05 February 2009

Do You Know How Much You Matter?

photo credit: Shereen M

Wowza! This series is already taking some twists and turns that I didn't expect. Some of the twists are coming directly from the comments that you have made here. And some of the twists are coming because of guest posters who will be joining us later. I'm all a-flutter with excitement.

In the next few weeks, we'll be getting into some practical discussions of things like meal planning, priorities and scheduling. But before we do, I'd like to take one more week for something from my heart.



I never pictured myself in a traditional homemaker role. I grew up in the 1970's when the women's movement had already come of age. We had figured out that we could do anything. We could be leaders, serve in the military, have careers. We could sing "I am Woman, Hear Me Roar" and no one batted a fake eyelash at it.

Unfortunately, along with all of the advancements came a suble undercurrent of distain for women who chose a traditional homemaker role. It certainly wasn't overt, but I grew up with the sense that women who chose that role were selling themselves short. That they could do so much more.

And so, with my college-diploma in hand, I set out to become the successful person that I'd always wanted to be. I worked hard and created a successful career for myself. I didn't always love what I did, but I was good at it and I was rewarded for it.

Then came marriage and children...I married The Hubster and when our first child came along, we made the decision that it was best that I stay home. I was in favor of that because by then my attitudes had changed remarkably and I really felt like that was the best place to be. We were lucky that it was an option for us.

But I was a bit stuck...I didn't understand my new role. I didn't know how to be the primary caregiver to my home and family. Not because my mom didn't try and teach me as I was growing up (thanks, Mom!) but because I wasn't paying attention since it wasn't a role that I cherished (sorry, Mom!).

I can look back now and honestly say that the first few years at home, I felt devalued. Like what I was doing wasn't as important as what I could have been doing. Don't get me wrong, I wanted to be right where I was but something didn't feel right on the inside. Whenever I met someone new and they asked "What do you do?", my answer went like this, "Right now I'm a stay-at-home-mom, but I USED to...". As if I had to justify my service to my family.

Through lots of prayer, study and reflection, I have since let go of those misconceptions. I won't bombard you with a bunch of bible passages talking about a woman's cherished role in her family (Prov 12:4; Prov 14:1; Prov 31:10-31, if you're interested). But I will say this...

What you do matters. Listen to me closely. If we were having coffee together, I would lean across the table and look right into your eyes and say it again. What. You. Do. Matters. It is not beneath you. It is important work. Don't just gloss over that and say "uh-huh, uh-huh". Go back and read it again. I'll wait.

Every diaper you change, every load of laundry that you fold, every meal that you make...it matters. Even for you moms who are working because you want to or because you need to. You set the tone in your home because you matter.

Serving your family is an important calling. You should never feel diminshed or unimportant because what you do matters.

post signature

111 comments {Click here to leave a comment}:

jess said...

Thank-you. Did. You. Hear. Me. I said thank you. I needed that today. I've felt this way due to family views for years. This made my day. My 7 blessings need me today. No everyday. :)

Bella Casa said...

I felt the same way growing up. I did not want to be a SAHM or even a mom for that matter!

Fast forward a few decades and I can't imagine not staying home with my boys while they are little.

I may get a part time job outside of the home in a couple of years, but it will really be more to meet people and get out of the house a few hours a day. I'm craving a little balance at this point...I've been home for 14 years!

Thanks for the wonderful post, Kimba! Because if not for you, truly no one would tell me that doing the laundry was important, but even if they don't tell me, I know it is and it's nice to hear it from you, too!

xoxo

Cricket said...

Wow! Great post. I don't always feel like that. I totally know what you mean about growing up in the 70's with the new knowledge that I could (and should) do anything. I never wanted a career. I'm fine with "jobs" to bring a little extra in. Where did that fit in with what the guidance counselors were telling me. Thanks for the awesome post!

Maria said...

Kimba,Thank you for the encouragement and the reminder. You have truly spoken to my heart this morning. There are so many days where I wonder why this is my "dream job"...you have reminded me.
Blessings to you and Happy Thursday!

Lisa said...

Thank you! It's nice to hear that. I work full-time outside the home, and hubby is very appreciative of what I do for our family at home.

I'm looking forward to reading more of your homekeeping ideas!

Astrid said...

OH WOW! Kimba, I think you've just written the best post ever! I really needed to hear this too.

I also didn't really grow up thinking that I'd be a stay-at-home mom. I always thought of myself being in the Peace Corps in some remote part of the world. Certainly not in the midwest!

It's very easy for me to be hard on myself. It's very easy to get depressed and wonder why I'm doing what I'm doing. However, at this point in time I couldn't imagine doing anything else.

Thank you!!!!

Anne said...

What a beautiful post. Your words are so very important and they will be reaching more people than you know. Thank you for sharing yourself with us. You are appreciated more than you know!

Lianne said...

Thank you for this. Are you in my head today, or what? I may print this out and just hand it to people that ask, "Do you work?"

Brianna said...

