Being a mom is tough. Period. End of sentence. Whether you work from home or outside the home, it's tough.
You are caretaker, cook, counselor, taxi driver, nurse, coach... the list is endless for this job description.
And yet, we still have days where we feel as if what we do doesn't matter. Many days, there is no tangible evidence of what we did in a day.
If my husband comes home and the house is in order and dinner is on the stove, there's no evidence of the hurricane of toys that swirled through the room all day or the five loads of laundry that was piled on the sofa, now folded neatly and put away.
I battled for years with finding my value as a stay at home mom. And here's what I've learned.
1) My worth is not based on a monetary value.
This is true for moms who work outside the home or moms who don't. The paycheck you receive from work doesn't define your worth. Not getting a paycheck for being a mom doesn't either.
I still struggle with this one. I thank God every day that my husband's job allows me to be a stay at home mom. I know how rare that is and I am grateful. But from time to time I don't like not contributing monetarily to the family. I am blessed to have a husband who supports me completely, consistently telling me he wouldn't be the success he is in his business without me and how efficiently I run our home.
But still... I have to remind myself my value comes from who I am in God, where He has me in my role in our family, and that a monetary number doesn't define my worth.
2) Parenting isn't something you do, it's a relationship.
I was told this years ago by a friend and it has helped me every day of my parenting journey.
I want to raise self-sufficient, confident, giving members of society. But I also want a relationship with my children. The time I spent with them when they were little and the time I spend now with them as teens is not unlike the time I spend with anyone else in my life. I learn their likes and dislikes, what motivates them, what discourages them. We talk, laugh, cry. Work our way through life together. For me, that's the most valuable thing I could ever do.
3) There is tangible evidence, eventually. I promise.
My kids are 17, 15, and 15. I now am seeing the fruits of my labor. They do their own laundry. They keep track of their own money. They know how to cook. (My personal favorite.) And they even say from time to time, "Mom. You are amazing. I would be lost without you. Thank you." In those moments I lift my eyes to heaven and say (loudly) "Thank you!" Tangible evidence that all the time and energy I have poured into these kids, not to mention the hours upon hours I've spent on my knees in prayer over them, has paid off.
And to moms who work outside the home? You are my heroes. Truly. I honestly don't know how you manage it all. But you do. And it's extraordinary.
All of us moms struggle with feeling valued no matter where we are in the journey. But we are in this incredible boat together, and I encourage you to remember you are not alone. What you do is important. So change those diapers, drive carpool, help with homework and bring home the bacon. You are amazing. Every. Single. Day.