You Matter

by Kimba on October 13, 2010

in Faith and Family,Real Me

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 subtle undercurrent of disdain for women who chose a traditional homemaker role. It certainly always 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 career-gal 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 my dear husband and when our first child came along, we made the decision that I would stay home. I was in favor of that because by then my attitudes had changed remarkably and I really felt like that was where I should 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 at home 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 carpool you drive, 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 diminished or unimportant because what you do matters.

In light of my announcement last week, it seemed like an appropriate time to revisit this post from February 2009. The comments on the original post are worth reading all by themselves. Best comments ever.

photo credit: Shereen M

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{ 97 comments }

1 Lisa October 13, 2010 at 8:13 am

Thank you for the rant. I am in a “career life” right now, but I hope to soon make the change to the “family life”.
Lisa´s last blog ..This is how charlie slept last nightMy ComLuv Profile

2 Emily@remodelingthislife October 13, 2010 at 8:16 am

Kimba, I don’t know how I didn’t see this post the first time you wrote it. I am so happy you posted it again. I wrote a few weeks ago about a family member that visited us and was very critical of our life, our home. What I didn’t say was that this was my husband’s father. Someone who should be supportive and caring. And not only did he criticize our home, he actually said to my husband “when is Emily going to work? I didn’t raise you to support a woman.” I just started crying writing it out. It hurts every time I think about it. So few people seem to value the role that women play, whether it is in or outside the home. I am grateful my husband replied “she works her butt off for this family all day everyday.” I am still not totally comfortable. I feel like I need to make excuses. Say that I make some income from my writing. Say that I contribute in some way other than being here for my family all day everyday. Feel like I need to make myself sound useful in more acceptable ways.

All that to say, I needed this today. Thank you.

3 Rachel October 13, 2010 at 9:20 am

So sorry to hear that story, but glad your husband stood up for you. I know how you feel about making excuses and saying that you do earn an income at home to justify yourself. I feel that way often. We moms need to be a support for one another so we don’t fall into that trap.

4 Kimba October 14, 2010 at 8:41 am

What a terrible shame that your father-in-law is a stinker. But I’m so glad that your husband stood up for you. You pretty much summed up my problem for a long time. I was embarrassed because my work wasn’t producing an income and I felt like I had to justify what I was doing.

That’s so sad. And unnecessary! The work that you do for your family every day has TREMENDOUS value.

5 Sarah October 13, 2010 at 8:26 am

Missed this for some reason the first time around–I would have said then, what I want to say now…thank you….thank you…thank you! I feel like I have the greatest job in the world, being able to stay home and take care of my family, but let me tell you, it is so nice for someone else to recognize it and say it. Can we have coffee sometime? :)

6 Kimba October 14, 2010 at 8:42 am

Coffee? Indeed! I’ll make the flight arrangements. :)

7 heidi @ wonder woman wannabe October 13, 2010 at 8:49 am

Kimba, I absoultely LOVE these ‘you matter’ posts. I love it all over again today.

You are a blessing!
~h

8 Nessa October 13, 2010 at 8:51 am

with tears on my cheeks I feel like someone understands…

I was never going to leave my career… I had worked hard for my title, position, income, office… I was raised by a mother who worked all the time – and held a bias that women who stayed at home were lazy.

I went back to work after my daughter was born but left because circumstances with childcare, travel required by my job and a really long commute made impossible to stay.

I had no idea how very important this job was, or how unimportant it would make me feel.

so with tears now on the keyboard.. thank you.
Nessa´s last blog ..PrettiesMy ComLuv Profile

9 Kimba October 14, 2010 at 8:43 am

Thank you for sharing your heart so beautifully. YOU are important and the work you are doing matters in a HUGE way.

10 katie kirby October 13, 2010 at 8:59 am

Thank you so much for that incredible passage.It was a very honest piece of writing that I think every woman can relate to (including myself).

11 Rachel October 13, 2010 at 9:16 am

Thank you for this, Kimba. I really needed to hear it. I know that God has called me to be at home, and most of the time I am content. There are just moments (and there seem to be a lot lately) when I feel like I have to justify this decision as if I am ashamed of it. I have no friends that are SAHMs. It is hard to get support sometimes.

12 Kimba October 14, 2010 at 8:44 am

You are so welcome. It’s infinitely harder to feel secure in our decisions when we feel like we’re alone.

