The Stay-At-Home Mom That Stays At Home

sahmheader1Hello, my name is Jasmine and I’m a Stay-At-Home-Mom. No, I’m not introducing myself at SAHM’s Anonymous; more like the “stay-at-home-mom’s that don’t want to stay at home club”. I can’t help it – I can’t sit still! NOT that I’m sitting still at home with my LIttle Miss and Mr. Not a chance! But staying in the same half-mile-radius for days on end starts to make me want to crawl out of my skin. Can I get a witness? I mean really, moms, am I the only one?

My husband is an amazing man. An incredible daddy, man of God, wonderful person all around and my very best friend… and an introvert to the extreme. His idea of heaven is a cabin in the woods thousands of miles away from anyone else where, when he uses his binoculars, he can just see the gleam of the golden streets shinning in the distance. Not me. It’s really quite ironic how opposite we are in this area! We’ve both softened a bit with marriage and come to more of a compromising state where we can do activities that we both enjoy, but for a while there it was rough. I wanted to throw a party, he wanted to throw everyone out. {No, this is not a husband bashing! I love every bit of that anti-people little heart of yours, sweetheart!} He puts on a brave face at work, church, family events or the grocery store, but when all is said and done, if he doesn’t have his re-charge time away from the crowds, he is not a happy camper. Being around people drains him and the only way to recover is being alone. {No, again, we’re not throwing anyone under the bus. Also, let the record show that I am not ‘people’. I’ve made the cut and am allowed to join him in ‘alone time’.}

So, now that we’ve dissected the traditional introvert, let’s move over to exhibit B, mainly, me: the NOT introvert. I thrive on people, being around people, talking to people – and no, as much as love my kids, they don’t count as ‘people’. This winter was particularly hard for me as, to keep ourselves on budget, we currently only have one vehicle. This is all fine and dandy on the weekends – yay family grocery trips! But during the week, the long, lonely winter days were killing me. I began to live for that weekly trip to church and the grocery store. We might as well have been hooking up the horse and buggy, because that’s about how often I made it into town! It’s depressing just thinking about it.

When I presented my ‘concerns’ to my husband {sobbing uncontrollably} and asked him to consider alternatives {or downright begged him to fix it}, he asked what seemed to him to be the most logical question in the world,

“Why do you want to leave? You’re a stay-at-home-mom; aren’t you supposed to stay at home?”

Them fightin’ words, darlin’.

And so there you have it, the traditional introvert’s view on motherhood: You don’t HAVE to stay at home, you GET to stay at home! A dream come true to one, a prison sentence to the other. Funny, isn’t it? No, I didn’t think so either.

This conversation led me on a quest for discovering not only whether I’m supposed to LITERALLY STAY AT HOME as a SAHM or whether there’s a bit of flexibility on the issue. Unfortunately, our culture doesn’t lend much intelligent advice on this topic: as a stay-at-home-mom you are wrong on a billion counts, from being the submissive wife giving up her career for her family, to coddling your children, to putting the public school system out of business, to crowding up the gym at 10:00a.m. However, the other side of our society will argue just as strongly that if you don’t stay at home you’re neglecting your children, depriving your husband of a clean house and hot meal, and raising the next generation to be busy-body fast-food eaters who don’t know how to run a dishwasher. Agh. We can’t win! But I don’t care what society says anyway, so that wasn’t a concern.

{Insert Rant}>>>>>>>>>I don’t buy for one minute that it’s a ‘sin’ to or not to stay at home with your kids. Nope; we’re not even going there. Different circumstances lead each of us to make decisions that are best for our families in that season. I’ve been in both sides of this hot-button issue and I can tell you, whether you’re the mom kissing her baby goodbye to go join the rat race or the mom that hasn’t worn real pants in a month and doesn’t remember how to apply mascara, you are still the mom. No one can tell you what is best for your kids except the Lord – which is why we’ve got to be constantly on our knees about our kids.<<<<<<<<<<<{This one’s on the house, thanks for going there with me!}

What primarily concerned me was my roll as a wife and mother according to the Word of God, and whether I was fulfilling it correctly… with the right attitude.

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Paul writes in Philippians that he had ‘learned the secret of being content in any and every situation’. He certainly phrased that correctly, because it is probably the biggest secret nobody ever told. How on earth can you be content in every situation? In all circumstances? With a mob of little people seemingly bent on destroying your house?