You are entirely correct. It doesn't matter what we do as women - whether we are homemakers or career-oriented women, or even women who don't want children... All of us, AS HUMAN BEINGS, have something to offer, to share, to teach.

It upsets me when people choose one side over another. Being a stay at home mom blows. Being a working mother means you don't care about your kids. Not wanting children makes you uncompassionate and selfish. None of these are true. Each and every one of those roles need to be filled by SOMEONE.

Instead of nagging each other about why one life and one style is better, why not see the joys in each other's lives and be thankful we have so many different women out there with so many different lessons to offer?

Thanks for this post. I'm sick of hearing the debate on Oprah, and I'm glad someone can see the blessings and beauty in all ways of living.

Wendy @ The Shabby Nest said...

Amen. I have been both a working mom and a stay at home mom. And being a SAHM is much much harder. And it can be thankless. But I know it is important. And I wouldn't trade it for the world. I am now a work from home mom...which is the hardest of all. But I know that my kids are grateful that I am here with them. They've actually told me that. And I wouldn't change it. I am thankful that I have the chance to work from home so that I can be present with them for all the little things. They are so important. And this stage of their lives will be so short, I'm glad I won't miss it. Thanks for this post!

Sara said...

Thank you! I do feel the power of God everyday as I look in my son's face, even when it has tears or screams. This is a powerful job I have.

Something that helps me everyday to validate the hard work I do (and you are right, it isn't recognized by the "outside" world) is I talk to my husband about the DETAILS of my day. What I did, what I felt, who said what to who. it takes at least 45 minutes each evening (some evenings it doesn't happen, sometimes we start the conversationon the phone on his way home), but it helps SO MUCH. My hubby is so sweet....honestly the details bore him, but he never lets on. He just listens and validates me that what I'm doing at home is more important than anything else I could be doing, and is more valuable than any $$ I could make outside the home.

SO, that is my practical tip to go along with a very personal situation. Talk the details: messy diapers, toilet bowls washed, toilet bowls splashed in, meals ate, meals burned, etc.

Kara said...

Thanks for the little reminder about what is really important. One of my very favorite quotes is:
"No success can compensate for failure in the home," by David O. McKay (a former leader in my church)
It is so true!!

Sarah Mae said...

Super fabulous, GREAT, wonderful post!!!!!!!!!

I was getting a little worried that you didn't get my guest post and so you had nothing to put up today! Ha - you had just the perfect thing - way to go!

:)

Lisa said...

D'oh! I meant to add that being a SAHM is by no means easy, and you have my complete respect!

Michelle said...

Wow, I really needed that! Thanks so much! I've only been a SAHM for 2 years, and I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing.

Great post today!

AnNicole @ OurSuburbanCottage said...

This is such an amazing post. I've been a single working mom most of my adult life, but during my brief marriage (geez, talk about overshare)I was able to spend one year home with my son who was 11 at the time. I thought it would be a cake walk after working for so long, but IT WAS ONE OF THE HARDEST THING I'VE EVER DONE! I relate to everything you said.

Whatever our life circumstances are as mother's, working or working at home, you're absolutely right. We DO matter. Thanks!

Betsy said...

Don't we all diminish it. I know that we don't feel like we do enough and women who work feel like they are less for leaving their children. The most important thing is to do what works for your family. Find a peace with it. Being a good mother, wife, etc.. includes being the best you, you can be, be it a stay at home mom or a working mom. Do whatever you do with all your heart and without guilt. I so often feel like I don't contribute but I know that I do more than I know. Great post.

rossandconnierockon! said...

This is such a wonderful post! I have also learned, through unexpected changes in my life, that 'what you do' is not your only identity. I do not have children but, I did have one of those upward-type careers that left me on the floor when I had to leave. I spent quite some time realizing just how I allowed my supposed career "title" to become my only identity--so sad!

I realized that I never loved or respected someone because of their title, what they do or what they have. So, I have spent the last 6 or 7 years never asking what someone 'does'(I admit,sometimes I catch myself--old habits). I somehow want those I meet to know that I want to KNOW them . . . their title and the fluff we collect are not why I will like them. And I like a lot of people-- and their animals! Thanks for writing such an amazing piece to start my day!

Melissa said...

I so appreciate this, Kimba. After my son was born I went into a real depression because I felt like along with "accomplishing" lots of things, I lost part of my identity. It was so difficult for me to believe that my job doesn't define me. I still don't fully understand that. I love being at home with my son, but it so often doesn't feel big-picture important, even though in my heart I know better. Thank you. Your words made me cy.

jenjen said...

Thank you Kimba. I really needed that. I do feel so blessed to be able to stay home with my sweetest blessings.

Thank you for your wonderful posts and for keeping it real. You lift people up everyday and I really appreciate it!

XOXOXOXOOX
Jen

mommy4life said...

I struggled for a long time when I started staying home 6 years ago. I still do on some days. I appreciate your straightforward presentation and your heart in this post.

Thanks.

