Mommy, Come Home: What do You Say?

You can read the rest of the Mommy, Come Home series here.

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If you haven’t seen the look or received the (sometimes) well-intended comments, you will.  “You’re so lucky to be at home.”  “It must be nice.”

How do you respond?

Me?  Sometimes I really want to launch into a litany of all the material things we’ve sacrificed to keep me at home.  Let the questioner know how hard it is some days to feel that all I am good for is wiping noses and bottoms.  Preach about motherhood being the most important job in all the world and “What’s so important about your job or your lifestyle that keeps you away from home?”

Oh, but I don’t.  I know better.

Here’s the thing.  I don’t know your story. Or her story.  Or the story of the mama with the fashionable clothes and professional manicure who thinks I’m so lucky. I don’t know her struggles, her uncertainties.  I don’t know.

And that’s okay.

What do I know? I know that I am blessed to be the wife of the man of my dreams and the mother of three precious children.  I know that on paper it looks like we couldn’t make it on one teaching salary, but we thrive.  I know that the sacrifice is worth it.  I know there is no place I’d rather be and nothing I’d rather do.  I know that life is too short to worry about what everyone else says and thinks and feels about what works for our family.

When I saw this post from Crystal, I knew it was perfect for the Mommy, Come Home series.  Her words should speak to all of us.

If you constantly seek for this world to value you, you will always be left feeling disappointed and empty. But there is someone who values you as more than just a number.  God loves you, and values you…   He sees you as His beautiful creation that He wants to cherish and nurture.  No matter what you have done, or do now, you have value, and are absolutely the most precious thing God ever made.  When you accept this, you become more than a number.  You are not longer defined by what you are, but by who you are in the Lord.

Ladies, let’s support and not judge.  Encourage, and not tear down.  Your profession doesn’t matter; your heart does.  Love on your family in the best way you know how, and let’s all call it a day.

*** Is your Mommy, Come Home story ready?  I’m wrapping this up soon.  Very soon.  Be ready to link up with your Stay-at-Home Mommy trials, triumphs, transitions, or questions.  Anything goes, as long as it’s positive.  There’s a giveaway involved.  Be prepared!***

This post is linked to Works for Me Wednesday and Family Friday.

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Comments

  1. This is truly inspiring. I am now what I call a stay at home Mom. Actually, I retired early from a career of 31 years outside the home. Just turned 50 (wow!) and my son is now 16 (I also have a 29 year old son out on his own.) I always wanted to be a stay at home Mom but it never quite worked out for me. I feel blessed at this stage in my life that I can now be at home and do many of the things I had longed to do when I (and my sons) were younger. Of course it is different than having small children, and even though my son tries not to show it, I know he is happy to have me home when he walks in the door from school everyday. (His smile speaks a thousand words.) So even though I’m not out there anymore in the corporate world every day making big bucks, I know deep down in my heart this is where I’m meant to be at this time in my life. How lucky I’m am! And to all the stay at home Moms out there…..you are truly BLESSED!

  2. Well said Amy! Thanks for including me in your post. :)

  3. Amy, thanks so much for sharing that! Now that my boys are teenagers, even though I know they need me, I often wonder if I should still be staying home.
    Thanks again!
    ~Liz

  4. This looks so yummy….I’ll be trying this!

  5. I totally agree!! Encourage and not judge!!

  6. You really spoke straight to my heart! I’m a former teacher, now SAHM mom to 2 living on one Christian teacher’s salary. On paper, our budget shows that we’re in the red – but in reality, God has given us everything we need and more. I still feel the blank stares when people ask what I’m doing or why I’m not teaching (and I feel that expensive Master’s degree collecting dust). My husband is wonderful – entirely supportive – and still I fault myself for not having a clean, company-ready house. Thank you for the perspective – and the reminder! :)

  7. As a working mom, I love your message to encourage and not judge. While you may feel judged by working moms, I sometimes feel judged by SAHMs. But really, I’m doing what’s best for me and my family, just like they are. Thanks for a great post, which I found through Like Merchants Ships’ Tumblr page :)

  8. My mom instilled in me as I was growing up that if I chose to have kids there was always time to have a career outside the home when they were grown and gone. I specifically chose a career that would mesh with having kids. I’ve done it both ways, staying home and sending my kids to daycare and we are most happy when mom stays home.

  9. Hats off to you! This is a truly gracious attitude.

  10. I am so blessed to be home and I say truthfully to people who ask that it’s a luxery and that I’m thankful to my husband for working so hard to provide if for us.

    Technically, it’s not a luxery in that I don’t feel that we would ever have made a different choice. However, I know it’s something that not everyone can afford.

  11. I have almost commented a few times in this series, but I want to be so careful how I say this, because I do not want to offend anyone. Let me simply say that sometimes the husband is not in favor of the wife staying at home. That is my situation, and although both my marriage and family are good, and I am SO blessed by God in that I have a job where I work only part-time and actually telecommute, it is also so hard for me to read this series. While I don’t think I’m so insensitive to have said ‘must be nice’ to someone staying at home, I know that I look with envy on you. Please know that it’s not always that we both want financial things that keep mom from being home. Husbands and wives are not always on the same page, and you really must be. My husband is a good husband, but he feels that why should I get to stay home if he has to work. Please don’t slam my husband. While he is imperfect like everyone else, he also tries very hard to be a good husband and dad, and he is. This is just the view that he has on this topic. What can I say when I never expected to want to stay at home when we married? I am thankful for what I have, but do admit to envy. I guess I just felt the need to say this because I haven’t seen this situation considered in any of the posts on this topic that I have seen. I will be honest and say that I haven’t read all of them. It hurts to do so, and I absolutely know that isn’t the intent.

