Whether you carry the title of “Mom” exclusively (“stay at home mom”) or are a “working mom” outside or inside the home, it’s rare that anyone truly sees or gives you credit for ALL you do in your role as a mom.
You don’t add “Mom” to your resume because the results you’re producing can’t be quantified, even though it’s the most important title you’ll ever hold.
You’re indispensable (the boss!) but there is no corresponding salary, nor performance bonuses to cash in on.
You’re really good at this motherhood thing; you are constantly honing your craft, but there isn’t a career ladder to climb or promotions to be given.
You punch in for this job, but you NEVER punch out…
So, especially as a stay at home mom, how do you respond when you’re asked the question,
“What do you do?”
Before I get into how I’ve been answering that question lately, let me first say that (45 days in) I do not have a single complaint about the stay at home mom life. It is a privilege and a blessing, and it is the life I chose. While there are certainly effects of this major change worth mentioning (and writing future posts on!): financial adjustments, shifting responsibilities and dynamics in our marriage, acclimating to a new home and town, finding “me time” when I’m an introvert at home all day with two extroverts, etc., life is good. I go to bed each night excited that I get to spend the next day hanging out with my girl. I’m not missing anything. My husband is amazing, supportive and works incredibly hard and well to support our family. This lifestyle, this (at least mostly) undivided time…I’m living my dream and I’m so, so grateful.
Side Note: I find the “stay at home mom” and “working/career mom” labels obnoxiously pigeonholing and misleading but I’m still going to use them here for sake of clarity; I think we can agree that ALL moms are full-time moms, and stay at home moms do a lot more than just stay at home.
We’re all just doing what we feel is best and what works for our families – and a darn good job at that!
From Career Mom To Stay At Home Mom – Update #1
Something I realized during the initial transition period from career to stay at home mom, and not something I’m super proud of admitting, is just how much of my identity is tied up in how other people perceive me based on what I did/do.
I know a job title, salary or anything else external does not define my worth, but on more than one occasion I found myself responding almost apologetically to the question about what I do sayin something like, “I’m just a mom right now, but I used to…” I reference my previous occupation as if it increases my standing in the eyes of the person who asked; I add words as if they add value – as if being “Mom” is not enough.
I don’t assess others (especially moms) in this way, I know that being a mom is one of the highest callings + most demanding jobs out there, and I was very confident in my decision to put my career on pause and be a stay at home mom, so my words and reaction came as a surprise. Maybe it’s that I felt competent in my profession, but I’m still getting my footing and confidence in this all day mom/homemaker thing. Maybe it’s the subconscious influence of the society we live in, undervaluing what we do as moms and overvaluing productivity/money-making/achievements. Whatever it is, I felt the tug of my pride, and a wrong thinking showed itself in need of correction.
Confidence & Worth As A Stay At Home Mom
Fortunately, motherhood has a beautiful, humbling, refining quality when we reflect upon and act out of the experiences we have along our journeys; Oftentimes this brings a reminder of a simple, deep truth like it did in this instance for me – no matter what we do part time, full time, inside of the home or outside of it, we are defined by who we are.
Not by the title you have or someday wish to hold.
Not by what you do or don’t do.
Not by what you have or haven’t accomplished.
Not by accolades or criticisms from others, and certainly NOT by the amount of money you earn or don’t.
True worth has nothing to do with the external, and everything to do with the internal and unseen – the “who” you were created you to be, the person you are in this world. As moms, we ALL struggle with thoughts that we aren’t enough, that we aren’t contributing enough to our family financially or time wise, or that we’re just generally not doing things right.
Well, I’m here to tell and/or remind you that you alone are absolutely enough and that – as long as your kids are loved, safe and mostly happy -there is no wrong or right way to “mom”. Feel good about doing what feels right to you and works for your family.
YOU are a gift to your family and this world and you should have every confidence in the person and Mom that you are. There is nothing else you need to prove to anybody.
As for me, I will continue to pour my talents, heart, soul, mind, and skills into my family and raising our precious daughter without the time + mental commitments to another job for this season of life. There will be times in the future when I use my gifts toward other ends and maybe even pick up where I left off with my career, but my current path is “stay at home mom” to Taylor.
That is enough.
I am more than enough.
My role as Mom is invaluable.
The same is true of you.
So, the next time I’m asked what I do, with shoulders square and the confidence and pride ALL mamas should have, I will simply say, “I have the privilege to be a Mom.”
When you’re asked, “what do you do?” how do you respond? Could you relate to any of the thoughts I shared in this post as a working mom or stay at home mom? I would absolutely love to hear from you.
This is the first in a series of posts on the journey into SAHM life and this big transition for our family, so stay tuned + make sure to subscribe if you haven’t already. Do you know a mama who could use this encouragement? Please share this with them!
Other Ta[y]lor-made Mama posts you may be interested in reading:
- How I Decided To Leave A Successful Career To Become A Stay At Home Mom
- 12 Things I Never Understood About Moms Until I Became One
- How To Be Confident In Your Postpartum Body – Without Working Out/Dieting
- “You Look Tired” And Other Terrible Phrases No Mom Wants To Hear