When Staying at Home is Hard
Many years ago, I was a little girl who loved to play with my stuffed animals, make up imaginary worlds, ride my bike, write stories, and draw portraits. As I grew I dreamed of what I would be when I grew up. I remember my mom saying I could be anything I wanted to be. As I entered college I had hopes of becoming a writer and doing my art on the side. I sang every week in our praise team at church, I baked and I still painted portraits for fun. Over time, after giving birth to my first two children my husband and I made the decision that I would be staying at home full time. I was excited at this new adventure – but had no idea how trying this job could be.
I’ve learned that being a stay at home mom is a lot of work. It’s so easy for us moms to get caught up in the day to day…so much so the days just run together. There have been times when I don’t know what day it is anymore. This is especially true with a house full of littles, a bunch of sick kids, or a baby who doesn’t sleep well. It happens far too often that we are never off the clock – we give and we give and we don’t even have time to shower as we hit the ground running from the moment we wake until the moment we collapse into bed.
Something happens as the years merge together and we are engulfed in this lifestyle of little children and babies and pregnancies and a messy house and endless laundry. Then the guilt sets in. This guilt that whispers in our ears that we haven’t done enough. We aren’t enough. We aren’t enough for our children because we failed to read them a bedtime story for the 5th night in a row. We aren’t enough as homemakers as we clean yesterday’s messes off our dirty table and try to figure out if the laundry needs to be restarted or just thrown into the dryer. We aren’t enough as wives as we give all we have to our children and have nothing left for our spouse. Suddenly we lose our voice because the overwhelming guilt tells us we aren’t worth it. I’m here to tell you we must stop this endless cycle.
Mom, listen to me. You will burn out. You will lose your compass. You need to slow down. You need to plan for breaks. Ask for help when you need it. Give yourself some grace. While this job is one of sacrificial love, we need to show ourselves some love, too.
Staying at home can be daunting. I challenge you this week to try to include one or two of these:
- start a new hobby
- start a project
- find something to do that is enjoyable to you
- rest each day
- take lots of short breaks throughout the day
- have a date night with your spouse
- do something relaxing (take a bath, have a massage, get your mani/pedi, take a nap, read a new book)
- get out of the house – spend time with other moms
- join MOPs, MOMS Club, or another group
Even though with the birth of each child we morph into a new mother, we need to still remember the girl that God created is still inside of us somewhere. We are each unique and gifted and God’s creation. He loves you, mom. He wants to use you right where you are…even with your cluttered sink and unfolded clothes. You are His and you are loved. So while you are busy taking care of the blessings He has given to you – remember to take care of yourself as well. Trade in your guilt for grace today.
What helps you when you are staying at home with your little ones?
This post has been linked-up: