It’s a profession that’s not accurately depicted on screen, and one that is rarely illuminated in day-to -day conversation. When you say it, the response doesn’t reflect the same admiration that one would have of an investment banker or lawyer. In fact, its mention is often meet with eyes that suggest, “Aww...it must be nice. I’m sure you just love it.”
And we do.
We love being “stay-at-home mothers,” or as I prefer to call it “CEO of our home enterprises.”
But for many, the inaccurate image of mothers restfully waking up, lounging around, and peacefully playing with a doting child/ren for the large part of the day...usurps the empathy, sensitivity, and conscious awareness that is fitting for the work that stay at home mothers actually do.
So, to the stay at home mom who feels overlooked, I see you.
I saw how you woke up in the morning to your little one crying, quickly nursed or grabbed a bottle and warmed it, all while baby was crying on your hip.
I saw how you managed to shave in the shower, sing to a crying baby in a bouncy chair 5 feet away, brush your teeth, and dress yourself while dancing to distract your baby from crying even more for not picking her up.
I saw how you managed to make breakfast for yourself, feed your LO in her highchair, and wash dishes while thinking of what to eat for lunch and possibly make for dinner.
I saw how you managed to get out of the house with a fully stocked diaper bag, snacks, water, books, carseat, wallet, charged phone, and somehow your own sanity. Not only that, I saw how you managed to make it all the way to your destination without losing any of those items.
I saw how you managed to engage in adult conversation while watching your child out of your peripheral, and how you took note of the stranger walking too closely in her direction, while also thinking about when your next Amazon package was to arrive (because we know that a mother’s mind can cover ALL of these things in a span of 30 seconds.)
I saw how you answered the question, “Do you work?” with grace and poise...when you really wanted to scream and say, “Yes, I work 18 hours a day, seven days a week...and I’m on call during the night.”
I saw you put your LO(s) to sleep, and stay up late afterward like a little kid fighting bedtime because you wanted to enjoy as much precious alone time as you could before daylight (or before baby unexpectedly woke up in the night for a feeding).
I saw your frustrated efforts to remain faithful and consistent in your own personal pursuits despite your daily schedule feeling so out of your control.
I saw the day you felt it too much to be a wife, a mother, a keeper of your household, a businesswoman, and simply you. I saw you feeling alone. I saw your words falling on deaf ears. And I saw your desire to press pause on it all for just one second.
But do you know what else I see?
I see that you’re not alone. I see Papa God wrapping His arms around You and sustaining you for the next hour, and even for your very next breath. I see Him so pleased with the way you change those diapers. I see Him so proud of how you nourish your LO. I see Him joyfully looking on when you choose to engage with your LO and sing that song for the 100th time. I see Him smile when you read that book to your LO, even when you question whether or not your LO is grasping all of the lessons you desire her to learn. I see Papa God so impressed with the way you think of new ideas to make your life just a little more organized. I see Him take careful note of all your actions that go unnoticed. I see Him delightfully watching you serve your family in ways that no man will ever know.
Sis, I want to let you know that I see you. I see the mess. I see the endless roles you play... I see your desire to be everything, do everything, and your feeling of falling short everyday.
You’re not alone sis.
I promise, you’re not alone.
God’s watching, even when no one else is. Take a deep breath and revel in how proud your God is of you.
It’s the one job that doesn’t include a written evaluation.
It’s a job that gives no prospect of promotion, monetary compensation, nor benefits package.
Yet it’s the one job that reaps a sense of purpose that a price point would be insulting.
So when others try to hand you an evaluation through tonal questions such as, “It’s cold out. He doesn’t have a hat? Wait, you’re still breastfeeding? You let him eat that? Hmmm...still not walking?, and my personal favorite: “So what have you’ve been doing all day (other than taking care of another human being/s)?” remember that you’re not alone.
I see you.
But more importantly, God sees it all.
So the next time we pass one another in the grocery store, library, park, and glance in each other’s direction...let’s look past the leggings, the food stained mouths, the echoes of our own mommy voices..and smile. It’s apparent. We are all just surviving...and honestly, sometimes that’s more than enough.
PonderedThought: Moms, have you taken time lately to remember that God is looking so proudly on your labor of love? For others reading, what are some ways you can be a conduit of God’s kindness towards any mothers of little one(/s) in this season?