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

I always wanted to be a stay at home mom, and even when my children are all in school, I'm not sure I want to go back to work. I just thought I would like it more than I did. I thought it would come naturally to just love it, but it didn't. It doesn't. It takes work, it takes stopping and staring at my little ones. It takes reading posts like yours.
Thanks

Kit Kat said...

Thanks so much for this! I became a stay-at-home mom because of a lay-off and have struggled a lot with my new role. It's what I wanted to do since my son was born, but that hasn't made the transition easy. I love your blog and this post has just made my day!

Annette @ Designs By A Rose said...

Thank you for such a great post! I feel the same way. I wanted to be a doctor, lawyer, something big time, as I was growing up. I wanted to make lots of money and that was all I was worried about. Well, then I became a mom! My daughter wasn't planned. (I call her my honeymoon baby.) But...she is the best thing that ever happened to me. We were fortunate that I could stay home with her for the first year, but I still didn't realize how great being a SAHM was. So I finished college and started working again. She will be 10 in May. We have tried since she was about 18 mths old, to have another baby. The doctors tell me that I'll never be able to have one and they don't know how I got pregnant with her. (she's also my miracle baby) The Lord works in mysterious ways! At any rate. I regret every day, that I went back to work so soon. I really wish I could have stay at home with her, at least a few more years. I can't go back and change that and monetarily I have to work now. So, to all you SAHM out there. You are wonderful and very lucky to be able to spend that time with your children! Your children will definitely appreciate it, whether they realize how great it is now or not.

Thanks again Kimba, for the great post!!!

mickey said...

Whether you are a SAHM or Working Mom - It's hard being a Mother period! Thanks for sharing!

Denise said...

I just found your blog and love this post. Thanks for saying that....sometimes we really need to hear that kind of encouragement.

Connie from Big Bear Lake California said...

Wonderful blog!! I enjoyed my visit so much and will visit again. Connie
thecottagelife.blogspot.com

Extreme Home Renos said...

Just yesterday, I was at a work location (I go to other places installing vehicle graphics) and one of the guys asked me if I was coming back the next day. I said no, as it was a short work day and I was going to be doing homework with my son.

He looked at me like I was crazy and said, "Why?!?"

My reply, "Because I'm a Mom first."

The guy has no kids, just doesn't get it.

I waited many years to become a parent, and not one day goes by that I'm with my adopted son, that I don't devalue my choice to cut down my work hours to parent and spend time with him.

Thanks for the reminder all the same. It feels nice to be appreciated, even through the net. :)

Donna

Brenda said...

This post hit me close to home! I am a 38 year old stay at home mom. Not by total choice, for after my 2nd child was born with physical/mental disabilities...my role in our family changed. They gave him 2 weeks to live, and he is now 13years old. I also have a healthy 16 year old daughter. My role (for 13 years now) consists of many specialist doctor visits, Physical therapy appointments, keeping up the house, cooking healthy meals, and giving both my kids as "normal" a life as we can. My husband works many hours a week supporting us. I sometimes feel very guilty that I can't help bring in a payroll, but I have to remind myself that our children were both given to us for a reason. There is a reason my son has the disabilities he has. And my role is very important to our family! Thank you again for starting this mini series in your blog!!!

Linda said...

Wow I really needed this a this moment in my life.
Blessings,
Linda

Deb said...

Dearest Kimba...I wish you were sitting across from me and you could say those words to me. I am much older than you. I had the good paying job, but God kept prompting me to quit. I, too, feel I must justify something that I know in my heart was what God asked of me...so how could it possibly wrong? I appreciate the fact that you are willing to stand on your convictions and speak about God!!!
In His Love...Deb

BECKY said...

Wise words, Kimba!! We chose prior to being married in 1979 that I would be a SAHM unless we didn't have food to eat on one salary. Definitely a choice we don't regret!

3 adult children and one 10 yo later, I heartily promote doing whatever possible to stay at home with kids!! I'm even homeschooling this last one and never thought I'd do that!!

Thanks for sharing from your heart!
Blessings,
Becky

Leigh said...

Thanks Kimba! That was AWESOME! I ams SAHM and there are many days I wonder, "am I contributing to this family..." when you dont earn a paycheck, it is hard to judge ytour worth. Thank goodness, sometimes it takes my hsuband to remind me. He said, "You are far more valuable to stay at home with our children and raise them with our morals and values-be there for them for all those important mometns- {far more} than anything I could ever may you.".
Dang, how I love that man.


Thanks Kimba. It is good to hear it.

Kelley said...

I love this post, Kimba; thanks for sharing your heart. I love my job as a SAHM and wouldn't trade it for anything. Yes, I've experienced those people (some who are related to me) that question this choice (especially now that both of my children are in school) but I have no regrets and am so very thankful for the blessings that I have been given. I pray that I bring glory and honor to His name in all that I do and say....and that includes the laundry :> ).

kristin said...