13 amber October 13, 2010 at 9:17 am

Thank you! It’s good to be reminded of this, especially when we feel judged by those who don’t understand why we stay home.

14 Astrid October 13, 2010 at 9:23 am

Thanks for reposting this! I struggle with who I am on a daily basis (a sahm). Lately, I’ve been thinking of going back to work but I hate compromising my family.
Astrid´s last blog ..Galena Art FairMy ComLuv Profile

15 Chris October 13, 2010 at 9:44 am

Oh no. Do working moms compromise their family? That makes me sad to hear another mom imply that. This was a great post, Kimba. I’ve been encouraged to write a similar one for those moms who work outside of the home, as well. Women need validation–stay at home or work outside. Either way, we all work REALLY hard to do what’s best for our family, right? I wish we could all just continue the encouragement. Perhaps that would help with our continued guilt of never doing enough. Poor moms! ;)

16 Samantha October 13, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Chris, please don’t jump to conclusions. Astrid didn’t say you were compromising your family. She said it would compromise *her* family. If I went to work at this point, I would absolutely be compromising my family–but that is my situation. I don’t know your situation and wouldn’t presume to judge how your work affects your family and I don’t think Astrid was doing so either. We absolutely must support each other in our Mommy roles whether we feel called to be at home or to work. Wherever and whenever you do your mothering, what you do is so very important!

17 Laree @ Ever Heard of Euless October 13, 2010 at 10:18 am

Thank you. While I know that intellectually, sometimes I having a bloggy friend look you in the digital eyes and tell you what you need to hear is priceless.

18 Kimba October 14, 2010 at 8:46 am

“Look you in the digital eyes”? I LOVE THAT!!!!

19 Beth@A2Z October 13, 2010 at 10:20 am

Such a beautiful post Kimba! We. All. Matter! Working moms, stay-at-home moms, moms-to-be, work at home moms, women who don’t have kiddos but want them, women who stay at home without kids, women who don’t have kids and don’t feel called to have them! Sheesh, the list could go on and on! We as women want to be validated. We want to know that what we do is appreciated, recognized, and validated. When I worked full time I felt guilty that I wasn’t a good enough mom. Now that I’m home full time, I feel guilty that I’m not a good provider. It’s a no-win situation. So yes, grabbing each other by the ears and speaking the beautiful truth that You Matter is imperative! You, beautiful women in all facets of life matter and we support you! Love it. Preach it. Live it!
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20 Kimba October 14, 2010 at 8:46 am

Amen, sister. Amen.

21 Stephanie@cre8tive October 13, 2010 at 11:00 am

Wonderful post. And all so true. My youngest teenage daughter (18) seems to have gotten in her head that I don’t work, pretty much never have so I don’t have an income, it is all Dad’s money. Oh how that broke my heart when she first said that. But! She is a teenager and I knew that in time she would come to appreciate the value of what I have given her over the years and what I sacrificed and gave to our family to be a SAHM. Recently, she babysat 4 children, ages 2, 5, 7 and 11 for four days while the parents went to New York. Wow, I think I should pay those people for the lesson they taught my daughter. She was exhausted, tired of kids, and ready for some “her” time when it was over. It was an eye opening experience for her to see that side of what a mom really does and the sacrifices you have to make on a daily basis, her attitude has really changed towards me since she came back. I knew the day would come, but I am so happy it has come sooner than later.

22 Kimba October 14, 2010 at 8:47 am

How that must break your heart. But your perspective is right on. Appreciation will come in time and what a great lesson your daughter learned. :)

23 Victoria October 13, 2010 at 11:17 am

Dear Kimba,
Thank you for your words. I am a SAHM, but sometimes I feel like I landed here by default – like I didn’t do anything with my life, so now I am a mom. It’s not what my head believes about being a wife and mother, but often, I have niggling doubts that I have failed at everything else and am now failing at this. Last night I was pretty discouraged – I prayed and went to bed, still feeling like an abysmal waste of skin. Imagine my surprise to see your post on my blog role. I matter. Thank you for the reminder of our significance. Thank you for being such a lovely blog friend.

24 Kimba October 14, 2010 at 8:48 am

You are anything but an abysmal waste of skin. You and the work you are doing has eternal significance.

25 the Blah Blah Blahger October 13, 2010 at 11:28 am

Preach on, sistah, preach on!

