How to Fully Enjoy Being a Stay at Home Mom
When I found out I was pregs, I was 100% gung-ho for being a stay-at-home mom. My husband and I didn’t make a ton of money (still don’t), we didn’t have our lives entirely established yet (still don’t lol), but we were determined.
Here in California it costs over $1.2K/month to have a nanny care for a newborn full-time. There was just no way we were going to spend that much of the little income we made to have someone else enjoy all the firsts and milestones with our baby. So, we moved things around, I found a part-time work-from-home position, and so my stay at home mom journey began.
Fast-forward to when our son was like… 5 months old? I was straight struggling.
What I thought was going to be the “dream life,” started to feel more like “no life.” Feelings of “I’m not doing anything with my life” and “I do nothing all day – a.k.a. I feel so unproductive” started to creep in and make it difficult to enjoy motherhood as a stay at home mom. It wasn’t because my son wasn’t enough, or that I didn’t enjoy spending time with him (though postpartum took a huge hit on me), but I felt like I was being unproductive with my life. Yeah, I was working part-time from home, helping with finances and getting to be present for all my son’s precious moments, but I felt… unhappy with where my life was on a personal level.
I want to share what He taught me with you today, to encourage you in your journey, and to help you find exceeding joy in the call on your life as a stay at home mama. I want to assure you – there’s so much joy to be had – won’t you find it with me?
A Change in Perspective
I know for me, because I work from home and I’m a stay at home mom I got to see the contrast of how my mind and heart perceived the two. Often, I found myself making little quality time for my son because if I’m honest, I prioritized work first – working gave me a sense of purpose and made me feel like I was doing something with my life. Whereas, getting down on the floor with my son to watch him squirm for tummy time or just playing with him didn’t feel all too purposeful or productive.
For me, working was what made me feel productive and like I was going somewhere with my life, but what is it for you?
Is it cleaning around the house? Creating the bomb-est baked treats and dinner meals? Is it crafting and creating something you love? Or is it running errands and spending time with friends? What is it for you? What gives you a sense of purpose and meaning in your day-to-day? Do you find yourself prioritizing those things more often than getting intentional time in with your kids? On days where you just spend time feeding and watching them, do you feel like you did “nothing” all day?
These are all signs that you’re stuck in the same rut that I and so many mamas find ourselves in. I think the reason so many stay at home moms struggle with feelings of meaninglessness is because we view daily motherhood as mundane and we’ve categorized day-to-day parenting as “unproductive.”
Is Parenting Really Unproductive?
But what exactly is unproductive about parenting? Really think about that.
When I thought long and hard about it, I honestly couldn’t find one thing about parenting that’s unproductive. Sure, you have to repeat yourself a lot, your irritation button might get pressed a lot and your insecurities about being a good enough mom probably creep up on you on the daily. But despite those things (lol), literally everything you do as a parent is full of purpose.
Just imagine what would happen if you just dove head first into whatever it is you’ve allowed yourself to believe is more productive than being a parent and you just neglected your children altogether. Imagine if every parent in the world right now just did that. Can you even begin to fathom how ridiculous and chaotic this world would be in about 2 minutes time? Yeah. YOUR CALLING AS A MAMA MATTERS SO SO MUCH!
I think we have a hard time seeing the value in what we do on the daily because we often don’t see the fruits of our labor right away. It might take until they’re teenagers or full-blown adults. And because we don’t see the product of our labor we begin to feel as if what we do in motherhood is meaningless (I guess we can thank the “microwave generation” we live in for that).
But let me tell you, the job of raising up a child in every moment of every day has so much more value than all the money we could ever bring in. This isn’t to belittle what our husbands do by working for our families, but at the end of the day when we die and leave this place, all that money will mean nothing. Though we need dollars to survive in this world, it’s simply a necessary evil – raising up our children? Now that has eternal value.
So, I want to encourage you today, sister – find joy in motherhood by simply changing your perspective.
Being a Stay at Home Mom is Productive
You are raising tiny humans that will one day be big humans. Day-in and day-out we have the responsibility to care for, guide and discipline our children. The goal is to help them become humans who shine the light of Jesus and bring goodness to this world – not end up as jail mate #25602. Every day, in all we do, we’re instilling values, characteristics, temperaments, perceptions, boundaries, manners, social skills and so much more into our children. That’s a serious dose of purpose right there!
So, whether you’re just chilling on your unvacuumed carpet with your bub just fiddling with Legos, puree-ing up some fancy baby food or you’re having a full-fledged conversation with them about dating – it all has meaning and it all matters.
And the beauty is, you can continue to do the things that give you a sense of purpose and joy, too. It isn’t parenting or crafts, or parenting or work – you can have both. It’s about keeping your heart and your mind in check, recognizing when you’re downplaying your role as a stay at home mom, prioritizing your children above those things and getting back in-line with the truth.
In the end…
Next time you’re feeling like your stay at home mom life lacks productivity or that you’re not going anywhere in life, remember this. Every moment with your child is a sown seed – a seed that will one day sprout and take fruit. Everything you do in motherhood is a form of productivity because it’s working toward a long-term goal. The time you invest, the love you give and the heart you show will change their lives for better or for worse. We have a tall task, but boy is it necessary. The way you talk, the way you respond, the way you love, the way you forgive. How you serve, the way you appreciate, the way you listen, the way you spend time. The way you, the way you, the way you – the list could just go on. All of it matters to the heart of your children and it’s molding them into the people they’re becoming. Don’t lose heart in that good work sister – you’re so so needed.
I’m confident that you can enjoy being a stay at home mom, and you will, if you just shift your eyes and heart to the truth of your calling.
Wishing you joy in your motherhood today. May God be glorified in you <3
In All Honesty,