Kimba-
I am a long time reader but this is my first time commenting on your blog. I just wanted to say Thank You. I found my self standing in the shower this morning sobbing, feeling guilty because my daughter's lunch was left on the table instead of placed in her backpack, frustrated with two little boys who refuse to clean up their toys, and exhausted after playing single Mom all week while my husband has been away on business. Your words were like honey.
Your sister in Christ-
Kristin

Shari said...

I wish I could hug you. I seriously believe that God had me find your blog for a reason, and this was it. I don't even remember how I found it (I stumbled across it the other day when I was looking at home/decorating stuff).

When I got to the end of the paragraph about you leaning across the table, I had tears streaming down my face. I still do. Wow.

Thank you, Kimba. Thank you so much for the very important message that you posted today. You'll never know how much it meant to me.

Ali-Pants said...

I want to frame this post and put it on my wall to remind me everytime someone asks me what I do. I AM MOTHER, HEAR ME ROAR!

DramaCity said...

Thank You. Thank you. I needed that. I literally sat crying. I sometimes think that just because everyone can't see all the work i do (and say thank you) if it even matters.
Thank you for reminding me what the word says.

Joanna said...

Thanks for sharing...Beauitfully written! I have been a working mom and now sahm...Both are super hard...Respect to them both. Great post.

Living with Lindsay said...

Very nice post, Kimba. I, too, struggled w/ leaving the career path I had worked so hard to be in when I had my son. Some days are harder than others, but I am definitely happy to be a SAHM. Once I got past the "embarrassment" (that's not really the right word) of staying at home and embraced my role, our family and home really fell into place.

Ruby Red Slippers said...

Ditto! I had a great role model in my mom, but wanted more...until I was a nanny for several families in college. That changed my perspective, and married someone who values what I do..
The kids and husband are #1 for me-even the bad days are good to me!
(And how quickly times passes!!!)

Michelle said...

Thank you so much for this beautiful post. I really needed this! Sometimes you see your old friends on Facebook and they're off having exciting careers in NY, and you start feeling like maybe your life isn't that cool. (I'm not speaking from personal experience, of course! ha).

No apologies about being a SAHM here--it's the greatest job in the world, the one for which all other jobs are created, according to C. S. Lewis.

Amanda said...

Amen. Thanks for reminding me:)

Tricia Anne said...

Hi Kimba,
I remember when we began our family and made the decision that I would stay home. It was a tough transition for me, because, well, I had always taken care of myself and now I was relying 100% on my husband to meet all of our needs. He is an amazing man and a great provider, who cares for all of our needs, but the transfer of my reliance was pretty tough at first.
I am however so incredibly thankful to have stayed home and this year completed 10 1/2 years of home school (our children are now attending a public school in our wee quaint town). The Lord led every step and provided for every need! I would never trade it for the world.
Thank you so much for your words of encouragement on your blog. I am always blessed by them!
Sincerely ~ Tricia Anne

The Howe Family said...

Thanks for the sweet encouragement. :) Sometimes, even though I believe what I do as a SAHM is very important, I find myself telling people that I "just" stay at home. "JUST"?!?! :) Gotta stop with that kind of talk.

My MIL reminded me last week of how important it is to be the mommy...she called and asked what I was doing. I replied, "Oh, nothing. Just feeding Kaylee." She immediately encouraged me, "You ARE doing something....a VERY important something...nursing your baby...there's nothing else more important at this time!"

Thanks again!

Mom in High Heels said...

Oh Kimba. I so adore you. I've been having a really hard time lately with this issue. I left my six figure a year job to stay at home. Of course with dh being transferred to Germany, I really HAD to quit, but that didn't make it any easier to swallow. I love being home with Indy (I homeschool him now), but there are days when I just feel....unimportant. I know I am, but there are days when I just feel like I should be doing....I don't know. More. I needed to hear this. Thanks so much. I even mentioned you on my blog today! I made one of your no sew pillows and it is so cute. Dh couldn't believe that it was just tied together.

Kim Chalfant said...

Great post. I've always felt that being a mom is our greatest & most important job (I feel bad for those who have not been able to experience this for themselves).
It can also be the hardest, most frustrating, heartbreaking, heartwarming, most rewarding thing we will ever do.

I always wanted to be a stay at home mom growing up. But unfortunately circumstances did not allow for that, except for 1 year when my son was 5. I was a nanny for my brother's 2 kids so this gave me the opportunity to be a SAHM. It was the best year of my life & the hardest.

I only got to do it a year as my work-a-holic SIL decided she wanted to be a SAHM (she never regretted this decision),so I was out of a nanny job & had to go back to work (I was a single parent at the time).

I just wish I could have stayed home with my son all the years he was growing up. I missed out on so much. But he turned out pretty good in spite of this. But I sometimes wonder how different things would be if I had been able to be a SAHM & put more effort into being a "mom".

So thanks for sharing your thoughts. The best part of blogging is being able to share our life experiences with each other. To know, we are not alone in this world.

Leighann said...

I believed this from the start; but it took me 2 kids and 4 years to 'feel' it too. Thanks for the reminder.

Leighann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Handmade Housewife... said...