As I continued to seek for my unofficial job description, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this was the root of the issue. After all, if Paul had been shipwrecked, beaten, persecuted, imprisoned and left for dead, and could still be content, shouldn’t I? {Perhaps, but he didn’t spend 15 straight hours alone with two little monsters who only speak in one language: scream.} 

Regardless, I knew it was something I needed to figure out, so I started. And here were my conclusions:

Number One, I realized that my job as a mom is to take care of my family. That includes (but is not limited to) cleaning, cooking, hugging, disciplining, laughing, teaching, tickling, wiping running noses for the BILLIONTH time, and yes, making the best decisions for my kids. In this case, the best decision was to stay at home for those long winter days instead of trying to move heaven and earth to get an extra car in my drive way. Making the best financial decision not only was in favor of taking care of them to the best of my ability, but also choosing not to complain to my husband about a situation that he clearly could not fix destroyed a potential strain on our relationship.

Number Two, I discovered, albeit sheepishly, that I was getting lazy. My creative juices weren’t flowing in the direction of making my kids’ lives fun and exciting. I was much more concerned on how I was going to get my social fix than I was about how my kids would enjoy being carted around all day instead of enjoying their play time at home.

Number Three, I confess, I had succumbed to the disease of discontentment. Yuck, I know, but it’s real. Instead of finding joy in my ability to be at home with my kids while so many other moms did not get that privilege, I was focusing on all the things I didn’t have.  This is what really struck home as I searched the Word for ‘my role’ as a stay at home mom: my job is to love, teach, nurture, care for, and encourage my kids… with joy. 

sahm5In the description of ‘A Wife of Noble Character’ in Proverbs, one of her defining traits is that ‘she can laugh at the days to come’ (Proverbs 31:25 NIV). I’ve always read that to be that she has such confidence of her provision for her family that she can shrug off the cares of tomorrow, but as I’ve grown into my role as wife and mother, I don’t think that’s what this means. At least, it’s not what God used to teach me a valuable lesson.

She can laugh at the days to tome…” I want to be that woman, so full of joy and love of life that the thought of tomorrow and all of its plans, schedules, commitments, duties, trials, lack of sleep… brings a smile to my face because of the family that it’s all for. Anyone can take care of the physical needs of your kids; that’s not why God made us moms. We were given a sacred trust to mold and shape the character of our children, to pour into their little hearts all the love and care and joy that they can hold. ‘Moody mommy’ looks at tomorrow and has to hold back tears because it’s too much, it’s overwhelming, and she’s tempted to wonder if it’s worth it.

I want my kids to have a mom that can laugh at the days to come with joy and contentment, knowing that the trials of today will someday be precious memories of the most beautiful time of my life.

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I’m not perfect and I don’t have this mastered by any means, but we’re certainly on the road to improvement, one day at a time. Ultimately, practice makes perfect no matter what you’re doing. When you have the desire to know something, you learn it. When you have the wrong attitude, you change it. It’s a choice, and one that, with God’s grace, we can make every day.

So here’s to all the stay-at-home’s that wish they didn’t have to stay at home… or the working mamas that long for the day when they can. No matter what our every day challenges may present to us, let’s do our best to be content and have a great attitude! {Yes, I find my inspiration in animated kids movies…}

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7 thoughts on “The Stay-At-Home Mom That Stays At Home

  1. Totally with you! I have a hard time being at home for very long. Most of my stay at home mothering is out and about, playdates, park time, Bible study, shopping, etc. because I need the people! But yes, it is a gift to be with them and to find joy in the everyday 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! I can totally relate to the “one car” situation. We have only one now but I can’t drive it as the seat is broken too far back for someone with short legs like me! And then there was the year that we had only one and hubby worked out of the house! Oh, that was awful, because your creative juices can and do stagnate. So, my husband is letting me attend various conferences and events ALONE (YES, away and alone, wow, I’m shocked) because he knows how hard it is to be stuck inside daily – for me. He loves it, so yes, we also have that in common! You’ll work out the kinks over time, like we did!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I understand and sympathize. I stay home too and we only have one car (however the car stays with me). However, I’m an introvert who has some social tendencies. I love being home and not going anywhere. Yet, every few days I just have to go somewhere anywhere. I do understand the tendencies to get lazy and not enrich my children.I find schedules and plans help me a lot. Loved this post by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

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