I never aspired to be a stay-at-home mom. I never thought that I would hold the title of Mommy. It wasn’t something that appealed to me as I was growing up, and I did not imagine that a husband and children would be a big part of my life as I got older.
I didn’t like children. I couldn’t imagine why I would want a husband. I wanted a big career. I wanted a big city.
Fast forward twenty years, and I am a stay-at-home mom. I have a husband who I love very much (and have for sixteen years), and I have four precious children. Not only do I have these children, but I take pride in the fact that the biggest part of what I do each day is related to these five people. Keeping my house (poorly because I still haven’t mastered cleaning), homeschooling and being a wife and mother are the center of my life.
It’s something that I can be proud of and content in because I am not the same person I once was. I don’t have the same goals or dreams. I dream only of discipling my children, loving my husband, keeping my house, and extending from that to do ministry in my community.
Still, there are times when I don’t feel content with the role that God has given to me. I recalled that as I read from Rebekah Merkle’s Eve in Exile. The quote that reminded me of these feelings was:
Average, stay-at-home moms are a dwindling breed–but even those who have actually made the choice to accept that role can easily be made to feel insecure and ashamed about their lives.
Sometimes, when another woman asks me what I do, I feel that way. If that wife or mother is a working mom, I feel guilty saying that I am a stay-at-home mom. It makes me feel almost lazy to say that my job is homeschooling my children. After all, the person asking me is often a mom too, and yet she still has a job (or a career).
I find myself stammering and blushing and saying things like, “I’m just a mom.” Sometimes I just say, “I don’t have a job right now.” Neither of these statements are claiming with joy the job that God has given me.
I’m content with my life, except when I allow others to make me feel like my job is less important.
At church there is a big push for formal discipleship and missions work. While I can do a little of that, when my husband and I decided to homeschool, we decided how the majority of my time would be spent. I am happy with that, but often ashamed and guilty when I say no. After all, I’m just a mom. Other people work jobs, volunteer and raise children. Why can’t I?
I realized recently that my problem was not that I wasn’t happy in my role. It was that I had an idol in my life. I was living in a place where the importance of other’s people in my life was having an undue weight.
I found myself remembering a verse in Galatians 1 that has been quite meaningful to me in the past. Galatians 1:10 says:
For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
It all comes down to the questions of: Who am I serving? Am I trying to appear important in the eyes of men? Am I serving God alone? I can’t serve both, so I better just serve God and let people think of me what they will.
Now, let’s hope I remember that when someone else’s questions and ideas make me feel insecure. Let’s hope I remember to rest in the Lord and not to try to please men.