Do You Know How Much You Matter?

by Kimba on February 5, 2009

in Faith and Family,Uncategorized

photo credit: Shereen M

Wowza! This series is already taking some twists and turns that I didn’t expect. Some of the twists are coming directly from the comments that you have made here. And some of the twists are coming because of guest posters who will be joining us later. I’m all a-flutter with excitement.

In the next few weeks, we’ll be getting into some practical discussions of things like meal planning, priorities and scheduling. But before we do, I’d like to take one more week for something from my heart.

I never pictured myself in a traditional homemaker role. I grew up in the 1970’s when the women’s movement had already come of age. We had figured out that we could do anything. We could be leaders, serve in the military, have careers. We could sing “I am Woman, Hear Me Roar” and no one batted a fake eyelash at it.

Unfortunately, along with all of the advancements came a suble undercurrent of distain for women who chose a traditional homemaker role. It certainly wasn’t overt, but I grew up with the sense that women who chose that role were selling themselves short. That they could do so much more.

And so, with my college-diploma in hand, I set out to become the successful person that I’d always wanted to be. I worked hard and created a successful career for myself. I didn’t always love what I did, but I was good at it and I was rewarded for it.

Then came marriage and children…I married The Hubster and when our first child came along, we made the decision that it was best that I stay home. I was in favor of that because by then my attitudes had changed remarkably and I really felt like that was the best place to be. We were lucky that it was an option for us.

But I was a bit stuck…I didn’t understand my new role. I didn’t know how to be the primary caregiver to my home and family. Not because my mom didn’t try and teach me as I was growing up (thanks, Mom!) but because I wasn’t paying attention since it wasn’t a role that I cherished (sorry, Mom!).

I can look back now and honestly say that the first few years at home, I felt devalued. Like what I was doing wasn’t as important as what I could have been doing. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to be right where I was but something didn’t feel right on the inside. Whenever I met someone new and they asked “What do you do?”, my answer went like this, “Right now I’m a stay-at-home-mom, but I USED to…”. As if I had to justify my service to my family.

Through lots of prayer, study and reflection, I have since let go of those misconceptions. I won’t bombard you with a bunch of bible passages talking about a woman’s cherished role in her family (Prov 12:4; Prov 14:1; Prov 31:10-31, if you’re interested). But I will say this…

What you do matters. Listen to me closely. If we were having coffee together, I would lean across the table and look right into your eyes and say it again. What. You. Do. Matters. It is not beneath you. It is important work. Don’t just gloss over that and say “uh-huh, uh-huh”. Go back and read it again. I’ll wait.

Every diaper you change, every load of laundry that you fold, every meal that you make…it matters. Even for you moms who are working because you want to or because you need to. You set the tone in your home because you matter.

Serving your family is an important calling. You should never feel diminshed or unimportant because what you do matters.

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1 Tip-Tops February 6, 2009 at 7:29 pm

What a beautiful post! So very true. I would NEVER have imagined that I would be a sahm to FOUR! Count ’em FOUR beautiful, awesome children-or married for that matter!!
I wouldn’t have dreamed that I would love this life as a mom, a wife, a hero to my family.

Found you thru your giveaway. Glad to meet you.

2 Emily February 7, 2009 at 6:41 pm

It’s a beautiful thing when you find your sole identity in Christ – not in a job, not in a role, but through the blood of Jesus. That’s when I realized that everything matters, every job, every position in life. Jesus does not see us as the world sees us – performance and titles do not matter to Him. All that matters is that we are perfect, holy, and righteous thru the blood of Jesus. How freeing!! Once I realized that I have been a free woman. I love my job as a sahm because I know that it all matters and it’s not what I do, it’s WHO I am because of Jesus. Thanks for this great post and for reminding us all. I want to make sure my children understand that in our home, performance is not top priority, it’s a relationship with Jesus that’s top priority and He will lead and guide us into the life that really matters. I want my children to experience that freedome too. But it all starts with me and Daddy at home with the right attitude and a daily walk with Christ.

3 anne February 8, 2009 at 3:28 pm

I am a natural homemaker. I used to think this was a weakness you know, that it counted for very little, was’nt important enough. But I’ve been thinking, if there were more homemakers our homes would be more secure places and our children would be a lot happier. There is security, comfort and warmth in a well kept home. I don’t just refer to dust and dirt, clean clothes and warm beds, I mean routine, good food, healthy dialogue and an understanding, listening ear in times of woe. I provide all these things to the best of my ability and I think I do a damn good job. Don’t feel that you don’t make much of an impact on the world, remember what you’re providing for your children and the contentment that provides knowing that your little family group is thriving because of your efforts. Take heart and pride in what you provide and remember that the world needs more homemakers! LOL.

4 Cristy February 8, 2009 at 3:37 pm

“Not because my mom didn’t try and teach me as I was growing up (thanks, Mom!) but because I wasn’t paying attention since it wasn’t a role that I cherished (sorry, Mom!).”

Oh my goodness kimba. Did you hit the nail on the head or what? Somedays, this is exactly the way I feel, except I’ve never stopped long enough to put it in words. Meanwhile, I fumble my way through how to make my home “a soft place to land”. Thank you SO MUCH!!!!!

Note to self, must write mom a heartfelt note describing how much I admire her and how sorry I am that her role never seemed to catch my attention… I think it could be pretty well timed and sent as a valentine.

5 kirsten February 8, 2009 at 6:48 pm

well I didn’t shed the tears until I started reading all the other moms who are feeling the same way I am tonight.

It is such a challenge to value myself, and what I’m doing, when I don’t feel I’m doing it very well.

Thanks. Thanks for writing what I’m thinking.

6 Laura @ the shorehouse. February 10, 2009 at 10:33 am

I just love this post! I am not a mom, nor am I sure I will be at this point in my life, but I love your sentiments. I bow to women who are able to balance work and family (I can hardly handle work *without* kids! 🙂 and I totally applaud women who make the decision to eschew their career paths in favor of staying home. You’re right; society still looks at women cross-eyed who do that, and I just love my lady friends who have said, “well, deal with it.” (Some have been a little more colorful but for purposes of the blog I’ll keep it rated PG. 😉

Brava, Kimba!

7 Beth@Not a Bow in Sight February 16, 2009 at 6:15 pm

I really needed that today. Sometimes in the craziness of having three children and a home and husband to take care of I wonder- does anybody notice? But then I remember that God notices everything I do unto Him. What a wonderful thought!

8 Mrs. Querido April 24, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Okay, I know that I’m late to the party…

I have to say that your comment about not listening to the homemaking wisdom of your mother made me laugh and cry. I was laughing because I did the same thing, I was crying because I did the same thing.

I think if I had paid more attention then, I would be a MUCH better home manager now. Sigh.

I am really enjoying this series. Thanks for helping to remind me of the value I bring to my family.

9 ~SHANNON~ May 1, 2009 at 6:02 pm

Tears in my eyes from reading that. Thanks.

10 Vivienne May 1, 2009 at 7:39 pm

I actually have said the whole “well I stay home full time, but I used to…”

Thanks for this post. It’s a great reminder. Thank you for all of your posts.

11 nocona December 16, 2009 at 12:50 pm

I love your blog and your heart. That is my mission as a pastor’s wife and mom to three little ones is the give my family a soft place to land. I pulled out of serving the church as much as I use to and feel my calling is to serve the minister best by protecting his home and giving him that soft place.

12 ali January 25, 2010 at 10:48 pm

I know this is an old post, but I’m reading it for the first time tonight, and just had to let you know that I love it- thank you!
.-= ali´s last blog ..Multitude Monday 211-220 =-.

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