We’ve all come across that passive-aggressive person who says things in that patented, nice-nasty way — smiling while they twist the knife with their words.
There is always the one negative person that will make you question your decisions. Sometimes, it’s a friend — but sometimes, it’s the voice inside of your head.
When it comes to stay-at-home motherhood, the cacophony of voices, both inside and out, can be deafening. And in my brief stint as a stay-at-home mom, I’m learning four lies that need to be constantly combated.
1. You Have To Prove Your Worth
Sometimes, I don’t think we realize that our insecurities and inadequacies scream as loudly as they do.
They creep into our sanctimonious Facebook statuses. They seep into our unsolicited advice. They scream in our judgment of the issues Scripture is silent about. They drip from our soapboxes and crouch all around the extrabiblical hills we’re willing to die on.
In the minefield of mommy wars, it’s so important to remind ourselves that our identity should be rooted in Christ — not in having an advanced degree, or exclusively nursing your toddler, or being on track to be a CEO, or being a stay-at-home mom.
You are defined by the one who was crucified for your sins, who sits at the right hand of the Father and intercedes for you (Ephesians 1:20), whose sacrifice makes you his (1 Timothy 2:6). The things that you do should be motivated by who you are in Christ (Romans 12:1–2). However, they shouldn’t define you.
Everything that you have to prove has been proven on the Cross (Romans 5:8).
2. You Have To Explain Yourself
Somewhat related to the feeling of having to prove your worth is the feeling of needing to explain yourself.
“Yes, I’m a stay at home mom, but ____________”
Often, the stigma of being a stay at home mom isn’t just in a case of mistaken identity; it also comes from a place of fear. We’re afraid of the baggage the label might bring. Will people assume our husbands are rich and we’re “kept” woman? Will they believe we stay home because we didn’t have the education or ambition to do anything else? Will they think that we look down on other women?
[clickToTweet tweet=”Moms, it’s not your job to right the misconceptions of the masses about your decisions.” quote=”It’s not your job to right the misconceptions of the masses — and that goes for at-home moms and working moms alike.”]
The thing about assumptions is that they’re never-ending. When you put out one fire, another one sprouts up to take its place. It’s not your job to right the misconceptions of the masses — and that goes for at-home moms and working moms alike.
It’s your job to be obedient to the Father.
3. You Have To Be Perfect At This
One of the most dangerous ways to quiet the insecurities of the stay at home mom life is to succumb to the pressure to be supermom. To prove that we are just as capable, fulfilled, and happy as the career moms in our lives, we cite homemaking as our profession and set homemaking perfection as our goal.
Except, even the career moms aren’t perfectly capable, fulfilled, or happy. When I was working full time, I had bad days. I was discontent sometimes. Some days, I struggled to love the people I worked with and the kids I taught.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Your biggest challenge isn’t your work environment — it’s your flesh.” quote=”My biggest challenge isn’t my work environment; it’s my flesh.”]
And no one thought any less of me because of it.
But as a stay at home mom, those same feelings can give rise to so much guilt! The challenges have not changed — only the context. My biggest challenge isn’t my work environment; it’s my flesh. And the antidote for my flesh isn’t the perfect career moment or the perfect mom moment — it’s the Gospel.
4. Everyone Is Watching You
Those critical frenemies? They’re a dime a dozen. But the biggest enemy to your daily confidence in God’s calling on your life isn’t outside — it’s inside.
I’m convinced that the stigma of being a stay at home mom comes, not so much from the pressure of our culture (although it does exist) as from our insecurities. We defend our choices, not because they need staunch defense, but because we need the constant reminder that what we’re doing is valid.
People say silly things about stay-at-home moms sometimes. I’ve heard them all myself. But day in and day out, those people aren’t the ones in our homes. We are not serving our children, supporting our husbands, and keeping our homes for their benefit.
So why do their words get under our skin?
The Bottom Line
I am a stay-at-home mom because I am striving to be obedient to the calling that I see in God’s word, and this is the way that it works in our home. He has given me gifts, talents, and abilities that I am blessed to be able to steward while devoting most of my time to the family he’s given me. The decisions that we’ve made were prayerfully arrived upon for our family — they’re not a judgment call on yours.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Staying home isn’t the most important detail about me. My identity as a believer is.” quote=”Staying home isn’t the most important detail about me. My identity as a believer is.”]
The stay-at-home mom life doesn’t define me any more than my professional life defines me — Christ’s death on the cross does. Staying home isn’t the most important detail about me. My identity as a believer is.
If we start by finding our identity, not in staying home, or having hobbies outside of the home, or in our nine-to-fives, but in serving Christ wholeheartedly in whatever sphere we’re in, maybe we would be less insecure when that we’re asked what we do all day. And maybe the voice in our heads would quiet down long enough for us to realize that they don’t define us.
I’ve been in Atlanta all week with my husband. We’re here half for ministry (for me), part for work (for him), and part for some quality time with just us two. We left on the heels of hosting my family all the way from Zambia. In fact, seven of my siblings, my mom, and my dad are back in our eighteen hundred square foot home with our sons. I should be laying in a hotel bed binging Parks and Rec with my husband. And I will be soon. But I have something to say about motherhood and mom guilt.
A few months ago, I wrote an article for Legacy about friendship. In it, I tried to be as honest as possible about the struggle of being a transplant in Mississippi’s foreign culture, and my own hang-ups with making new friends. I hit send. Weeks passed. A couple of months. Then the article went live. And I had more than one friend reach out to me and ask me if we were okay. “I thought we were friends!” Undercover Trust Issues I’m not a journaler, and I try not to use my articles as thinly veiled diary entries. However, there…