    • @Sheila, You are so right. It is essential that hubby be on board if “coming home” is what works for your family. That was one of the first posts I wrote in the series.

      http://amysfinerthings.com/mommy-come-home-get-on-board

    • @Sheila, Your comment broke my heart. I understand where you are coming from! My husband would *prefer* that I worked outside of the home so that we would have more money to “play” with. Fortunately, he does agree that in our situation, having me at home is the best option for our family. There are many reasons that we all make the decisions that we do. First and foremost, we have to do what is best for our family. You are doing what is best for YOUR family. We don’t always get to do what we want, but what makes us a good spouse and/or parent is doing what is best for OUR FAMILY regardless of how we feel about it. Kudos to you for helping to financially support your family while providing a loving home!!

      Hugs,
      Relishing Life

  12. Your blog has been awarded! There is an award waiting for you on my blog :
    http://www.shesaved.com/2009/09/one-lovely-blog-award.html

  13. Amy, you really touched my heart today. This is what I have been struggling with a lot lately. I am very blessed to be able to stay home with my two young sons (and will continue to do so as we have just begun our journey in homeschooling with kindergarten). I, like you, find myself wanting to prove to others that we have to make sacrifices in order for me to have this wonderful opportunity. I also find it difficult when I meet a wonderful couple with children who have all of the material things because both parents work. I don’t (usually) envy them, but feel like I have to prove that we are just as good as they are even though we can’t afford the nicer material things because we have made the choice that I will stay home with our children. All of our families are all different, and we all make different sacrifices. Thank for your encouragement!!

  14. I’m currently counting down the days until I can be a stay at home mom again. Once our major renovations are complete, I will quit my office job and get back to raising my kids, taking care of my husband and home. Does it matter that my kids are teenagers? No. What matters is that my home is happier when I devote my full attention to it. It’s not luck, it’s choice. It’s sacrifice. It’s a decision. I’m glad you have finally put into words what the world doesn’t necessarily want to hear.

    Taking a day off work today made me realize that more than ever this is my choice — our choice. Your post just made me realize how many other women have the same issue as I do.

  15. Crystal said it so well….we do what we do for God’s glory (even wiping noses, Amy ;-)

  16. I am a mother at home with her little one, in a situation most of you are not in, and thankful each day I am able to be home with my 3 year old. My son was born when I was 50, quite a surprise, my only other child was then 32 and I have 2 beautiful grandchildren. I was working then, and did so until about 6 weeks before my son’s birth, when my swollen feet & legs couldn’t do it anymore!! Money was very tight when I opted to take a leave of absense from my job after his birth. How could I have this miracle child at this age and then surrender his upbringing to a day care? My choice was to tighten my belt to an unbelievable notch and stay with my infant. When he was less than 6 months old, my husband passed away, and I became a single mom at 50. Today we get by on survivor’s benefits from Social Security and a small widow’s pension, and every day I give thanks that we are ok financially, even if means we are on a tight budget. There is no place I’d rather be than watching my son grow, learn and thrive. I feel truly blessed, and I am honored to be this little boy’s mother, and no sacrafice is to great to be with him every day.

  17. Amen sister! I’m a working mom who aspires to stay home when the situation allows. I try not to judge other’s decisions because I don’t know their situation. Great post.

  18. I wanted to let you know that I’ve really appreciated & enjoyed reading your series on “Mommy Come Home.” I am pregnant with our first child & found out yesterday that our baby has a very serious birth defect & will not survive more than a few minutes to a few hours after birth. We are devestated, but not defeated. God is still on His throne. But my heart aches as I was just longing to be a stay-at-home mommy to this little baby. My dream has been shattered, at least temporarily. We trust that He will give us another opportunity to be parents.
    Thank you again for being so brave and delving into a topic that is kinda counter-cultural these days.
    If you are interested, you can find updates on my blog. If not, that is fine. Just know that I appreciate your series. You did an amazing job with it.

  19. I am going to miss this series. Thank you for the encouragement to do what is best for our family and seek approval only from our Lord.
    Growing character in our children is not an easy vocation but a worthwhile and rewarding endeavor…however the journey takes form.

  20. the second link in your post seems to be down

  21. Hi, I know this post is rather old but I just wanted to say a big THANKYOU for encouraging me. My husband and I do not have children yet but God willing we will start trying in January :)
    He is a teacher and for teh past two months we have been living on his salary alone and saving mine to use as a down payment on a house. We have both been a bit disappointed since both months we have been in the red and it has made us wonder if we will be able to make it… Readign through your series i am convinced of this one thing over and over and over again: Make the decision you think is right for you in God’s eyes and let HIM take care of the parts that don’t make sense. I am so encouraged to see wives of teachers making it on just one income. God bless you and thanks again!

    • Kudos to you for showing true commitment to your situation NOW rather than trying to figure it out when the going gets tough. It can be done, but it’s also a big sacrifice!

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  1. […] the blog Facebook page, I shared a series from Amy’s Finer Things called “Mommy Come Home,” which is a fantastic resource for anyone struggling with the desire to stay home with their […]

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