So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

I start my day with an early morning wake up call from my three-year-old. She walks slowly over to my side of the bed and says “MOM! Are you awake!?”

I groan. I mumble some words that include “cuddle” and “in bed”. She joins me and we cuddle for a blissful five minutes until my other toddler cries from her crib letting us know she, too, is done sleeping.

My day has begun and I haven’t even stepped out of bed.

The cries start from the minute my mind comes into reality and jolts out of dream world. And they don’t stop. Cries for milk, for juice, for food. Cries for “Dora!” or “Paw Patrol!” or “the pony one!”. And then cries because I had to say no to one and yes to the other. Cries to go outside and cries to go back inside. Cries to play and cries from being too tired. Cries at naptime and cries when naptime is done. Cries because Mommy said no to candy for lunch. Cries because Mommy said no to chicken fingers for lunch for the fifth time in a row. Cries because Mommy said no to more TV. Eventually, the drawn out cries at bedtime.

Let’s not forget the screams in between. The screams because “sister didn’t share” or “she stole my toy”. Screams because “Mommy doesn’t give me what I want”. Screams because “I’m two” and screams because “I’m three”.

In between all that, we have the food prep, dishes and laundry. We have the wiping of bums and the washing of faces and hands. We have the picking-up of toys so we don’t all fall flat on our faces or step on one of those dang LEGO pieces. We have vacuuming and dusting and bathroom cleaning.

Bedtime comes. The house finally becomes still. The exhaustion has overcome. Yet, somehow it felt like the day was one big blur. What got done? What was accomplished? Anything at all? Why was there SO. MUCH. CRYING!?

One hour. One hour before you are going to crash. There are still dishes and laundry. Toys are scattered. You begin to do one or the other. But you just can’t. So the TV is flipped on and you settle into the couch while your husband picks you up a McFlurry. You are done. Completely done.

Yet the fulfillment? Fulfillment from a full and busy day? Is it there?


Most days, for me, my fulfillment is not there. Not from being home with my kids, anyway.

Oh, I love them. Don’t get me wrong. And I sure am blessed to be able to stay home with them. Trust me. I know.

So why does it all feel so unfulfilling? Why do my days mostly feel like a whirlwind with no accomplishments or checks on the to-do list? Even if checks are made somehow it feels never truly completed.

Perhaps it is because I’m not meant to find fulfillment in my job as a stay-at-home mom.

Maybe I’m not meant to find fulfillment in answering my kids’ cries and keeping the house in order. It’s possible that I’m not meant to find fulfillment in making homemade meals and bringing my kids snack . . . after snack . . . after snack.

In fact, my fulfillment in this life cannot come from any job, title or action I do.

True fulfillment in this life can only come from one place. True fulfillment can only come from our God, our Savior, our Hope. True fulfillment can only come from trusting and relying on Him completely. True fulfillment will never be found in my job as a stay-at-home mom.

It won’t be found in yours either.

Perhaps one day you somehow finish all the laundry, do all the dishes, make three healthy meals, pick up all the toys, AND keep the kids happy for the entire day. Will that be enough?

No. Because the next day it all comes back again. And again. And again. And again.

It will never be completed. It will never be “all done” as my two-year-old likes to say.

If we trust in our abilities as stay-at-home moms, we will feel failure continually overcome us. Because our abilities are weak. We are weak.

But . . .

If we trust in HIS ability to pull us through our work as stay-at-home moms we will be lifted up and filled with an everlasting feeling of fulfillment and joy. Because His ability is strong. He is strong.

And because of His grace we, too, can be strong through Him.

So no, I am not fulfilled as a stay-at-home mom.

But I am fulfilled as a child of God. And as a child of God, He has given me immense purpose in this job as a stay-at-home mom. So yes, I am fulfilled.

I am fulfilled through Him.

Esther Vandersluis

Esther is a Canadian writing from Hamilton, Ontario, living in a sea of pink as a girl mom to three. Find her on Facebook ( where you will find writing for stay-at-home moms, moms with littles, sleep-deprived moms, moms feeding babies, and babies with failure to thrive, all under the umbrella of faith in Jesus Christ.

Jesus of the Rock Bottom Rescue

In: Faith, Living
Sad woman sitting on floor

Have you ever hit rock bottom? I have and it was the scariest place I’ve ever been but that’s where I found Jesus. Where I truly encounter the Holy Spirit and the healing power and life He can give. I was raised in a Christian home by good parents that would have given their lives for me. I was raised in the church and loved by my church family. I enjoyed going to church as a child and I loved Jesus my whole life. At the age of 8 years old I asked Jesus into my heart and was baptized....

