13Sep

You are not JUST a mom!

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Serving Joyfully.

Photo Credit

I’ve noticed a disheartening trend in the mommy blogosphere lately, with the whole “just a mom” phrase.  The phrase itself is nothing new.  I’ve heard it many times over the last 5 years.  It’s the perpetuators that are surprising.  Because the comment hasn’t come from working moms toward SAHM’s…the comment has come from fellow SAHM’s, who refer to themselves as “‘just’ a mom.”  So, to all my fellow SAHM’s out there, I want to say…

You ARE NOT “just” a mom!!!

As I was reading one of these blog posts recently something occurred to me…Maybe if we stop acting like we are “just” a mom, people will stop treating us like we are “just” a mom.

Yes, there may be people who are going to try and make you feel less than.  Don’t let them.  And certainly don’t encourage them by starting off that conversation yourself!

Back to the blog post I was reading.  A SAHM mentioned that she ran into suzy-put-together-career-woman.  After the litany of responsibilities and accomplishments from said career woman, SAHM blogger could only look down and, sheepfaced, stutter, “I’m…just home.”

Can you see how that attitude actually invites judgment? Yes, I am “just” a mom, in that I don’t have another career, but it’s all in the attitude. If you say “I’m ‘just’ home” like you’re ashamed of it, like you realize and recognize that what you’re doing isn’t worthwhile, you are inviting others to agree with you.

Are you second guessing your own choice?  Do you think you should be doing something else instead?  Most of us would say “no.”  So stop acting like it!

When someone asks me the once dreaded question of “What do you do?”  I look them straight in the eyes, and tell them that I stay home to raise my boys.  Be proud of what you do!

You are NOT “just” a mom!  I am choosing to be a full-time mother to my children.  There is nothing “just” about that, or I wouldn’t be doing it.  It is so easy to start internalizing the value judgments from other people, but I would argue that it creates a cycle!  When we internalize that and start referring to ourselves as “just a mom,” then we invite others to do the same.  When we answer the dreaded “What do you do?” question with a shamefaced, “oh, I’m just a mom.” We imply that there is something wrong with that, something lacking.  And there isn’t.

If you are a stay-at-home mom, you are making a choice to raise your children full time, because that’s what God has put on your heart, or that’s what your mommy’s heart says is best.  There is nothing to be ashamed of in that, and I’m so tired of my fellow stay-at-home moms perpetuating the stigma that being a SAHM isn’t enough.

Be confident in your choices!  The more confidence you express in your choice, the less likely you are to find people being critical of it.  It’s just like bullies on the playground…they can sense that feeling of inferiority.  When someone senses that you are already insecure about your choices, they feed off it.

SAHM’s…be proud of what you do!

(ps–this is a message to my fellow SAHM’s and has absolutely nothing to do with working moms, so if you are a working mom, please don’t read a dichotomy where none exists…you, too, can be proud of your choices!)


 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Share this article!

Comments

  1. 21stcenturyhousewife says:

    Excellent post! I totally agree, no one is ‘just’ an anything! I wrote something along these lines for housewives and SAHMs back in 2002 when I started my website (it’s under ‘I’m a Professional’ on my website.) We can’t emphasise this message often enough – thank you for sharing this.

  2. Great post! there is nothing simple about staying home. I look at it as an amazing gift (my mom was a single working mom). I find this time of year (back to school) a bit disheartening because all around me other moms (parents) are so eager to get rid of their kids again (with cheering and hooting to show their enthusiasm). Some are in jest, but many truly feel relieved. Know why? because being a SAHM isn’t easy. Its messy, emotional, repetitive, etc… It requires us to look past ourselves and lay out our heart on our sleeves, to embrace challenges (behavioral, educational, etc), to admit our faults (who here has had to apologize to a child? aye!), and most of all to be accountable to God how we best spend our days.
    The job: stay-at-home mama
    The duties: clean, mop, sweep, wipe tears, guide attitudes, encourage creativity, discipline, mentor choices, rotate laundry (always), fix meals, research ideas, encourage, help build character, be a role model, care, share, sort paperwork, nurture personalities, educate by any best way you decide, and pray oh.so.often…
    Compensation: an occasional “I love you mom” or that *smile* that melts your heart.
    Benefits: out.of.this.world
    Boss: God
    Value: priceless
    Shine on fellow SAHM… you are my heroes. =)

    ~Sheri

  3. This was great! Thank you for the reminder! I have to be careful on the other end of not being to over confident in my tone and words and making the other working mom feel bad for her choices to send her child to daycare. I may not agree with her decision but there is no sense in a passing conversation to degrade someone for her choices. I have run into this on a few occasions and have gotten myself into trouble by overselling myself. Its a fine line :)

    • Lindsey, you’re right, it is a fine line! I really hope to never come across as judging from the other end of the spectrum either.

  4. Amen! If we are doing what we believe the Lord has called us to do, there should be no shame. Thanks for sharing this with Thrive @ Home!

