If we were having coffee…
We would talk about motherhood. But not in a is yours sleeping through the night yet kind of way. No, no. Something much deeper. Something that has been on my mind ever since I chose to stay at home. Something that has been chipping away at me, piece by piece, however so small. Something that I let control me at times until a few months ago.
It’s the worth. Believing the lie that I’m not worth anything because I’m not earning anything, usually in the form of money. I don’t get paid to change diapers, wipe oatmeal off the wall, sweep the kitchen, or disinfect a poopy bathtub after my toddler goes down. It’s not like I get a promotion based on the cleanliness of my home or how perfect our Christmas tree looks. But in our society, we are obsessed with basing our worth on the ideas of income, appearance, cleanliness of our home, fashion sense, etc. If that’s the case, then our my worth is zero, nothing, nada, zip, zilch, nonexistent. My house is a wreck today, I’m not making any money, I haven’t showered today, and I’m wearing the same leggings I wore yesterday. (I need to do laundry. I know, I know.) But I have to remember that it is a lie that our society tells us to encourage us to “do” something with our lives. Hence, SAHMs “do” nothing. And, haha! Isn’t that a joke?
And of course the loneliness. I have lots of opportunities to hang out with people and I do take advantage of them! And they are amazing – somehow fulfilling to my soul to have deep conversations with other women. But sometimes, usually when kids are sick, people can’t hang out. We can’t do play dates. The play dates that our kids think are for them but are actually for us. The coffee dates where we try to catch up while wrangling children to not run around and steal people’s coffees or phones. True story – my kid is one of those. Although this loneliness isn’t a lie and it is real, it’s less important than the work I’m doing now. It’s as though I am somehow being prepared for a future me. A woman I know once used the phrase “moments of refinement.” And isn’t that amazing? God is using those moments where I feel weak to refine me, grow me, strengthen me, and glorify Him. I am raising a child to know God, to advance and do good work for the kingdom of God. And isn’t that so much more important than the lonely days?
God is using this time of being at home to teach me SO much about patience and how much I actually suck at it. I’m getting better. But I am not perfect. He’s using it to show me that I have a distorted lens when it comes to what my family needs. My family doesn’t need homemade bread every single day. What they do need – a wife and mother who will spend time with them. We can eat mac and cheese and it’s not a big deal. In fact, fewer dishes, which means more time spent with my family. Or maybe shaving my legs. Or maybe drinking wine while shaving my legs…? Actually no, bad idea. I’d slice my leg off.
The fact of the matter is that the lies we are told and believe or the choice to be frustrated in the SAHM stage are choices that we are making. The only person who is control of me is me, not you, not my husband, not my neighbor, not even that one person who irritates me every time I hear their name. It’s me. And I’m choosing to believe in the worth that Christ has already given me and know that God is using this stage of loneliness to teach me and use me for his good ways. What do you choose to believe?