Keep Reading

While I Wait for Another Door to Open, I’ll Hold One For Someone Else

In: Faith, Living
Woman teaching another woman by computer

I’m waiting for another door. All my life, I’ve been told that when God closes one door, He opens another. And here I am, staring at the imminent end of the business I’ve built from nothing. Closing down what I started up from sheer willpower, too much caffeine, and the bold determination to work for myself. Scratching out what I made from scratch . . . and it feels horrible. God didn’t just close this door. He slammed it shut, boarded the whole thing up, and hammered the nails in where I cannot pry them open. Believe me. I’ve tried....

Keep Reading

Separating Work From Home is a Must For Me

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mom with baby smiling

If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the 11-year-old boy with his pale feet sticking out from under the blanket, on his way to the morgue after a gun accident.   If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the still, blue form of the 3-month-old who passed away in his sleep. We gave CPR and all the medicines “just in case,” but that baby was gone long before his caregiver brought him in through the door. If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the 3-year-old...

Keep Reading

When Teens Are Hard to Love, You Love Them Harder

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy sitting with hood up

I lay face down on the floor, praying. Praying in the loosest sense of the word. Praying in the Romans 8:26 way—you know, when the Spirit “intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Because I could not utter any actual coherent thoughts at that point. I was weary and beaten down. Day after day I had been in combat, battling an opponent I didn’t anticipate: one of my children. My own child, one of the people I had lovingly grown inside my body and loved sacrificially for all these years, had staunchly and repeatedly put himself in opposition...

Keep Reading

In This Stage of Marriage, it Feels Like We’re Roommates Who Share the Same Kids

In: Faith, Marriage
Distant couple on phones in bed

How do you get it back? How do you get back the love you once had? Everyone told me marriage was hard and having kids was hard, but I had no idea it would be this hard. I thought everyone was lying because our relationship was solid before marriage. We were best friends. Some days I feel like we’re roommates who share the same kids. It disgusts me even to say that, but it’s the truth. Marriage is hard and has ugly sides to it that everyone seems afraid to talk about. RELATED: Keep Showing Up Even When Marriage is...

Keep Reading

You Are the God of Details, but God These Details Don’t Make Sense

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Window open with shutters

That was not the plan. What just happened in there? We walked out a bit defeated. More than a bit. I felt deflated. Things were supposed to be different by now. This wasn’t what I asked for or expected. This wasn’t even what they told me would happen. We cross the street in silence. Headed to the car and as soon as I shut the car door, I could no longer hold it in. I let the tears flow. All this unknown. I don’t understand. This is life. This is foster care. This is what we chose. That doesn’t make...

Keep Reading

I Am a Good Enough Mom

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother kissing toddler

I came to motherhood knowing nothing about the job. My mother’s example wasn’t an example at all, more of something to forget, and maybe even get therapy for. My own son was the first newborn I’d ever held. When I became a mom, I was 23 and clueless.  Because of my personality, I wanted to do everything right and parenthood was no exception. I read all the books on parenting I could. I talked to older moms and soaked up all the advice they gave me. Having no idea what I was doing made me look to outside sources to inform...

Keep Reading

God’s Plan For Me Wasn’t What I Expected

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman walking with children silhouette

I grew up in a family where we knew who God was. We went to church, and we were involved in church. However, when we weren’t at church, time spent in the Word fell to the wayside. Don’t get me wrong, my parents were wonderful people, but we didn’t make that a priority in my house.  Going into adulthood, I realized I had deceived myself into believing I had a relationship with God. I knew God loved me, but I questioned whether I loved Him. I wasn’t living life in a way that was glorifying to Him. I’m not only...

Keep Reading

But God is Still Good

In: Faith, Living
Woman looking out window

“I can’t afford a new one,” I thought to myself as I shampooed another stain. This can’t keep happening. Maybe I made a mistake. I have to make this last. And the couch. And the clothes. And all the things. We are done having babies. The price of food has doubled. It’s astronomical to fill the cars with gas. Things are closing in on me. How can I best serve my family? Survival mode engaged. When I read the news, when I follow the headlines, when I listen to the conversations around me . . .  I hear fear. Loss....

Keep Reading

Jesus Helps Me Smile Through the Weary Moments of Motherhood

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman holding toddler girl, color photo

“Mom, why aren’t you smiling?” My 4-year-old took one look at my face, and like an open book, she could read me. Sometimes I wish I could hide it better, tucked behind an infinite smile or a pasted-on happy face. Sometimes I wish my beautiful children—so young, free, and fun—wouldn’t see my face on a day like today. RELATED: Motherhood is Hard, But Loving You is the Easiest Thing I’ve Ever Done You see, it’s just so hard—all of it. And I am just so tired. Between working a job, trying to keep up with being a supportive wife and...

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.