“What do you do?” As a stay at home mom how do you really answer a question like that? “What do I do?” you think.
“Well, for starters, I keep small human beings alive and fed every day, so that’s something.”
The answer that reluctantly creeps from my mouth runs along the lines of, “Oh, I’m at home with the kids. Decided to stay home full time after the second was born.” While I always find it somehow unsettling to say this, I’m also very, very grateful and proud to be a stay at home mom, but somehow, when someone asks what I do, answering that I’m a mom doesn’t always feel like enough.
So when did being a mom stop being enough, or at least stop feeling like enough? When did we have to have so many other things on our plates that truly investing time in our children and our home didn’t seem like enough of an investment? When did being a stay at home mom start feeling like a comparison trap where we never quite measure up? When did we start feeling like somehow our contributions to our family and our home don’t matter as much because they aren’t seen as much?
Today’s life can feel fast paced and demanding. Social media constantly bombards us with the activities we should be doing, the way our homes should look, and what extracurricular activities we should be participating in. Living a small, quiet life only counts as beautiful if you Instagrammed it with a serene white background. Does what you do count if no one else but your children have observed your efforts for the day? Do you have nagging questions weighing on you, wondering if what you do is enough or if you are enough?
Mama, today I want you to know that you are enough. The question of what you do doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of who you are and the important work that you accomplish each day. The mundane day in and day out repetition may start to wear you down. The days when they are little and seem to need you every minute of every day might make you feel a little crazy. There may be far too many days spent in yoga pants and feeling like you never step out the front door into the light of day. There will most definitely be days where the word, “MOM!”, is heard shouted and whined on repeat and you just may have to lock yourself in the bathroom for five minutes of peace and quiet.
So here it is again. You are enough. The work you do is important. When it comes to the question of what you do, know that the answer is enough. Know that you are doing the important work of loving well and caring for your children. Know that even though the many hours you are putting in now may seem like they are going unnoticed, it matters. Know that the time you put in, the words that you say, and the simple tasks you do each day are impacting your children. Know that a perfectly clean house or perfectly dressed children are not the most important thing. Know that the work you do in your home matters even if no one else sees it. Know that you don’t have to share a perfectly staged Instagram picture for it to count. I’m here to tell you that it counts.
You are the wiper of tears. Protector of dreams. Fixer of ouchies. Storyteller extraordinaire. Chef of the best pb & j in the house. Sherriff of house law. Guardian of hopes. Teacher of kindness and love. You are their mom. What you do is enough. You are enough.
Psalm 138:8 The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.