Being a happy stay at home mom isn’t the point.
I’m just going to go ahead and cut to the chase, now.
Having happy children isn’t the point, either. #shocker.
The point of being a stay at home mom is so that you are present, available, and the primary influence and care taker in your children’s lives.
In a world that has reduced homemaking to slavery, and raising children to serving prison time, it’s no wonder stay at home moms find themselves asking if there is purpose in what they do.
And how can anyone be happy with a job that often feels pointless?
When you are hired for a position in a company outside of the home, there are certain expectations from the start. The company likely has a vision, and you have a clear understanding as to what you will be doing each day to bring that vision to life.
You get action steps.
And time to carry them out.
That’s not exactly how it plays out when you decide to stay home.
You might expect to create systems and rhythms for getting all of the things done all of the days.
Your kids, likely, do not care if you have a particular preference of how things should go.
That can be oh so frustrating, if you’re anything like me. I like lists, I like checking things off, I do not like being spontaneous. Re-calibrating my plans right smack dab in the middle of them has me immediately wanting to throw my hands up, wave the white flag of surrender, and denounce any purpose to life at all.
Yes. I am that opposed to plans changing. Ask me how well I handled newborn life three times! I mean, I am the sort of person who will screen a phone call from my own mother if I’m not expecting the call and not mentally prepared for a conversation.
And she literally lives at the end of my hall.
Anyways, all that to say, finding purpose as a stay at home mom cannot be about how productive you are in the day, nor about reaching any of your day to day goals. When you’re not really in charge of your time, it’s not fair to judge yourself on how well you use that time.
(Side note, if you’re wasting time scrolling your phone, you ought to judge your time wasting and get back to the life that’s right in front of you! See what I mean here.)
Purpose has to stem from knowing the bigger picture, and valuing the whole more than you value each piece individually.
Simply put, you can’t expect each day to fulfill you. Your purpose is not to survive the day, but to raise a child over the course of their lifetime into a healthy, contributing member of society.
I know I’m walking on eggshells here and I might have just incited a barrage of hate emails heading my way, but I have statements to back up my claim.
First of all, my husband is a very intelligent man. Like, maybe the most intelligent man I have ever met. He helps develop weapons for helicopters and is consistently in high pressure situations where multi-million dollar deals depend largely on his work and abilities.
And he will tell you my job is harder.
He’s an excellent, patient, hands on dad. But he could never do what I do.
Second of all, you get paid in jobs. Luckily my husband pays our bills because after ten years of working in my career, I’ve yet to cash a check.
And third of all, most jobs ask you to be really good at one, maybe two, things. Stay at home moms are asked to be all things at all times; if not really good at them at least able to improvise on a whim.
Even though I maintain that a being a happy stay at home mom isn’t the main objective of stay at home momming, there are ways to set yourself up to feel happier and more fulfilled.
If you know what you value most, you can work to honor those things each day, no matter what you’re doing. If you highly value creativity, for example, you can get creative in the kitchen, in homeschool planning, or even in ways that you keep your toddler occupied while you fold laundry.
When you know what you do value, you intrinsically know what you do not value. It’s much easier to shape your days to be filled with things you hold most dear, and let go of other things that you’ve no business holding onto.
I’ve always been of the opinion that it is a life wasted to spend your every day disliking some unavoidable part of your day. Do you “hate waking up early” but your kids wake you up early every single day of the week? Figure out ways to make the mornings feel enjoyable and even luxurious!
Being an avid coffee drinker, I switched from basic store-brand ground coffee to organic coffee beans I grind fresh each day. It made a blah “get me through the morning” moment into a “don’t I feel special” ritual.
Come on, stay at home mamas, we gotta do what we gotta do. #amiright?
I went through a serious identity crisis after my third was born. I say that in the most shallow way possible because, being a Christian, I’m fully aware that my identity has nothing to do with my clothing choices or body disposition.
But I was floundering to feel like me or even to remember who I was! I didn’t want to be the sort of mom who forgot she was also a person, not to mention a wife, so I made it my mission to rediscover- and reinvent- who I am. It’s almost like playing dress up: today I’m going to be me as a mom.
I used to be a stay at home mom who despised all things domestic. Cooking, cleaning, crafting with the littles. Truth be told, I still hate crafting. But I’ve learned to really embrace the rest of it.
Because, look, we’re going to need to eat every single day, multiple times a day. I can begrudge it, drag my feet, dread it daily, and then do it… or I can determine to learn what I don’t yet know and do everything with excellence as unto the Lord.
One way has me feeling burdened. The other has me rising to a challenge! And beaming with pride after executing a job well done.
On the flip side, I have a friend who’s husband delights in cooking and she would rather gouge her eyeballs out than put a meal together. It works for them! I’m not suggesting you have to love every part of managing your home. But you have to be a problem solver or you’ll be miserable!
Our culture does not value the stay at home mom. Nor does it value family life at all. Society is doing it’s darndest to ensure that your work as a stay at home mom feels burdensome, unworthy, and boring. A season to get through rather than a journey to enjoy.
If that’s the message your getting, maybe it’s time to start cutting out anyone and anything that would encourage that message. The bible is clear in that raising and discipling your children, and indeed the next generation, is the most important work there is. So if you are hearing otherwise, it’s time to put boundaries into place that drastically limits your intake of those lies, and fill your soul with truth instead.
Happiness is too circumstantial to allow that to be your mission as a mom (or otherwise.) Being a happy stay at home mom is vastly different from being happy to be a stay at home mom.
On any given day, I don’t feel exclusively happy or giddy over what’s happening in my household. My nearly three year old only just discovered that we are, in fact, separate entities, and my four year old is in an ongoing standoff with the toilet for reasons unknown.
Day to day, “thrilled” is not how I would describe myself.
But overall? With my choice to be a stay at home mom, a homeschooling mom, a homesteading mom?
I mean that. I am truly happy.
My oldest is ten, and I still find myself feeling inadequate as a mom. Watching …February 7, 2022