Amen! to “What do you DO all day?”

My small group was recently talking about how we plan our futures, and where we thought we’d be now if we were asked ten years ago. I would have said, optimistically, “A stay-at-home-mom and artist.” And, after a long time of thinking that wasn’t going to be, here I am, and I’ve got all that 16-year-old me could have wished.

At new introductions and homecomings, I hated answering with some menial job when people asked what I did. So why do I still feel like I have to make excuses?

I’ll say, “I’m a stay-at-home mom.” (smile)  “… … I’m-also-taking-classes-for-my-master’s-and-have-a-home-based-business.” Read: I’m educated. I do things with my day. In case you were wondering.

This is an article written by Matt Walsh, a husband and father of 3-month-old twins. He defends his wife and mothers everywhere who choose to stay home with their children – and argues that it’s ridiculous that he needs to be “defending” SaHMs.

“Are we really the first culture in the history of mankind to fail to grasp the glory and seriousness of motherhood?” he asks. I love it. He also points out, “Whatever they are doing, they ARE doing something, and our civilization DEPENDS on them doing it well. Who else can say such a thing? What other job carries with it such consequences?” In the workplace, there is a position and someone is hired to fill that role. In motherhood, there is no one else that can do the job of a mother. No interviews. No resumes. No one else can be a mother to your children. It’s not expendable, and as Matt says, entire generations of lives will turn upside-down if you decide to quit. But no matter who you are at what company, someone can be trained to fill your shoes. Apple lives on without Steve.

Neither Matt nor I are saying that all women should be home with their kids. It’s not in everyone’s cards. Likewise, not everyone is called to motherhood, or to marriage, for that matter. But it also shouldn’t be OK to assume moms will go back to work in 6 weeks.

Carl Jung: “We overlook the essential fact that the achievements which society rewards are won at the cost of a diminution of personality. Many aspects of life which should have been experienced lie in the lumberroom of dusty memories.” Author and Rabbi Harold Kushner adds to that, “Worst of all, society applauds this imbalance, honoring us for our financial success, praising us for our self-sacrifice. …Forces in society won’t let us become whole people because we are more useful to them when one small part of us is over-developed” (When All You’ve Ever Wanted Isn’t Enough, 25). We are useful if we work and earn money; useless if no money is involved. SaHMs who blog and make money – you’re OK. Write a book – good to go. Whatever you do, just make money at it, and everyone’s happy. It’s like you’re a waste of space if you’re JUST home.

…with your kids! There is one little 13-month-old at our house. Just one. And there are days when I get one, two, maybe even none of the things on my to-do list crossed off. That’s because kids speak the love language of quality time. They read your love in the time you spend with them.

This is something I’m working on. I’m very much a to-do-list gal. That’s how I know my day was worth something! Ecclesiastes 3:11 – “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” I believe nothing is outside of God’s will – everything happens because he ordains or allows it to, and it all works “for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28). So if Copper is tugging on my pant legs every ten minutes today because he’s been getting a tooth for three days and he’s tired and sore, maybe what I need to do is stop sweeping or cooking and hold him. Hold his head to my shoulder. Let him be part of my cooking or sweeping. Be his mother.

Because that’s my job. I’m not making money – but really, why does anyone care? One kid’s world (and my husband’s!) is changed by what I do. That’s something I’ve never been able to say about my job before.


2 thoughts on “Amen! to “What do you DO all day?”

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