Recently, I heard someone on a podcast say something like this: “Someone needs to hear this right now. I’m picturing a mom of babies and/or toddlers. You’re covered in spit-up and who knows what else, changing diapers, wiping noses. You’re looking at everyone else’s lives and feeling like you want to do something else. There will be time for you to do something else. Stay the course. You are doing a good work.” I nearly cried and yelled in the middle of my kitchen “HOW DOES THIS MAN KNOW MY LIFE?!”
If anyone knew how often I search for part-time jobs and consider applying for jobs that I don’t even want, I’d be embarrassed. (OK, maybe not too embarrassed because here I am writing this piece for you all to read.)
Staying home with kids is hard. It’s hard in a million different ways.
It’s hard because you miss adult conversation.
It’s hard because you miss the sense of community that comes along with being in a place of employment every day.
It’s hard because the little ones we love so much can be kind of demanding at times.
It’s hard because the work is never done.
But for me, it’s hardest because it feels like no one sees all of the little things I do every day.
It feels like a lot of work and at the same time, it feels like work that, according to some, doesn’t really count. It’s hardest because people often tell you that you don’t work when you feel like you’re doing the hardest job you’ve ever done. If I’m honest, a lot of days I feel completely unseen.
One of my pastors once said, “Something that is good will always try to rival that which is best but unseen.” That spoke so deeply to my heart. Please know that if you’re a working mom reading this, I am in no way saying that being a stay-at-home mom is better. I’ve been in your shoes. I think you’re a superwoman. I believe each of us has to do what is best for our families. In this season, what’s best for my family is me staying home, but my goodness is it harder than I expected.
So to my fellow stay at home moms, here’s what I want you to know: you are seen.
Every little thing you do matters so much. Every time you do another load of laundry. Every dish you wash. Every nose you wipe. Every snuggle. It matters.
This kind of work may not seem glamorous. I know you might miss seeing a pay stub with your name on it. There’s no instant gratification.
But all of the love you’re pouring into your children each day matters.
There may not be promotions. You may not often hear “good job” too often. But stay the course, mama. You are doing a good work.
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