I’m just not a good stay-at-home mom.
I constantly tripped over this thought the same way I stumbled over the toy trucks littering our floors. I just didn’t have the right personality to spend all day, every day, with my kids.
I was too introverted to handle the incessant, “What do now, Mommy?” questions and the high-pitched, “Wait for me!” as I tried to slip upstairs for a 60-second emotional break.
I was too purpose-driven to spend my days in yoga pants building train tracks on the mysteriously stained, carpeted floor. I was too results-oriented to sit on the couch with my son and re-read the same board book while the sticky breakfast dishes sprawled across the counters.
I wasn’t stay-at-home mom material, I told myself, yet the thought of re-entering the work world was enough to give me heart palpitations. I loved my boys, and I wanted to stay home with them, but I just wasn’t good at it.
I felt stuck.
Can you relate, friend? Have you ever disqualified yourself as a stay-at-home mom (or potential stay-at-home mom) because of your personality or inner struggles?
I used to be afraid to admit my insecurities as a stay-at-home mom. What if I sounded insensitive to my friends who struggled with infertility? What if I sounded ungrateful to my friends who had to return to work because of financial reasons? What if the older generation misunderstood my heart and thought I cared more about a career than my children?
Deep down, at the root of my fears, was this taunting question: what if I’m not a good mom? Or, even worse, what if people thought I was a bad mom?
I was living the stay-at-home-mom dream I once dreamed of and yet . . . I felt like a failure.
Earlier this week I noticed the familiar “I’m just not a good stay-at-home mom” thought in the periphery of my mind. Instead of glancing over it in the same way I’ve trained my mind to ignore cracker crumbs on the floor, I stopped and really looked at it. It was like noticing an obtrusive cardboard box that had been tucked into the corner of the living room for a few months and thinking, “That doesn’t belong there.”
I was believing a lie.
Yes, I may struggle with staying home with the kids day after day, but that doesn’t make me a bad stay-at-home mom.
The truth is written in God’s Word:
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Colossians 3:23).
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
I began to meditate on these verses as I changed over the laundry, unloaded the dishwasher, and built LEGO towers. Within days I noticed a positive shift in my attitude. I no longer tolerated the lie I wasn’t a good stay-at-home mom. The Lord began to highlight all the ways I was a good stay-at-home mom.
I realized it’s not my strengths that qualify me to stay home with my kids. I’m a great mom, whether I stay home or return to work, because I love and serve my kids through my weaknesses.
So, to my stay-at-home mom friends who feel they don’t fit the stay-at-home mom mold, I encourage you to:
Search your thoughts and recognize the lies.
Declare the truth from God’s word.
Believe you are enough because He is enough.
If the Lord has called you to stay at home with your kids in this season, believe He will equip you with joy, patience, and strength to do it well.
Now, as I gather toy trucks from the floor and place them in the bin, I smile and remind myself: I am a good stay-at-home mom.
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