This Job Really Matters

I used to feel really guilty for being a stay at home mom. I mean really guilty. I often would try to take an inventory of all the things I did throughout the day so that in the evening when my husband asked what I did I would be ready to fire off my lists of accomplishments. Somehow I figured he would be more proud of me and I would feel less guilty if I just completed the most tangible tasks possible.

But then I got over it.

Over time I have seen the tremendous value of my presence and that just being here is what he loves and appreciates most. Me, being at home is a precious commodity and it speaks the most love to him.The single most important job and ministry that I have is to my husband and children. I have discovered that being at home with our children, taking care of the daily chores of life, and loving my husband with the utmost respect is, hands down, the best way I can show my love to him, to others, and to God. Not a single paycheck. No income. No big awards on the wall. No uncharted mission field across the ocean in a far away country. It's just me, being here. It is what I have been called to do.

We recently hit a really busy season of our lives where I had more responsibilities outside of the home, a few more meetings here and there with other areas of service, and an incredibly busier schedule with our family life. About two weeks into the craziness of me being gone a lot more than usual my husband was grumpy which was in sharp contrast to his normally cheerful personality. We finally had a rather long and lengthy discussion over the mounting tension and the bottom line was this: My responsibilities outside of our home were growing, and since I was not here as much he was feeling it...a lot.

In 10 years of being a stay at home mom my husband has never once had to take a sick day for one of our children because I was here. Same goes for snow days, teacher work days, and school breaks.

When he calls me on the way home from work each evening he never asks what are we going to do for dinner because he knows it has already been planned. Many times that includes a cooked meal at home, but other times we may order in, or we have already decided to go out to eat. In any case, he never has to worry about it.

I help with homework every single afternoon, Backpack, check. Pack lunches, check. Call out spelling words, check, Practice math facts, check. Sign permission slips, check. My husband almost never asks our son if his homework is done because it's done before he gets home from work.

When we need a plumber, a painter, or a home delivery made I am here to handle it. I readjust my schedule to fit the needs of any home repair project so that my husband doesn't have to worry about it.

Grocery shopping, bank payments, picking up the dry cleaning, and taking our car to the repair shop is handled. All he has to do is ask.

And then there are the school activities, the end of year programs, eating lunch with the kids, helping with the fundraising committee, providing lunch for the teachers, and watching them in a fun run at school. They are able to always have one parent there for it. I am grateful for that.

Summer is coming. I am already looking at what we are going to do together as a family, what they are going to do on their own, with their friends or in the community. I am checking out the day camps, looking at our vacation schedule, and most definitely looking forward to many pool days with them, day trips to the zoo, science center, and museums. Being the activities director gets a little old sometimes but it's part of what I do.

I am grateful for this job and I would not change it for the world. And I realized recently that this job is just as important to my family's well-being as his job. We could not make our bills without his job and our lives would have to make a dramatic shift if he quit working. Yet the same is true for me. The total overhaul and paradigm that would have to shift in our family if I could no longer be a stay at home mom would be huge. Could we get by without his job? Yes eventually we could but a lot would have to change. Could we get by without my job? Yes eventually we could but a lot would have to change.

Marriage is not always about my needs, it is about his needs too. Marriage is about considering him before I consider myself. Marriage is about sacrificial love and laying down my selfishness. Marriage is about being better and stronger together than we are apart.

He trusts that I have his best interests in mind and the best interests of our family. He knows that even in busy times of our lives, that our family is a top priority for me and that everything I do has to be filtered through how does this affect not only me but me plus four more. And I know that in his career and his job, he is pretty much thinking the same thing all the time.

Staying at home is not an easy job but it's the job the Lord has called me to do above everything else. It is the job that we chose for me to do when we were pregnant with our first child. It's why I say no to a lot of things but yes to others. It's a job that is vastly different from the career and job my husband has to do everyday, but it is just as equally important. Different roles, but both desperately needed to make this family work as God called us to do.

I am embracing the roles that the Lord has called us to in our marriage and in our family. It works for us. It is what we are supposed to do. It is the only way that we know how to do it. It is a pretty doggone important job. And as my husband reads this over my shoulder, he is nodding his head in agreement. Oh babe, I can't imagine how much harder it would be without you here all the time. Thanks honey, compliment accepted.


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