I used to think it would be enough for me to be merely a stay-at-home mom. I had grown up watching my intelligent, PhD holding mother spend her days folding laundry, cooking food, and bandaging scraped up knees. For her, gone were the days of helping troubled families in the court system and bringing in decent money from her highly-esteemed career. But she never seemed to mind. In fact, she thrived and found the most purpose in those quiet days full of simple tasks. I knew unwaveringly that I wanted to be just a mom…just like her.
The years passed and I became just that. Yet, I was surrounded by friends and women who were more than just moms. Women I respected. Women I enjoyed being around. Suddenly my confidence and surety wavered. I began to feel less able and less important than these other women. I felt like I could never join in and complain about having a messy house or not having enough hours to get everything done because, after all, they did what I did plus some. They went to work all day and then had to deal with the laundry and cooking and housework. Some even worked on schoolwork after their children went to bed. I used to think I was smart, hard working, and highly educated, but amongst these busy, capable women I started to doubt myself.
There were women who talked about how they could never just sit home all day…how they had to be doing something. And so I questioned myself. Am I really that much of a homebody? Do I really do so little? Am I bored? Couldn’t I juggle all of those things too?
But God. Always but God.
That Still Small Voice began speaking to my heart. I could do all those things…juggle all those things. I am an intelligent, educated, hard-working woman. I am just as capable, but in this season of life, I choose something different. I choose to not juggle all those things and do all those things. Right now, I choose to be just a mommy and just a homemaker.
Mamas who are just mamas: don’t doubt yourselves. Don’t question your worth or value or abilities. Remember that, like me, you chose this path. You chose to find your purpose and fulfillment in this season not in being able to do it all or be all things to all people, but instead in the small little tasks that come along with being “just a mom”. I know that one day when our kids are all grown up and gone, we will be glad that we sacrificed so much for those extra minutes with our babes. We will be thankful that we got the chance to be just moms…and that we took it.
Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery blissfully rocking.
Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.
“Song for a Fifth Child” by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton