I hear you say that you’re thinking of going back to work soon.
Your baby’s almost a year old, starting to sleep through the night somewhat consistently and you’re coming out of that brain fog.
You say that you are so bored at home, that you need to go back to work for some mental stimulation.
I hear your words and feel a pang of sadness.
It makes me sad because I think about all you’ll miss out on if you give up the “stay at home mum” thing now.
No, I’m not just talking about baby’s milestones, like learning to walk and sing and paint…
I’m talking about all the stuff in between. I’m talking about all the ways you will grow and stretch and thrive. I’m talking about your milestones.
I wish I could convey to you how big and inexhaustible and absolutely fertile the world of “at home” can be, if you fully embrace it.
I wish you felt equipped to stay home with your babies, toddlers and children.
I wish you knew that finding motherhood and home-making boring is not a sign that you need to move on to something else, but a challenge to expand your vision.
I don’t think the problem is that we expect too much of stay at home mums, but too little. We tell them “if the kids are alive, you’re doing great!”
No wonder we feel bored when all we have to do each day is survive! (And yes, I know there are seasons where survival alone is a huge achievement. But if your season is survival, then you’re probably not thinking about going back to work…)
Setting a low bar leads to low satisfaction.
If staying home with your kids feels stifling, maybe it’s not the role that is suffocating you, but your incredibly small vision for the role?
I’ve been a stay at home mum (and now also a work at home mum) for almost 9 years now.
There have absolutely been stages where I felt numbed by the monotony of my days. During those times, I longed to have a job to go to… something that could take me out of the house, away from the unconquerable mess and the towering list of “things I am responsible for but can never achieve”.
I know how it feels to want a job to go to for a “break”.
But when I think back to those times, I know I wasn’t giving it my all. I was doing the bare minimum to keep everything chugging along, all while telling myself how hard I had it.
What I’ve discovered is that this role is not too small for me, but I am too small for it. It requires my growth.
This role does not require me to shrink my mind and bury my talents, but at every turn to enlarge my mind and draw on every talent I have (plus, pick up some new ones along the way).
What you do in the home matters. Your time here, now, matters.
Don’t waste it wishing you were somewhere else.
Don’t write home-making off as boring when you haven’t given it a real go.
Set the bar higher. Increase your expectations. Push the boundaries of your creativity and bring all your intellect and skill to the table.
Pursue excellence in God’s strength and for his glory.
And just watch how you grow and flourish!
Cheering you on xx
Thanks Jess! I agree that being a stay at home mum is undervalued both by ourselves and our culture. I am (slowly) learning how to grow in this role and appreciate the opportunities I have to be with my children and making our home, but it hasn’t come easily! I think some good resources such as books on this have really helped me along, as for me anyway, there is not a lot of teaching or examples of this. So I think your blog, and other ways to share and encourage each other in this truly valuable role in God’s sight, are really helpful! You’ve given me some good food for thought.
Thanks for your comment, Ana! Which books have you found helpful? I finished reading Eve in Exile recently, and it’s really helped shape my view on this!