When we found out I was pregnant for our first child, I was teaching middle school. We always planned for me to stay home once we started a family, so I finished out the school year, had my daughter in July, and started my dream job as a stay-at-home mom.
I knew staying home would be hard. It would be exhausting, frustrating at times, even lonely. I was as prepared for those things as any new stay-at-home mom can be. But I was not prepared for the overwhelming insecurities I feel in this role.
Am I Enough?
As previously stated, I was a teacher before I stayed home. Before that, I was a marketing coordinator for an arts council. And before that, I was a student working toward a degree. I’ve always had a title, an identity, a goal. Now, when someone asks me what I do, I say that I stay home with my daughters, but I feel the need to quickly run through my career history, as if I’m applying for a job. But what I’m really seeking is a sense of credibility. I feel the need to prove that I somehow paid my dues or earned my way to being a stay-at-home mom. As if that’s even necessary.
So, I try my best to rest in the truth that I am enough. My gifts are my gifts, my dreams are my dreams, and staying home with my daughters is what I choose to do in this season of life. Being a mom and a wife and a daughter and a sister and a friend are enough. It’s nothing fancy on a resume, but that should never determine my worth.
Am I a Good Mom?
Obviously, this insecurity is one that every mom faces, stay-at-home or not. And this is a question that could keep me up at night, if I wasn’t so exhausted from raising two tiny humans. Did I teach her that lesson the right way? Did I discipline her in a way that won’t break her spirit? Did I show them that I love them? Did I show them that I like them? Did I engage their brains today? Did I touch their hearts today? Did I get it right?
There is no curriculum for this. There is no quantitative way to measure this. I have no idea what or how I’m doing, and that is terrifying. But a friend of mine once told me that if I’m worried about being a good mom, then that probably means I am one. Would everyone agree with my parenting style? Definitely not. Do I get it wrong sometimes? Absolutely. But, once again, I choose to rest in the truth that God gave me these two girls to raise, and His grace and mercy cover all the areas in which I fall short. I am doing my best, and my best is good enough.
What Will My Daughters Think of Me?
This might be the king of my insecurities. I have two daughters, 4 and 2 ½. Right now, I pretty much meet all their needs. I cook, clean, play, teach, run errands, discipline, and kiss their bumps and bruises. But what about when they get older and need me less and less? Will they think that I don’t do anything to contribute to our family and household? Will they think that being a stay-at-home mom wasn’t a respectable job? A hard job? A job at all? Will I feel the need to prove myself to them one day? Maybe.
But here is the truth I try to rest in: I love this job. Not every single moment, of course, but certainly the whole of it. It’s the hardest and best job I’ve ever had. I see this opportunity of staying home with them as a gift; one that I will never receive again. While this is not everyone’s dream job, it is mine, and I’m thankful for the time I have at home with my girls.
The list of insecurities could go on and on, but these are the ones that seem to rear their ugly heads most often. And because parenting is so unpredictable, I think it’s safe to say that as my daughters grow up, new insecurities will surface for me. When they do, I will discover more truths in which to rest so that I can continue to be the best mom I know how to be.