As someone who’s primarily been a stay-at-home mom for over 10 years, I can firmly attest that it is not a role for the proud. It is a position that comes with little training and marginal praise. The infinite loads of dishes I’ve washed have never garnered a medal, the hours I’ve spent vacuuming have never secured me a promotion, and People Magazine has yet to compile a list of the “World’s Greatest Homemakers.”
Michael Scott has yet to issue me a Dundie.
On the contrary—if I may be more serious and transparent with you—it is a role that often leaves me feeling lonely, discouraged, invisible to the world around me, and completely worthless.
So completely worthless.
The pay is nothing to brag about, either.
Every once in a while, as I pick up the millionth pair of dirty underwear, or scrape dried SpaghettiOs off the kitchen table, I wonder about what I’ve gotten myself into. Pausing to seriously reflect for a moment, I wonder what in the exact heck I have accomplished with my life???
And, initially, to be honest . . . I don’t come up with much.
The walls of my home don’t boast a college diploma.
My resume is short. VERY short.
And Forbes won’t be coming out with an article about me anytime soon.
You see, by the world’s standards of success, my role is considered insignificant. Society really doesn’t see me as anything special. There is no reason to be inspired by me. After all, I scarcely leave my home.
To the world, I am unimportant. I am a dime a dozen.
I am just a homemaker.
But as I stand there thinking on these things—still dressed in pajama bottoms and yesterday’s t-shirt—a 7-year-old boy suddenly bounds into the room and proclaims with the biggest hug, “You’re the best mom in the whole world!!!”
And while I know he’s probably only saying that because I just told him we were having pizza for dinner or something like that . . . his admiration immediately brings me back to reality, and suddenly I am cognizant of the truth.
You see, my role IS important.
Just ask my little boy anytime he sees me grocery shopping, or baking cookies, or washing his laundry.
My role IS significant.
Just ask my youngest anytime I help him with his bath, or fend off monsters, or take him for a walk to jump in puddles.
My role IS appreciated.
Just ask my husband anytime he has clean clothes for work, or he sees me grading homeschool papers or washing the dishes.
My role IS special.
Just ask my oldest anytime we watch a movie together, or share a funny moment, or talk about a book.
My role IS valued.
Just ask my kids anytime I get the stain out of a favorite shirt or help them study for a test.
My role IS essential.
Just ask my boys anytime I dry their tears, or protect them from harm, or lend a comforting shoulder.
Understand that despite what the world has to say on the matter, the role of the stay-at-home mom is a pretty significant one, too.
She might not be flashy. She might not be proud.
But she is determined. She is unwavering.
And, to her family, she is everything.
Originally published on the author’s Facebook page