26 carrie October 13, 2010 at 11:35 am

Kimba, thanks so much for this post it was so needed for me and I’m sure lots of other women, too. “Serving your family is an important calling. You should never feel diminished or unimportant because what you do matters.” — Perfect!
carrie´s last blog ..What I wore – if skinny jeans were for me – OneMy ComLuv Profile

27 Lori F. October 13, 2010 at 11:40 am

So glad I read your blog today. I wasn’t reading when you originally posted this. I still struggle with the fact that I don’t contribute to the family by working outside the home. However, I have put this matter before God so many times and he always leads me to the answer that I belong at home.

6 years ago I was led to a part-time job as the executive director for a local non-profit. It was perfect and most of the time I worked from home. One day a week I had office hours which meant daycare for my boys. My little one was two years-old, and each time I turned on my computer, he found some mischief to occupy his time. That was my lesson from God that “perfect” isn’t always the answer and being “mom” is my calling for now.

My diploma from the B.S. in Finance that I earned in 1999 hangs on the wall in our computer room. Maybe someday it will be used again, but at least my children can see that their mommy believes that education is important and can never be lost once it has been gained. Much like our faith.

28 Kimba October 14, 2010 at 8:51 am

I couldn’t say it more perfectly. And now I’m wondering what happened to diploma. Maybe it’s in a box? Gotta find it.

29 Sherry October 13, 2010 at 11:42 am

So very true! And what I want to add is that the children have gained more than we will ever know. To my amazement my teens still like to be home. Sure they are normal and they hang out with friends, but they don’t have the turmoil going on that they see so many of their peers living. The focus had always been on service to the family and I too felt the way you described in the post above. But, the children aren’t here forever and to know that we put them first has made a huge difference! What surprises me often is that the teens need me on some days as much as the 5 year old still does. So from someone that has been home more than away for the last 16 years what your doing does matter a lot.
Sherry

30 jenny October 13, 2010 at 4:34 pm

I can sooo relate to this . My husband & I made a choice, when we decided to have children, that I would be a SAHM. I quit my job and so began Motherhood. My kids are 12 & 14 now, and I find they need me more than ever. I went back to work last year and it turned our home into turmoil. No one was happy, end of job. Maybe someday I’ll return to work outside our home, or maybe I’ll finally feel at peace and be content to know I’ve raised two amazing human beings.

31 Kimba October 14, 2010 at 8:52 am

Thank you for sharing your perspective as a mom with older kids. I often wonder what will happen down the road.

32 Richella at Imparting Grace October 13, 2010 at 1:09 pm

As I sit in my kitchen reading this post, I am reminded that there are several mothers who are working hard at being my kids’ teachers. And there’s one who’s my dental hygienist. And there’s one who’s the COO of my husband’s company. And there’s one who’s my physician. All those moms work hard, and all those moms provide a valuable service. . . and all those moms love their children. How on earth do they deal with all the work of being a wife and mom AND handle a full-time job? I don’t know how they do it all; it must be by God’s grace.

And as I sit here in my kitchen I am reminded of many friends of mine who are full-time stay-at-home moms. These women work so hard, and they work long hours without any remuneration. They are the volunteers who hold things together at school, at church, in the community. They are the moms who pitch in and help out when someone’s in the hospital, or has a new baby, or needs an extra pair of hands. They have more availability than the moms who work outside the home, and they use it for great good. I don’t know how they do it all; it must be by God’s grace.

Thank you, Kimba, for the reminder that we all matter. Wherever we are on our journeys, our work is important. Besides that, our lives are important, regardless of what our work might be.

Love you.
Richella at Imparting Grace´s last blog ..Shutter bugMy ComLuv Profile

33 Kimba October 14, 2010 at 8:53 am

Oh my friend. You said it so perfectly. God’s grace is the only way for all of us.

34 Laurie at House to Your Home October 13, 2010 at 1:16 pm

I love this post and this topic which could be talked about over and over again, I wonder though, don’t you think we as women make this such a big topic, over the years I’ve learned women are far more competitive and judgmental of other women then men are. We all strive to be perfect which is just silly. All I know is at the end of the day my family runs smoother, is less stressed out and are closer because I was lucky enough to be able to stay at home. My child is awesome, I mean I’ve hit the jackpot and I know its because it was our decision for our family for me to stay home, and it may sound old fashion but I believe my husband is more successful in his career because I stay home. I’m also fortunate to be an interior designer that works from home so I’m able to have a bit of me, so I don’t just feel like someone’s wife or mom. I think everyone needs to find a balance in their lives and its different for every family. At the end of the day my daughter is only with us for 18 years and I want her to be the best she can be and it makes me really proud to know I am a big part of it. To me family is the most important thing, my family defines me not my job.

