(disclaimer: there are so many aspects to being a mom you could fills thousands of books. This short post is to just reflect on one of these aspects and I hope my musings make sense.)
When my first son was born, I had an identity crisis. I went from working around people all day to staying home with this tiny baby. My husband had a job and he had hobbies – from playing guitar to snowboarding to golf, I felt a little envious that he had so much to do and I felt now I had nothing.
So I took up baking.
And I became darn good at it, only I had to scale back if I was ever going to lose any baby weight.
2 more newborns later, and I feel back at that spot of an identity crisis (only I’m trying to do less baking this time around). Sometimes I feel like all I do all day is nurse and make meals. But yesterday I had an enlightening conversation in my moms group about this topic, and I came to the conclusion that no stay at home mother is “just” a mom. How we have hobbies and talents and gifts beyond being feeding machines to need to be shared. And our identities are in being fully a woman, not just in our duties at home.
First, none of our identities are based solely upon what we “do” but rather in who we are. We are women made in the image of God, and being a mother is at the heart of how God made us – with the gifts to love, nurture, inspire, and impart wisdom.
But sometimes we still feel pressure to feel important, to contribute to the family by having a job or making money or being recognized. Sometimes it’s necessary for a mother to work, but the bottom line is that it isn’t about praise or a paycheck that makes you important.
You are important because God made you. You are important because you are raising the future generation. You are important because God gave you gifts and talents to share with the world.
Because it goes beyond laundry and dishes and keeping your children alive to being able to cultivate your strengths and talents as a woman. You aren’t “just” a mom because you gave birth to tiny humans and now stay at home to raise them. Although raising a family is the most important job in the world, this blog post isn’t about that. You are more than a stay at home mom because you have gifts as a woman that you offer to your family and to the world.
I thought about this yesterday. Just because I’m not in the working world doesn’t mean I don’t have talents to share. All my life my jobs have involved working for the Church. So I now share my gifts and time by leading a moms group at the church. Writing is something that has always come easy to me. Something I do well, and something I enjoy. So I write this blog. And every few months I contemplate giving up on it, but then someone tells me how much they enjoy reading it, so I continue on.
I like to keep track of numbers, so I help my husband with his business. I think I can be a pretty good teacher, so I’m “homeschooling” my 3 year old for preschool this year.
None of this I am paid for, or necessarily recognized for. But I am cultivating the talents God has given me and am using them. Even though I’m not in the working world, I’m definitely not “just” a mom. I’m being a mom and sharing my gifts with my family and the world.
I still like baking, so I’ll just have to share my cookies with you next time.
Actual photo of my actual cookies, taken from this recipe. Only I use all butter and 1/4 cup flour instead of the corn starch. And they look kind of like this every time. Not easy to do in the mile high, ya’ll.