comprehend at the moment. And I never want to lose sight of that.

And one day, I pray my kids will know this mommy of theirs was not just a stay-at-home mom. And that the grownups they become will better this world, because their mom invested her heart, her time, her purpose and mission to help better their worlds, too. And they will be as proud of me as I am of them.

And the days that are mundane and messy will continue cultivating something beautiful and beyond anything our present emotions or tempers may be telling.

And our kids will know we are far from perfect, but we are never far from them.

And so I will never be just a stay-at-home mom. Because no mom is “just” a little of anything. Our hearts are way too big. And whether we work outside the home eight hours a day or in it, we’re working to make a better way for these families of ours. So all that aside, being “Mom” in itself is the best job we’ve got.

And if we do our best, we will do it well.

Love,
Mommy

Originally published on the author’s blog

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This is Stay-at-Home Motherhood

What Do Stay At Home Moms Do All Day?

I Refuse to Be a “Stay at Home Mom”

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Jaclyn Warren

Stay-at-home mommy of four on mission to encourage parents to savor the meaningful in the midst of the messy. Take your 15 minutes; it’s your turn for timeout.