Thursday, January 16, 2014
Being a stay-at-home mom is a privilege and a blessing. I am very thankful that God has allowed me to be at home with the boys. Of course there have been times when our budget has been tight, but I don't mind. It's worth it. I totally admire my mom friends that work. You simply amaze me.
Being at home with the kids has numerous benefits but at times there are struggles. I have made an attempt to discuss six of the struggles that I have faced. I am sure there are more that stay at home moms face.
1. Loneliness: After having children, I quit my job and I didn't have any close friends. I knew several women, but I didn't have intimate friends. I began praying and over time the Lord supplied me with several close friends. We also have moved several times, and I learned to initiate and open my home for playdates. So if you are lonely, pray and ask the Lord for close friends and initiate.
2. Overscheduled: I have learned that being a stay-at-home mom results in many requests for my time. I have been guilty week after week of not protecting my schedule. I am the keeper of my schedule. I have to constantly remind myself that saying "no" is okay. My goal is to save my energy for my family. If I overextend myself during the day, my family will pay in the evenings because I turn into a short fused, irritable, grouchy woman. So guard your schedule!
3. Superwoman Syndrome: As a young mom, I thought I was weak if I asked for help. I thought that being strong and independent was admirable. It took me several years to learn to receive help. I learned that by letting others help me, my friendships grew even stronger. So I encourage you to let others help you. So learn to receive help. (I'm still not very good at this!)
4. My worth: Sometimes, I forget my worth. When I was in college or working, my performance was measured easily. Some days I don't grasp my value or worth. I have to remind myself often that loving my family and serving them is one of the highest callings. So please don't forget that you are doing kingdom work.
5. Comparison: When I was a young mom, I constantly looked around at other moms. I remember looking at one mom and thinking, "Man, she has it all together." It wasn't until I got to know her on a more personal level that I saw that she wasn't perfect. She had weaknesses. That was a great lesson because it taught me that none of us have it all together. We all have weaknesses. So resist the tendency to compare!
6. Perfectionism: This is a really big struggle for me. I am my worst enemy. I really want to be a wonderful mom and wife. When I miss the mark, I feel so guilty and shame myself. I don't get over it quickly. I have learned that sometimes my expectations are way to high. They are unrealistic. For example, I thought that I should never lose it with my children. This is a great goal but not realistic. I need to work on setting realistic expectations for myself and I need to accept God's grace quickly. I need to quit trying so hard to be a super extraordinary mom. Being a good mom is enough. Really it is. So be realistic in your expectations and receive grace from God when you blow it.
I am sure there are other struggles. I am still asking the Lord to help me in these struggles. Progress. It's all we need to look for. So just to recap:
1. You were made to do life with friends.
2. Protect your schedule.
3. Let others help you.
4. Remind yourself that you are doing kingdom work.
5. Refuse to compare yourself.
6. Have realistic expectations and receive grace.
Hugs to all of you precious moms.