At a routine prenatal a few years ago, my doctor asked about my stress level and lifestyle, “So, do you do anything? Or are you just a Mom?”
It wasn’t the last time I was asked this question, but the more children I have accompanying me, the less I hear it! I don’t know if it’s a given that I’m busy or if they’re scared to ask?
Am I just a mom?
Many women have bought the idea that unless they’re using their gifts, talents, and abilities, independently of their homes and families, they’re wasting away their lives. Friends say they would love to be full-time homemakers, but they feel guilty because they think they’re squandering their education and skills.
I used to feel the same way.
My original plan was to complete college and after spending a few years pursuing my career, start a family.
But due to a few factors, we tweaked the plan a little: I decided that after having our perfect-sized family of three children, I’d attend grad school once my youngest was old enough to attend preschool and then finally start my career!
But I didn’t count on having a change-of-heart towards children, towards my home and family, towards homeschooling, etc. While I have invested time studying natural health, nutrition, and herbal medicine, these are all things which support my goal to minister to my family. Am I wasting my skills?
As a good friend would say, “Are you kidding me?” I can’t even begin to tell you the number of hours upon hours, likely months upon months, of reading, researching, interviewing, questioning, and investigating I’ve done as I’ve advocated for the health and care of my children, especially my son who is on the Autism Spectrum.
- I manage this home, plan menus, handle the finances, and meet the needs of seven people, while also assisting my husband with his company, by managing his Accounts Payable and Human Resources Dept. I’ve also assisted my husband in various forms of ministry over the years.
- I’ve taught three children how to read (even one who is diagnosed with Dysgraphia and Dyslexia), and I have hand-picked curriculum for each individual child.
- I love and encourage my husband and children, guide them, run errands for the whole family, implement all I can to keep them healthy, and nurse them back to health, when they fall ill.
- I have learned to thrive on less sleep because “Mama Radar” never turns off, as it continuously monitors the well-being of the little ones under my care.
As for my natural abilities and skills, I believe I’m equipped so that I can be the wife and Mama my husband and children need so they can flourish! Each of my children have a purpose–it’s no accident that God placed them in our family. I no longer think that my obsessive need to research is so I can work for the FBI (inside joke), but because that trait is something my children needed in a mother who would advocate for them, something my husband needs in a wife so that he can successfully run a company and minister to others. Everything about me was created for my current “career”: helping my family reach its potential.
I know that the above goes against mainstream thought. There was a time when I would’ve written a comment begging the writer not to lose herself in her family and children. And I would’ve believed I was doing her a favor.
But here’s the thing: I haven’t lost myself! I haven’t lost anything! I’m living out exactly who I am! No masks here! When folks asked, “Don’t you ever get “me time,” I finally realized that this IS “me time”!
I’m not saying I don’t appreciate an afternoon out with friends or even some time alone, but these years are passing quicker than I imagined, and I don’t want to look back and realize I missed precious moments and teachable opportunities. There will come a season when my responsibilities will change, as will the needs of my family.
For those of you struggling and wondering if you’re wasting your time, talents, and abilities by being a full-time mom and homemaker, I want to encourage you to know that you are not mindless! You are not wasting your days. You ARE a woman with a high calling!
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