Wow...I actually have tears in my eyes after reading that. God must have put the bug in your ear that a lot of us needed to read that today :) My husband is really wonderful at valuing my role as a SAHM. He actually was the one that pushed for it more than me, and now I wouldn't trade it for the world. I am doing important work and I do matter. I don't think anyone could ever hear that enough. Thanks!!

-Hayley

leigh ann said...

Hi Kimba! Great post...I always enjoy your blog. I hope to meet you at blissdom!!

Kimberlee said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. It's hard to see that when even the family doesn't seem to take notice of what goes on to make their lives easier. This little remider was just the spark I needed today. :)

Julie Isa said...

dr laura would be so proud!!! i wish every mom who struggles with this could read your post. great job.

Doodles said...

Wow. What a wonderful post. I have always worked outside the home, but hope to be a SAHM in a year or so. Your post hit the nail on the head exactly about all my fears and concerns. It's like you were inside my head. Thanks for such a great read.

southerninspiration said...

this is right on, girl!!! In fact, I am going to link to you because I believe in it as strongly as you do! Thanks for saying it so eloquently.......it needs to be remembered!!!

Suzanne

Stacey said...

NOBODY could have said that better Kimba! Thank you. :)

Gray Matters said...

I must be totally hormonal right now because that brought some seriously stinging tears to my eyes. Thank you.

Carrie said...

Amen I stayed at home with my children until my youngest started school. If I had my time to go over I would have never went back to work full time in a high demanding job like I did. I feel like I have missed so much that I am now trying to recapture. Great post!

Rhendy said...

Aw, I love this! I'm a new Stay- At-Home and this is just what I needed this week when I've got the flu, the baby is teething, and the man in traveling for work!

Magic Brush said...

This posting made me cry because I WANT to stay home full time. I used to... then eventually worked 6 hours a week, then 12... now it's every morning. My husband is home with the children while I'm gone, but I still wish I could be here more. Our circumstances are in the Lords' hands. He knows the desires of my heart.
Blessings, Jennifer.

Teri from Indiana said...

Thank you for this post. I have been a stay-at-home mom, then back to work mom, and I hated every moment I was selling houses when all I wanted to do was be at home. So home I came & home I stayed. But there are days that it just seems everyone thinks what I do is useless, meaningless, un-fullfilling and I need to do more. Then is when I start to doubt. Thank you for reminding me today that what I do is important and the time I spend with my husband, children and home is not meaningless.

knittingknirvana said...

I knew in my heart that I wanted to be home. At the same time I felt pressured to have a stressful job and be a wonderful mother and keep a clean house and always be happy, etc, etc, etc. I had to fight my way off of the merry go round I was on. I just couldn't do it and the stress was getting to my physical and mental health. So, now I am home most of the time and I work part time (less than 20 hours a week) which is the right combination for me. Thank you for reminding me that I need to do what is right for me and my family.

leigh ann said...

Back again! Thank you so much for the comment and link. I hope you know what an inspiration you are to a newbie like me! I feel so much better about going...maybe I'll learn how to do mister linky's like yesterday's post...see you soon!

Bugzmommy said...

Oh how I needed this post...

~ Lisa @ AbidingThere~ said...

Thanks, Kimba :)

SoBella Creations said...

I love being a stay at home Mommy. I know the time, energy and attention that I give my child now they will not get from anyone else.

But, I also appreciate when my husband says that I don't get "paid" enough for the work I do at home.

I know one day my girls will look back on their childhood and I will be the constant in their everyday adventures.

Jennifer said...

Oh that was sweet. Made me tear up. Thank you.

Sandy said...

well, the "world" says if mama ain't happy - no one ain't happy. but I actually think it's the man. we can talk more about this in nashville (how it relates to this post!) can't wait!

this is beautiful kimba, and so encouraging! you're the best!

Sallie said...

Kimba, you actually made me cry. The crazy thing is after being a stay at home mom for only 2 years, I am ready to head back to work or do something else. I started going back to school last Fall just because I felt so unappreciated and even though I wish I were hearing this family, I am glad at least someone has said it and I felt like you said it to me. Thanks.

Every Day Blessings said...

I completely agree.
When my first daughter came along my husband and I decided that I would work as little as possible. It was so lonely and seemed to be such a thankless job for those first couple of years.
I look back and I am so thankful that we were able or the Lord made it possible for us to take advantage of that time. I wish that I had enjoyed it more or did it better but we are all in process.
Thank you for encouraging women to appreciate themselves. It is their job and they have an awesome opportunity to make such a big impact.

Sandy Toes said...

WONDERFUL POST!!! AMEN AMEN AMEN!! I would answer the same way you did...I finally realized this is where I should be....it was our family decision and my desire! I never look back to those working days and folding laundry, making valentine cards, cleaning the kitchen floor 3 x's day is worth any paycheck!
But, sometimes this world doesn't make you feel that way!
-sandy toe

Beth said...

Beautiful post. I may print it and frame it. Or at least print it & put it someplace safe to read when I'm feeling undervalued. I love your blog.

