Q: What do stay-at-home moms do? If I wanted to stay at home to raise my children, what would that look like?
A: I think this is tricky. By the way, I think it’s worth saying, I’m not offended that you are asking this. Especially if you work outside of the home, you need to ask.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that every home is a bit different, every mom so different and every family even more a reflection of the unique family members. I can’t get too specific for that reason.
I’ll take it this direction. I think being a stay-at-home mom as a job description is like being an entrepreneur.
In every way. It’s risky and messy and hugely sacrificial. There are times it requires all of you and more of you than even exists. Then there are times that you coast, all of life is smooth and flexible and streamlined even. It is all risk and no comfort, ever-changing with every decision resting on you and you alone. Sound familiar? Most of that is an exact entrepreneur definition. Hmm…
To be exact, the definition of entrepreneur says “one who is willing to take on greater than normal risks”. That is precisely what it feels like. The minute your husband walks out the door for work, you turn around and it is you and the kids. For 8 hours. What now? Risky. Uncertain. An experiment. Unpredictable.
Ok, hear me out on this.
No small business owner or entrepreneur starts the first day of work without training, encouragement, or at least a job description and planning. Why are we sending moms into a life of unknowns? Days at home are beautiful and incredible, but so full. New moms are often terrified to begin their journey of at-home work…but it’s not because they are incapable or timid by nature, it’s because we are failing them as a culture.
Can we do this differently?
Moms at home right now, the complaining about life being hard and the messy chaos that drowns you, the naughty kids and the demands that are so enveloping…can all of this slow down? I wonder if we are scaring the next generation.
We have to get brave.
JFK says, “Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men.” Can we do this? Can we stop hoping for easy? Let us be the strongest, bravest humans on Earth.
Can we stop wishing away the hardness, the overwhelm, the ins and outs of maintaining a home and how it all seems to multiply? Can we look at all this home stuff and see how each day is a gift? Can we see how each day is possible and while it requires extra time and effort, it is always worth it?
I want the next generation of moms to know that you have a beautiful opportunity.
Gloriously, when you stay at home, you get to make your job description and cater it to you. You are presented with a few chores that you get to master and over time, you get fast and skilled. Yes, you have to learn by doing, which takes time and patience. But, let me just say, it is the best way to learn.
There are times it might feel like an invisible job and you may feel unseen. However, there are times instinctively that you know you are doing a wonderful job and even if nobody sees or says it, you just know it and you get to tell yourself that. You have the privilege of cherishing moments you never get back and you get to form sweet hearts and lives.
When you stay home, you get to be front and center for all of the milestones and firsts. You get to feel deeply in the most mundane moments. You will have opportunities to be brave and to push yourself to new levels of growth. You get to love fully, sacrificially, with every minute of your days. What a beautiful enterprise you get to build and steward. It’s a job that impacts generations. There will be no way that your life will have no purpose and every second counts.
To the women who want to know what this feels like, it won’t be easy. It will require all of you and you will be braver than you ever knew you could be.
What do SAHMs do? They are brave. What will your days look like? It will look like work and opportunities to show your courage and your ability to take risks- in loving extravagantly. Start to finish,you can look back and take pride in that from day one, you were there and you did it.