I bet now there’s a Beyoncé song running through your head since reading the title?
“To the left, to the left..”
Well, now there is.. you’re welcome.
I’m so easily distracted. Let’s get back to where we were, shall we?
If you’re a stay-at-home mom like me, you, no doubt, have been asked the question, “Where do you work?” Here begins the awkward dance. And in the defense of the questioner, I’m pretty sure I’m the one startin’ the two-step.
“I’m a stay-at-home mom,” I reply.
Here it comes.. the old cliché that I dread hearing. “Well, that’s a job all in itself!” Or, “You don’t ever get time off do you?!” And my personal favorite, “You have the hardest job in the world!” (I cringe every time I hear this response.)
I smile and give my best- oh, it’s no big deal, humble, stay-at-home mom nod. I agree with them and lament the “hardness” of my job, because, well, that’s what you do. We continue on with our conversation, all the while, I can’t decide if they believe what they just said, or for that matter, if I do.
It’s a dance I hate and if I wasn’t so conscientious of the dance, here’s what I’d actually like to say.
I don’t think you believe that being a stay-at-home mom is the hardest job in the world…”
Let’s just get this out of the way; yes, I’m extremely cynical. Ok, good, moving on.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I’ve come to the conclusion in my experience that it’s mostly a trite response. You know, like when someone asks, “how are you today?” I don’t know about you, but I usually don’t respond with, “Awful, worst day ever, thanks for asking.”
I also have come to see that we as moms struggle with our own value in motherhood.
How often have you said, “I’m just,” before the reply “a stay-at-home mom?”
(Maybe you’re not like me, maybe you’re secure in your value as a full-time mom. If so, I admire that about you.. teach me your ways.)
I’ve done it a thousand times. “I’m just a stay-at-home mom.”
Followed by: “I used to be..” *Just incase there were any questions I promise, I have value.
For some reason I felt I was doing my part for society when I went to work. I could wear my shiny little badge that proudly proclaimed, I am a working part of society!
So, finding value in my job, as you can imagine, wasn’t a great thing when I came to the frightening realization that;
I am replaceable.
If you’re like I was, seeking value in something where I was easily replaced, it’s an exhausting thing. You’re always running a race you’ll never win.
I became fully aware of this when I was working full-time after my second son was born. Taking time off meant someone else would be doing my job. We then had some changes within our childcare situation and I had to decide to either stay home or take my boys to daycare.
Although I had a desire to be home, it still scared me. Where was my value if I didn’t have my career?
Essentially, I felt invisible without it.
If we are being completely honest anyone can do our “job,” (Well, maybe not if you’re the star NFL quarter back or the greatest physicist alive. I guess maybe you’re good there.. you’ve got the market on that one.) But really, even then you’ll die one day, someone younger and better will take your place. That’s just all there is to it.
(I know, I’m just full of positivity.) But hey, congrats, my point has arrived!
As a mom I am irreplaceable.
I am essential.
I am the only one that can love and care for my children in the way that they need. So, when I think of where I am now, as a mom, I think of it as a privilege. I think of it as the ultimate gift and quite frankly, the greatest blessing.
It has taken me quite some time to not only be confident in saying this, but to be comfortable with it as well. When I am struggling with the truth of my value I remember these 3 words,
I am irreplaceable.
You are irreplaceable.
You are the ONLY mother your kids have. While I’m sure this is no new revelation, I don’t think we stop enough to breathe that information in. To really STOP and THINK about the fact that these precious souls are our responsibility. They are not only growing physically but emotionally as well. We are gifted with walking along side them, guiding, directing, correcting and loving them every step of the way.
When I am in that place of not believing in my worth as a stay-at-home mom, I am listening to a society that doesn’t find value in a mother. What she contributes every single day to raise
children men and women. We are raising the men and women that one day will be our neighbors, our doctors, our policemen or teachers or clerks at the grocery store. Decent, loving, intentionally taught human beings that will find value in and have compassion for other human beings.
That is the only job where I am irreplaceable.
Realizing this has brought me some peace in my fear of being replaced.
With that said, I wish I could tell you I never struggle with this any longer, but that’d be a lie (I’d rather not start our relationship off that way) So, I’m being honest, I do still struggle with my worth as a stay-at-home mom.
As with any other lie, there is a truth uncovered in the scriptures about Gods character that I believe helps kill the lie;
He sees you.
Hagar was running away. She was pregnant with a child from another woman’s husband, a man who was her master. She was basically a surrogate but She was not loved. I’m sure she must’ve felt used. She was Egyptian and she wanted to go home. So she ran.. She ended up by a spring of water in the wilderness and guess who found her there? Genesis 16:7 says the angel of the Lord found her.
He said, “Hagar, where have you come from and where are you going?” She answers Him and He proceeds to give her a quick synopsis of her future, including the name of her soon-to-be son. After this discussion with God, (I know, no biggie, right?) she gives Him a name based on what she experienced out of this interaction.
Genesis 16:13 says, “Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her,
“you are the God who sees;”
He saw her. He, the God of everything, took his time to see her, an Egyptian woman who was really not worth much in the eyes of the world.
He sees you too.
He knows that what you are doing truly is the hardest job in the world, even if no other soul acknowledges that, He does.
You have a loving Father who is walking this life with you. Caring for you and shepherding you every step of the way as you shepherd your little ones. You and I can rest in the fact that even if this world says we are replaceable, He does not.
Let’s make a pact to believe this together when we’re fighting against the lies, ok?
We are irreplaceable..
What makes you feel replaceable? Are you a stay-at-home mom, working mom or somewhere in between? Do you struggle finding value in your title? I’d love to hear your thoughts!