Deidra said...

Such wonderful words. My nest is empty now, but I was blessed to be able to be home with the kiddos while we (yes, I said we) were growing up. Sweet, sweet, crazy years!

Today at lunch I had a minute to drive through my neighborhood. It's one of those days we can pretend that it's already spring. The weather was beautiful! I saw two moms with their toddlers skipping down the street together. Yes, skipping! I wondered if they knew what a moment that was.

Anonymous said...

I am sitting here balling my eyes out because I feel like I don't matter. I married at 18, 19 1/2 years ago. Every day of every year I have had to worry about every penny. While my husband buys the big purchases (on credit) I get in trouble for spending too much on groceries or $30 at Goodwill. Today was a bad trip at Walmart because of worrying about all the pennies. We are about to lose our home, car and possibly file for bankruptcy. I have no job, no education, no job skills. I probably couldn't get a job at Walmart right now, especially with the economy. I am wiped out and worn out from life. According to the world I am nothing. Then I get treated like nothing at home. So, you see, to read something like this at my low point causes tears to stream down. I will re-read many times over and remind myself that no matter what happens, or how I feel, I can still do alot to give my children happy memories. It may not be the best childhood, or family, but they can always know that they are loved and cherished.

Amanda said...

Thank You Thank You Thank You! God is truly using you Kimba to speak directly into the hearts of women! may He pour blessings onto you for submitting to Him! Your awesome! Enjoy Blissdom- be looking for my IRL friend Kristen from WeareTHATfamily- shes precious!

Megan @ Little Bella Bean said...

Thank you for sharing something that is so important for all of us to hear!!

Blessings to you,
Megan

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Kimba - this was so wonderful - brought a few tears to my eyes and then reading all the comments brought more.

My story is similar to yours - I was Miss Career Woman heading up the ladder and assumed I would not be a SAHM because of finances. We soon realized that God was leading me to stay home and I did make that decision happily (on paper it did not make sense to people as I was the major breadwinner at the time). But for ever so long, I said that I USED to be a ... and constantly looked for ways that I could get back into my career, but do it from home part-time.

Also, I was terrible at the whole domestic thing and it took me a long time to work on those skills. After 9 years, I am much better, but still need lots of help in the housecleaning and planning areas! Now, people are amazed to find out that my hubby used to do all the cooking and that I was out working 50-60 hours a week!

God's grace has helped me along the SAHM journey and I would not go back to being a career woman at all (well, unless blogging is considered a career!). :)

joyfuliving said...

it's so easy to let the world diminish the truth of God. but it's refreshing to know that even the world can't hide His blessings from us. we are so deeply rewarded when we put to work what He has created us to do...being a help meet. no matter our "worldly position", we are eternally positioned in the heart and mind of God. thank you for sharing His truth and being that vessel for so many women.

honeysuckle said...

Thank you for validating stay at home moms who have the hardest job in the world.

Charity said...

Thank you so much for this post. Even though I know that being home for my family matters, it seems like there is so much pressure out there to do things differently. I tell myself almost every day that this is just one season in my life, and when it's over, I know there will be so many things I miss about it.

duchess said...

How in the world did you know that I needed to hear this today??
Since I started homeschooling the children (after Christmas) and since I'm in a new community w/o friends - I just don't feel fulfilled. It makes me sound selfish just saying that but lately I've had the blues and couldn't really put my finger on why - I think this is it.
I guess I just need to take more pride in doing the little things and be thankful I can do them.
Thanks Kimba. Enjoy Blissdom.

Tangee said...

I need to be reminded of this. Thank you so much for such a relevant post. I did what my parents wanted, went to college and got a degree, but I got blessed with such a great Hubby who supports me in being a SAHM.

Lana said...

Kimba - I read your blog faithfully yet haven't commented before, but your heartfelt insight prompts me to tell you BRAVO!! I am a mom of 3, with my baby about to leave for college this summer. I have 4 grandchildren and have worked outside the home for 23 years. The guilt and stress have oftentimes been so overwhelming, yet I can say that my 3 children have grown up to be independent, caring, faithful people who are doing phenomenal things. And when I look at them it occurs to me that some small things that I did or said had an impact on them. Moms are the hardest working, most diligent, thoughtful, detail-oriented, under-appreciated workers in the world today! I am so inspired by your wisdom and your ability to just get it out there. This ol' Mimi thinks you're great, girl!!

Jennifer said...

Beautiful post...and as a stay at home who is about to be an empty nester..please let me echo "Every little think you do matters more than you will know now!" Thanks for such special thoughts, Kimba.

Messy Jessy said...

Kimba,

I feel the enormity of importance your post and new series possesses.

The "weight" of it all might creep up on you. Remember you don't share the world's burden alone. Keep the faith, share your mind, be you, be creative.

This is real. This is now. This is good.

I am hooked on Building a Soft Place to Land!

Sher's Creative Expressions said...

