I cannot believe that last week was my little man's first week of "school" (which is really just daycare, but school sounds so much better, right?) I have to admit, I was pretty excited for him to start. He's our first and only, which means he's had very little time around other little ones his age. Both Josh and I were excited and nervous to hear how he did interacting with others.
I was also excited because I'm a terrible SAHM. It's true. We're all blessed with different talents and demeanor and mine is currently not fit to work in the home.
What made me such a terrible SAHM?
I get bored and frustrated; I long for adult interaction. But I don't leave the house all too often because I'm just enough of a homebody (and a cheapskate) that I don't like driving around every day. I stress about silly things like the house not being clean enough or me not accomplishing enough because "I'm just at home" (which is anything but true!!)
But most importantly, I felt deeply in heart that God had different plan in store for me that would make me a better wife, mother, and Daughter. God had a plan that would allow me to serve my family and the Kingdom to the best of my abilities.
I have loved this last year of life, learning about education and learning how to be a good mother to my son. But I also knew the whole time that I was not meant to stay at home with my son forever because I just wasn't as fulfilled as I could be! And here's the important part: it's okay to not be fulfilled as a SAHM. And, (and this is really important) it's also okay to be fulfilled as a SAHM. Neither of these two roles are more important than the other!
In a Fountain of Carrots podcast, interviewing my now favorite Catholic "celebrity", Jennifer Fulwiler, they share that God gives us all different skills. Some mothers delight in baking bread and tackling the mountain that is glitter crafts with their children. Others find joy in facilitating their child's interests like baseball or violin lessons. And others come home from work invigorated and excited to spend the evening with their kiddos, feeling on fire for work and for their families.
Society has raised the stakes on motherhood to an impossible level. Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube have resulted in so many styles of motherhood, all of which have been carefully curated to produce a brand and following that is just plain impossible. YouTubers don't do behind the scenes for a reason. Insta-mamas have professional cameras and stay at home because their Insta is their full-time job. The reality is, there are very few rules when it comes to motherhood (stay-at-home or otherwise).
God created you to be the mother to the children you have been blessed with. However you do it, as long as you do it with love, you're doing it right. Which is why I don't feel bad about leaving my son at daycare. God's got me exactly where I'm supposed to be; how can I possibly fail?
Months ago, my husband was catching up with a friend from high school, during which the friend commented my hardworking husband needed a "side-hustle" on top of his 50+ hours a week job. My husband was angry at the comment later, feeling invalidated by the friend's presumption that he was somehow not working hard enough.
The bootstrap myth, the self-made man... it has all culminated into "the hustle" that is now dominating the United States Millennial generation. The attitude that if you have a few spare hours, you should be using it to work harder and make more money. Drive Uber or Lyft, join FIverr, become an online influencer that requires you to post X number of times a week...
But "the hustle" is a dangerous attitude to take on.
It pushes us to work harder than we need to. It creates a constant feeling of inadequacy, that you could always do better or make more. And worst of all, money or busyness becomes an idol that takes place of God, attacking our spiritual well being. This mindset is also toxic to our mental health as well. If we have replaced God with idols, then we have ceased taking time to rest in God. Regardless of your walk of faith, we need to take time to rest and care for ourselves.
Idols don't have to be physical, like the Golden Calf in Exodus. They also don't have to be the TV of modern times or our phones. Just like the young man who could not sell his belongings to follow Jesus, when "the hustle" becomes our home culture, busyness and money become an idol that quickly takes place of God in our daily lives.
I understand where the urge to join the rat race comes from. Believe me, the ghost of student loans yet to come haunt our finances too. But I also know that God urges us to not be anxious because we will provided for, just like the birds of the sky. We are called to live counter to the culture we exist in; a culture that denotes our value from our finances or our items achieved for the day. We lose our sense of purpose, our sense of intentional living and praying, when idols dominate our daily lives rather than mindfully placing God at the center.
Hear me, sweet friend, your value is not in what you have accomplished. Your value and worth is rests solely in God; in the love you have for God and God's children. You, just as God made you, are more than enough. You are enough.
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