Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The good you do as a stay-at-home mother

"Oh you're a stay-at-home mom? It shows with your daughter. You've done a good job."

That one piece of formal validation has been a boon to me the last several weeks following my first parent-teacher conference with Cheyenne's teacher. Was I making a difference? So often as a stay-at-home mother I've let self-doubt rule my mind and trick me into believing things about myself that aren't true.

I've thought, I'm completely failing at this thing, and, somebody can do this better. I yell too much, and there are lots of moments I don't like being with my kids, and I can't handle it, and on and on and on.

But but this one comment from Cheyenne's kindergarten teacher has been rolling around over and over in my mind, coming back to me often. Usually when this happens it's an indication to me that this is a thought that can help me learn and grow. And I'm beginning to see its significance. I realized that giving in to those those earlier thoughts of inadequacy have not been constructive, and they can lead you to believe one of Satan's best lies, that you are not enough. I have, I am making a difference being a stay-at-home mom.

While I still have much to learn, I do love my children. I love them more than a stranger. I love them more than my neighbor or a daycare worker or my friend. These people are all nice people, and there are people who are blessed to love little children who are not their own. But I am my children's mother, and I love them very most of any adult on this earth.

I believe that the most important thing for a child is to be raised by someone who loves them. There probably is somebody who could be more patient with them. Probably somebody who could be more kind and gentle. Probably somebody with better parenting techniques. But no matter who that person is, you are still their mother, and you care about them more than anybody else.

I don't think that women who work are somehow less, or not good mothers. Those children are still being raised by a mother who loves them. As a stay-at-home mother, however, I have sometimes wondered if I am making a worthwhile difference in my kids' lives.

The good you do

I have realized that two things make a mother unique and important in raising small children.

1. You want your children to improve. You are actively seeking for ways to help their behavior, their thinking, their growth and learning. Different from a teacher or a caretaker, you're not trying to teach them skills, you're trying to make them a better person.

2. You are trying to improve. I get down on myself sometimes for not having enough patience with my kids, for losing my temper, for not putting them before myself. But you know what? I am trying to be better. I am always trying to be better. I am always trying. And that makes you a good mother. And you do get better over time.

Don't let Satan fool you-- you do make a difference, and you are doing better than you think you are.


  1. What a beautiful post! I can so relate to that one comment sticking in your head, ESPECIALLY as a SAHM. We get so little validation that when something comes our way, we hold on. :)

    Love that Holland quote as well!

    1. Thank you Erica! Always nice to have other SAHMs who understand. Thanks for comment, I appreciate it!

  2. I loved this, Ashley. I haven't even ever met you but I just know you are an amazing mom. Also I don't think I ever said this in a comment but when you decided to go back to school, I was sad! Because you've been an example to me of motherhood and I didn't want you to have to leave your babies if you had to work full time. But I admired your trust in the Lord. But then when you felt it was right to stay home again...I was so happy. :) Thanks for your example and letting me learn from you.

    1. Carly you've always been so good to me. Thanks for reading along, sharing in my story all these years. Isn't fun that blogs can do that?! Create friends out of total strangers. Ben and I were just talking the other day how glad we were that I don't have to work right now. If going to school has taught me anything, it has shown me that I love being a stay-at-home mom, and that I'm so glad I can be here.