  5. LOVE this post!! You are so right! We should be proud of being a SAHM. I am pregnant with our first (and second, it’s twins!!) and in May I just became a stay at home “wife”. It’s tough sometimes when people how don’t understand, ask you what your “job” is. I stay home…oh. It can be awkward but I have been getting better at proudly stating “I stay home! and thankful for it” ;). Thanks for this encouragement today!! :)

    • Jami, so glad you found encouragement here! That is my desire for this site…for God to be lifted up, and women to be encouraged :)

      PS–Congrats on the twins! How exciting :)

  6. Amen, sister! :)

  7. I love pretty much all Of your posts but I really super very much a lot of loved this one! Read it out loud to my husband. And I’ve been meaning to tell You- I share your blog with Luke all The time. Thank you for writing. I LOVE seeing your blog in my inbox and WE MISS YOU AND YOURS!!!!

  8. Love this!!! I am a stay at home wife & mama and I’m proud to be! :) I wouldn’t have it any other way! :)

  9. Megan George says:

    When I first quit my job, I did feel like people would think that I was unemployable or not very bright and that's the reason I wasn't working. (I didn't feel that way about other SAHMs, but I had always found a lot of value in my hard work, good grades, commendations at my job, etc.)

    I've been home for 4 years now, and I don't really feel that way any more. There are still the awkward times at my husband's work parties when everyone is going around the table saying what they do, and I say, "I stay home with our kids!" and every stares at me with mouths hanging open, having no idea how to respond to that.

    I also feel awkward when working (outside the home) moms say things like, "Wow, you're so LUCKY to be able to do that." Luck had nothing to do with it. Obviously I'm blessed and thankful to have a husband with a decent job who is in favor of me staying home, but it's not like we're rolling around in all of our spare money – like most other SAHMs and their families, there have been lots of significant sacrifices made. About a year ago, a longtime friend of mine, when finding out I was pregnant with our third, said, "That's not fair that you can just have a baby any time you want to." She said it in a sort of joking way, and is coming from a place of hurt about her desire to have a baby, but feeling like it isn't the 'right time.' But it really hurt me – I had hard choices to make along the way, too. I chose this life and you chose that life. I'm not saying things to you like, "It's not fair you can spend Christmas in Paris." You know?

    Thanks for this post. It's a good one. Getting involved in my MOPS group has really helped me start finding my value in SAH, taking great care of my husband, and raising our kids. It is an important job!

  10. When I first quit my job, I did feel like people would think that I was unemployable or not very bright and that’s the reason I wasn’t working. (I didn’t feel that way about other SAHMs, but I had always found a lot of value in my hard work, good grades, commendations at my job, etc.)

    I’ve been home for 4 years now, and I don’t really feel that way any more. There are still the awkward times at my husband’s work parties when everyone is going around the table saying what they do, and I say, “I stay home with our kids!” and every stares at me with mouths hanging open, having no idea how to respond to that.

    I also feel awkward when working (outside the home) moms say things like, “Wow, you’re so LUCKY to be able to do that.” Luck had nothing to do with it. Obviously I’m blessed and thankful to have a husband with a decent job who is in favor of me staying home, but it’s not like we’re rolling around in all of our spare money – like most other SAHMs and their families, there have been lots of significant sacrifices made. About a year ago, a longtime friend of mine, when finding out I was pregnant with our third, said, “That’s not fair that you can just have a baby any time you want to.” She said it in a sort of joking way, and is coming from a place of hurt about her desire to have a baby, but feeling like it isn’t the ‘right time.’ But it really hurt me – I had hard choices to make along the way, too. I chose this life and you chose that life. I’m not saying things to you like, “It’s not fair you can spend Christmas in Paris.” You know?

    Thanks for this post. It’s a good one. Getting involved in my MOPS group has really helped me start finding my value in SAH, taking great care of my husband, and raising our kids. It is an important job!

    • Megan, I completely agree! The “you’re so lucky” comment is one of my biggest pet peeves. Yes, we’re blessed. And, I do realize that there are some women who literally cannot stay home, for some reason or another. But, the bulk of my ability to be able to stay at home is our family’s decisions and sacrifices. It’s a trade off, and I don’t think people want to see that.

  11. I totally agree with this post. I have gone through the spell of actually feeling guilty for not working, and attempted to go back to work only to have God shut those doors rather quickly in my face. Now I feel confident in knowing I'm suppose to be home.

  12. I wrote a post on this topic a couple of weeks ago, and I enjoyed reading your spin on it. Women must obviously be able to relate, as your post landed in my top 3 from the link-up. It’ll be featured, so be on the lookout as I’ll also post it on my Facebook page. Thanks again for sharing. :)

    • Yes, I remember your post, Sarah :) I always think it’s interesting how topics seem to “go around”…I have a stack of notes (basically titles plus a few thoughts) for upcoming blog posts, and sometimes a post will be on that list for months before it finally comes together. Then when it does come together, I’ll stumble on someone else’s recent post about a similar topic, or a few days/weeks later another blogger will post about the same topic. I, too, always enjoy reading other people’s take on the same/similar topic.

      • Crystal, I know what you mean!!! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started to post a question on my page only to see another has posted the same thing! We all must be more like-minded than we know. :)

        Blessings to you!!! :)

        And I see you’ll be at Allume, too! :) I’m looking forward to finally meeting some of these like-minded ladies face-to-face. :)

Trackbacks

  1. […] are as low as 20 minutes a day!!! And women who choose to stay home with their children are constantly belittled.  I experienced it all through grad school. In 2010, this high-profile and very direct […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: