work: effort directed to produce or accomplish something

NOT

work: when you get paid to do something

also NOT

work: when you leave your house and drive to an office

I spent about twenty years with my primary focus being two little people.
I diapered them.
I breastfed them.
I rocked them.
I held them when they were sick.
I took them to the doctor.
I bathed them.
I clothed them.
I taught them about Jesus.
I shopped for them.
I taught them how to use sign language before they could talk.
I taught them how to talk.
I taught them how to walk.
I prayed for them and with them.
I sang to them and with them.
I danced with them.
I played with them in the backyard.
I played with them in our living room.
I took them for walks.
I was the Tooth Fairy for them.
I walked them to school.
I did homework with them.
I left them notes.
I held them when they were sad.
I took them roller skating and to get fondue and to the movies.
I taught them how to do chores like empty the dishwasher and make their beds and do laundry.
I helped them learn how to drive.
I helped them pick out colleges.
I helped them navigate the trickiest, saddest parts of life.
I was there for them, whenever they needed me to be.
I said goodbye to them.
I loved them. I loved them. I loved them. I loved them. I loved them.

And it was work. In fact, it was the hardest work of my life. The best work of my life.

I didn’t get paid for it. I did it all from home. AND IT WAS WORK. I worked my butt off raising those two precious gifts.

But here’s the thing. I grew up in the age of “women can do whatever they want”. And I believed it. And – in a sense – I still believe it.

But what is interesting to me is the subtle, passive-aggressive double-standard of our culture, of some feminists, that goes like this: women can do whatever they want, as long as they leave the house to go do it.

In other words, we can be whatever we want to be and do whatever we want to do as women as long as being a wife and mother and homemaker aren’t what we want.

Because that would be crazy. That wouldn't just be old-fashioned, that would be prehistoric. That would defeat the purpose of what all the women who’ve gone before us who fought so hard to break the glass ceiling.

But no.

You can’t have it both ways. You can’t fight for women’s rights to do and be anything and then subtlely tell her what she can and can’t want for her life.

Because you know what: some of us, honestly and truly, WANT to be wives and mothers and homemakers. It, believe it or not, is a dream of some women to spend their lives doing just that.

Now, though I poured twenty years into the lives of my two children and into a husband or two and into several homes, I also did about a hundred other things (like write books and speak at women's groups and travel to third-world countries and work at a church) and I did them well, and worked myself into exhaustion doing them, but I want to be super clear on something.

If ALL I had done was that list above, if ALL I had done for twenty years was do whatever I could do to attempt to take care of my husbands and my children and my homes, if that was “it”…and sweet ones, if that is what you do all day every day…listen carefully to me:

THAT IS WORK.
AND IT IS ENOUGH.
AND YOU ARE ENOUGH.

No one – except you and God – can and should determine what you want to do and what you think your calling is and who you were created to be and what will bring you joy.

My life choices, though looked down upon by some, created a life that has been so full of meaning and purpose and deep, deep joy.

I wouldn’t trade ANYTHING in the world for how I spent those twenty years and what (or who, more pointedly) I poured myself into.

And so, today, I remind myself and you, again:

BEING A STAY-AT-HOME MOTHER IS WORK.
AND IT IS ENOUGH.
AND YOU ARE ENOUGH.
AND I AM ENOUGH.

{Caveat: Now, if you do work outside the home either by choice or out of necessity, part-time or full-time, that is ALSO between you and God and that is ALSO your prerogative, and you are ALSO ENOUGH.}

Moms, what we do is hard, hard, hard. But it is so very worth it. Let no one demean your worth or your work. Keep doing what you’re doing. Love those babies of yours. Do what you feel God is calling you to do. And only listen to His voice on the matter.

If this post spoke to you, Calm in My Chaos or In Search of Calm would make great encouragements along your way. 

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