Love this post. Oh, how I have come to understand and value being able to stay home. I see what a difference it has made to my children and my family. I only wish 20 years ago when I first chose to stay home that I had a support group. EVERYONE went back to work and none of my friends stayed home. It was a lonely time, but I knew then and I know now ~ that it was the right thing to do. Thank God He has provided for us all these years to be able to stay home. Hugs to those moms who wish to be home, but can't and thumbs up to those moms who want to work and do too.

Blessings,

Sher

Mrs. U said...

VERY well said! In this day and age of feminism running amuck, it is quite refreshing to meet a sister-in-Christ who embraces the Lord's plan!!

His,
Mrs. U

Kristen said...

What a terrific post!!! The way I see it is that the jobs will always be there - the children will not! Do I love the tedious work that comes with motherhood - NO!!!! but I love all the "littleness" of it that I get to witness throughout the day. Watching them grow into good people.
I always wanted to be a wife and mom. There was not other role I wanted. For awhile I thought that might not be God's plan for me but when it came it was hard to embrace after having my freedom. Now I've just learned to include the kids in my freedom. I'll say it again, I love this post. MOMS MATTER - what you are doing might be the greatest thing you will ever do!!! It's hard but it is SO worth it!

Gina said...

Thanks so much for sharing, what we do really matters-it is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING! I think one of the reasons so many women feel the way they do is that woman are often under attack-because we have such an important role, because what we do really does matter.

Just the other day I read this: "To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labors and holidays; to be Whitely within a certain area, providing toys, boots, cakes and books; to be Aristotle in a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people's children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone and narrow to be everything to someone? No, a woman's function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute." G.K. Chesterton-What's Wrong with the World

Yes, it is gigantic-and so worth it! (even when it's hard!)

Fruitful Vine Lady said...

What a great post! I am looking forward to your follow-on posts. I remember singing Helen Reddy as a young girl. Words matter, don't they? Thanks for speaking such truth to the women reading your blog. I'm sure there are many who needed to hear it. Such an encouragement!! Oh, and I have to add that I have read some of the other comments as well. Talk about encouragement! Thanks again!

Still Learning said...

Boy, what a great post. I agree totally. I want so much to do the best I can for my family but it sure is overwhelming with four kids and 3 of them are still young. I definitely need to be more organized. But it's funny what you said about the diapers. A friend from Indiana called me yesterday and told me that when she first started to stay at home after a succesful careet she had to tell herself that every diapers she changed, she changed for God. Every single thing she did in her home was for God and for her family and that made it so much easier to know what she did mattered!! We are too hard on ourselves because mostly I think our hubby's just want us to be happy so the rest of the family can be happy too.

Celly B said...

Oh, Kimba,
What an important post! I, too, worked before we had kids and decided to stay home with the arrival of the first one. I was so appreciative of the fact that I could stay home, but I had real difficulty in figuring out who I was now that I was no longer a teacher. I had a spiritual crisis (or growth spurt) when I realized that I had allowed my identity to be determined by my vocation rather than as a child of God. That was a difficult lesson to learn, but oh so valuable. Being a mother is so difficult that I realized that I could not do it on my own; I have to rely on God's grace from moment to moment. He has been so gracious to me, and I know that I am now fulfilling my personal calling by being a homeschooling mom.

PamperingBeki said...

Dang, now I'm all bawling and everything.

That is exactly what I fight with daily, internally.
Exactly.

I want to feel valued.

Shea said...

Amazing post. Thank you.

The Rauths said...

So so true! thanks for the reminder.

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

I am reading this sitting next to you getting choked up with the words that resonate with so many....thank you my friend.
We're going to have a blast this weekend!!

meandmom said...

Kimba, how wonderful that you have been able to touch so many hearts today and caused so many to be validated or reminded.

I had the opposite experience that you did...I wanted to be a SAHM and was one until I got divorced 4 years ago. Now I work and I am learning to love it but I would so rather be home with my girls.

I think the important lesson here, and one that you spoke to in your post, that regardless of how are working lives are structured, it is the mommy part that is so vitally important. That part includes ALL the contributions we make as moms whether that be through bringing in a paycheck or helping the bottom line by being careful spenders. It is too, how we care for the health and well being of our families.

This year, I am focusing on appreciating my own efforts. As a single mom, sometimes I am the only one that can say "Good job" or "Thanks"...although my girls are really good at saying those things to me.

I think we need to learn as women, wives, mothers to appreciate ourselves. My mom gave me some sage advice when I turning into an adult. She said...never wait for someone else to make you happy. Sometimes it's hard to be your own cheerleader....I think that is why faith and prayer is important....God will always cheer for us when we can't do it ourselves.

Wow....that was really wordy...sorry :$

~CC Catherine said...

