Am I the only mama who struggles with feeling like they matter? Am I the only mama who sometimes thinks my contributions as a mom hold little weight?
A part of me hopes there are a ton of mamas with hands raised so I don’t feel so alone. Another part of me wishes I am the only mama out there feeling this way because it’s honestly a really tough feeling.
I am a single mother, my son is six years old, he is in Kindergarten, and I homeschool him full-time. For the vast majority of his life, I have been able to be a stay-at-home mom. It’s a privilege that I am so thankful for and I don’t take it for granted for one second. Long before I ever had a child I wanted to be the mom who could stay home until my kids were school age. God honored that desire of my heart and I am truly grateful because I know there are so many women who wish for the opportunity to do what God has made possible for me to do. Still, all my gratitude doesn’t erase this inner voice that has been whispering and lately yelling, that being a stay-at-home homeschooling mom is nothing to be proud of.
In previous years I was able to offset these feelings of insignificance because I had my own projects and activities going on simultaneously. I spent the first three years of my son’s life completing my undergrad and graduate degrees online. When my son went to preschool, I was able to work full-time (from home) in the HR field. Both of those things gave me a sense of validation and self-worth that I admittedly feel like I am lacking in this season. No A’s on papers or praise from upper management. No degrees of completion or performance bonuses.
Rather, my days are fully devoted to my little Kindergartener. Teaching lessons, therapy appointments, doctor’s appointments, social outings, playgroups, church activities, preparing meals, household chores, and anything else that a mom of a Kindergartener might need to do.
There are some days when I feel great about what I do as a mom. I get to see my son learn and grow and develop right before my eyes. Being a part of those moments of discovery is so incredibly special. The quality time I have with my son is so much fun. We play games and do activities, and there are so much love and joy in those moments. Knowing that I am making sure my son gets the resources and therapies he needs to continuing thriving is very rewarding, especially as I see the progress up close and personal.
But then there are other days when it is hard to see the value in what I do as a mom. I feel exhausted. I feel unappreciated. I feel insignificant. I miss the days of being validated and praised for my hard work, something that is largely lacking as a stay-at-home mom. Much of what I do and what I give is behind closed doors. My son doesn’t see the hours I spend planning and arranging and scheduling. He doesn’t know about the outings and invitations I turn down out of sheer exhaustion. He doesn’t witness the late nights I spend taking care of our home. He just sees that everything is done. He doesn’t understand how isolated and alone I feel at times. He doesn’t get how frustrated and insubstantial I feel at times. He just sees me handling it all.
In a moment of transparency and rawness during my prayer and devotional time, I found myself weeping before God. I couldn’t vocalize what was in my heart, but my tears spoke the following:
“God, does what I’m doing even matter? All I do is teach lessons and go to appointments and do chores and facilitate activities and manage meltdowns and repeat myself a hundred times and wipe tears and read stories and nurture health and…. God, it doesn’t feel like any of this means anything. No one sees what I do. No one sees how much I sacrifice. No one knows how exhausted I am. I don’t get thank yous or great jobs or I am so proud of you. I don’t get breaks or days off or mental health days.
I miss the days of immediate feedback. I knew I did well in school because the high grademark or the positive comments from professors validated me. I knew I did well in my work because I could see the growth and development in my department or organization. I had a good reputation and I was respected. I was thought of highly and made valuable contributions. And now? Now, I feel like just a mom.”
I then put on worship music as tears still flowed from my eyes and just sat in the presence of God. It’s something I am learning to do more frequently because prayer is just as much about talking to God as it is about listening to him. And in those moments of sitting quietly at His feet, I felt a peace come over me and a reassurance arise in my spirit. Though this is what the Holy Spirit spoke to me privately, I know this message is for more than just me. Read and be encouraged, mamas. God is honored when you are loving and nurturing your babies. What you do matters and you matter too.
How precious you are and how much I value you. You are called to motherhood. I know this because I placed this call on your life and gifted you your son. More than anything else in your life, the child(ren) you raise will be the most significant contribution you make to the Kingdom of God. You are raising the next generation that will lead, preach, teach, and spread my love and glory. Everything you do for and with your son matters. Every lesson helps him become wiser. Every appointment helps him become healthier. Every therapy session helps him develop skills that will help him thrive. Every outing and playdate allows him to interact with children and display my love. In every meal you prepare and activity you put together you’re building his sense of worth and value. With every household chore, you complete you’re teaching him responsibility. With every schedule you stick to he sees how to manage time. It matters. It all matters. You matter. He may not be able to vocalize it in the way you need, but I promise your son sees you and is proud of you and is thankful for you. He will rise up and call you blessed.
Daughter, I see you. Daughter, I am proud of you. Daughter, you are more than enough. Every good thing people have to say about your son, his kindness, his generosity, his servant’s heart, his joy, his thoughtfulness…it’s all a reflection of you. You’re not just a mom. You are a God designated mother. When you’re weak, lean into me for strength. Remember, my power is made perfect in your weakness.
I love you,