Three paragraphs. This fall I had the opportunity to write for a parenting magazine. They asked me to write three paragraphs about the challenges of being a stay-at-home mom. More specifically, they wanted me to speak on how I balance being a mother and not getting lost in that identity. I could have written on this topic for three days, but I offered my three paragraphs:
My greatest struggle in being a stay-at-home mom is grasping and holding onto the fact that my true identity is daughter: God has adopted me, through the blood of Jesus, as his daughter, and He says He delights in me, not in my performance, or lack thereof, as a mother. My default is to find my self-worth in the successes or shortcomings of my children or of myself as a mom, especially because mothering is my job. But God loves me, not because of what I do or don’t do, He loves me because of who I am—His child. And He, the Creator of all we see, decided to make me a mother to three specific children, but that is not all He made me.
It often feels impossible not to lose my identity in the chaos of being mom. But God has given us all gifts, and I’m slowly learning that it’s not selfish but glorifying to Him to pursue those gifts, even when they fall outside my role as mother. I can never take off the mantle of mom, nor do I want to, but I can be a mother and also discover and pursue the opportunities God gives me to be me.
When I step out of my stay-at-home-mom role and take the time to discover and use the gifts God has given me, it reminds me that mothering is not all there is to me. Then I can walk back into being mom refreshed, remembering that how I mother is not a reflection of how I’m loved.