Kimba, My daughter is a new mother after being single up until she was 29, married, then a mother at 31. She now has two... being a Banker and Mortgage Underwriter for most of her life, she is at home with the babes. She loves it, but I know is a challenge sometimes. I was a stay at home mom for my three and selected a direct sales company to work for during 15 years of my children's upbringing. The reason I did that was because it was flexible and I could work it as little or as much as I wanted to. It still was a challenge to balance, but I spent nearly every day with them growing up, and I wouldn't have had it any other way. Your post today was great...because I do think it's important for us women to remember that no matter what, our investment in our babies and children, teens...never goes unnoticed. So great to read this! ;) Stop by my Show & Tell today, I have a giveaway you might enjoy, it's a CHALLENGE to guess who or what eyes are on my post...and then for all those who guess right, there is a drawing. It's open till 2/8, 8pm. ;) ~Ciao for now.. ~CC Catherine

Raise Them Up said...

Wonderful encouragement for us all. God bless!

Kjersten said...

Thank you Kimba. Everything you wrote rings true for me as well. I am so glad that I am able to stay home and your blog gives me a boost when the identity crisis/the enemy rears its ugly head. I will find joy in every load of laundry...at least I will try!

Rhonda said...

What a joy to hear that today. You made my day. I know what I do matters...but it was nice of you to reaffirm that by leaning over the table and looking into my eyes!

We need to remind ourselves of that every day even if nobody else does.

Tip-Tops said...

What a beautiful post! So very true. I would NEVER have imagined that I would be a sahm to FOUR! Count 'em FOUR beautiful, awesome children-or married for that matter!!
I wouldn't have dreamed that I would love this life as a mom, a wife, a hero to my family.

:0)
Found you thru your giveaway. Glad to meet you.
Lisa

Emily said...

It's a beautiful thing when you find your sole identity in Christ - not in a job, not in a role, but through the blood of Jesus. That's when I realized that everything matters, every job, every position in life. Jesus does not see us as the world sees us - performance and titles do not matter to Him. All that matters is that we are perfect, holy, and righteous thru the blood of Jesus. How freeing!! Once I realized that I have been a free woman. I love my job as a sahm because I know that it all matters and it's not what I do, it's WHO I am because of Jesus. Thanks for this great post and for reminding us all. I want to make sure my children understand that in our home, performance is not top priority, it's a relationship with Jesus that's top priority and He will lead and guide us into the life that really matters. I want my children to experience that freedome too. But it all starts with me and Daddy at home with the right attitude and a daily walk with Christ.

anne said...

I am a natural homemaker. I used to think this was a weakness you know, that it counted for very little, was’nt important enough. But I’ve been thinking, if there were more homemakers our homes would be more secure places and our children would be a lot happier. There is security, comfort and warmth in a well kept home. I don’t just refer to dust and dirt, clean clothes and warm beds, I mean routine, good food, healthy dialogue and an understanding, listening ear in times of woe. I provide all these things to the best of my ability and I think I do a damn good job. Don’t feel that you don’t make much of an impact on the world, remember what you’re providing for your children and the contentment that provides knowing that your little family group is thriving because of your efforts. Take heart and pride in what you provide and remember that the world needs more homemakers! LOL.

Cristy said...

"Not because my mom didn't try and teach me as I was growing up (thanks, Mom!) but because I wasn't paying attention since it wasn't a role that I cherished (sorry, Mom!)."

Oh my goodness kimba. Did you hit the nail on the head or what? Somedays, this is exactly the way I feel, except I've never stopped long enough to put it in words. Meanwhile, I fumble my way through how to make my home "a soft place to land". Thank you SO MUCH!!!!!

Note to self, must write mom a heartfelt note describing how much I admire her and how sorry I am that her role never seemed to catch my attention... I think it could be pretty well timed and sent as a valentine.

kirsten said...

well I didn't shed the tears until I started reading all the other moms who are feeling the same way I am tonight.

It is such a challenge to value myself, and what I'm doing, when I don't feel I'm doing it very well.

Thanks. Thanks for writing what I'm thinking.

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

I just love this post! I am not a mom, nor am I sure I will be at this point in my life, but I love your sentiments. I bow to women who are able to balance work and family (I can hardly handle work *without* kids! :-) and I totally applaud women who make the decision to eschew their career paths in favor of staying home. You're right; society still looks at women cross-eyed who do that, and I just love my lady friends who have said, "well, deal with it." (Some have been a little more colorful but for purposes of the blog I'll keep it rated PG. ;-)

Brava, Kimba!

Beth@Not a Bow in Sight said...

I really needed that today. Sometimes in the craziness of having three children and a home and husband to take care of I wonder- does anybody notice? But then I remember that God notices everything I do unto Him. What a wonderful thought!

Mrs. Querido said...

Okay, I know that I'm late to the party...

I have to say that your comment about not listening to the homemaking wisdom of your mother made me laugh and cry. I was laughing because I did the same thing, I was crying because I did the same thing.

I think if I had paid more attention then, I would be a MUCH better home manager now. Sigh.

I am really enjoying this series. Thanks for helping to remind me of the value I bring to my family.

~SHANNON~ said...

Tears in my eyes from reading that. Thanks.

Vivienne said...

I actually have said the whole "well I stay home full time, but I used to..."

Thanks for this post. It's a great reminder. Thank you for all of your posts.