35 Kimba October 14, 2010 at 8:55 am

The last couple of sentences of your comment really struck me. For many years, it was the struggle to define myself that really caused me pain. I had defined myself based on my job for so long that losing that left me feeling lost.

36 Sandra October 13, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Thank you for the shout out to all woman and especially mothers. I have been a SAHM most of my 30 years of marriage. It has required some financial sacrafices for our family at times but our children have never been denied the important things in life and have been taught what we feel have been correct moral values. I poured myself into my family and home with a desire to always make the best out of what we were blessed with at the time. I have developed a lot of parenting and homemaking skills because I had to and it has been a good learning experience for me. My husband and I have four great children and now the grandchildren are coming along and we couldn’t be more pleased with our little family unit. We have always believed that “no outside success can compensate for failure in the home”. It has always been Family First in our home.

Thanks for the great post!

37 Wendy French October 13, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Wow. I sure needed that today. I have been torn on the decision to work more ( I have a very part time job at home.) I have that nagging voice that says, “You are needed at home.” But home… it’s hard being a mom, so many thankless acts. But you are right, every single one of those acts matter.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for speaking directly to my heart today.
Wendy French´s last blog ..Glamour Shots- Part TroisMy ComLuv Profile

38 Kimba October 14, 2010 at 8:56 am

And thank YOU for sharing your heart.

39 Brandi October 13, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Funny… I, too, have taken a bloggy hiatus. Not intentional at first, but it’s been nice. Now, I am no where close to the bloggy greats such as ASPtL, but it’s mine, and I like it. I actually just posted something quite along these lines. How, I am finding more and more that my purpose may not be huge and great according to the worldly standards, but my purpose is to be mom, wife, friend to those in my family. I know where you are friend, and it’s a good place to be. Enjoy and don’t look back.
Brandi´s last blog ..Purpose Driven whatMy ComLuv Profile

40 Kimba October 14, 2010 at 8:56 am

You are so sweet. Thank you!

41 Susan October 13, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Thanks Kimba!! I have the same issues, only now our children are grown and gone. But still, I do important work here at home taking care of my husband and me. I love my life. Maybe someday I’ll want to work in a traditional job but until then, I’m fine.

42 janet metzger October 13, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Hello Kimba,
As a stay at home Mom and now an Empty Nester (hence the name of my etsy shop) I can tell you that it all was so worth it. I know my work as a Mom meant something to my two boys because even at ages 29 and 27 they still call for my opinion on almost all aspects of their lives. That tells me that I matter and what I did for them matters. I’m a happy woman!
Thanks for a great post,
Janet xox
The Empty Nest
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43 Julie October 13, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Making the decision to move from career-minded to family-minded was the best thing I ever did. My children’s faces reflect that decision back to me every day and I love that! Love the post! And thanks for the reminder.
Julie´s last blog ..A Ban and A QuestMy ComLuv Profile

44 Jill October 13, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Very thought provoking and as I sit at my desk on my lunch break reading this post and all the comments it makes me contemplate what I have been “told” and what I “should” do when it comes to matters of raising a family. My husband often refers to me as indecisive about children because one minute I want them, the next minute don’t. That I would never truly survive at home with kids because I need that adult interaction and stimulation. That I thrive the best in a professional atmosphere. But this blog made me think of the question how does he truly know that to be true, if we don’t have kids and I haven’t experienced that environment. I was raised with such mixed messages that my grandfather firmly believe a woman’s place was in the home and thus showed his power of that statement by putting all six of his sons through college and leaving his only daughter to fend for herself. Then to hear from my mom throughout all the years that you need an education you need to support yourself, all the while my dad was a “stay at home parent”. Reflecting back I can only imagine how unappreciated he must have felt for being in a very unique situation. How do you find that balance of working so hard for an education only give it up and stay at home and still feel valued and appreciated? To know that sometimes the work you do will go unnoticed or unappreciated. Then the thought hits me that happen daily to me at my job where I am paid to do work. Thank you for this post, this will be a positive topic of conversation at the dinner table tonight.

45 Melanie October 13, 2010 at 4:48 pm

I long to be a stay at home mom, but… this is not the season for me, I suppose. This is a wonderful, encouraging post! Blessings to you, sweet sister!

Melanie
Melanie´s last blog ..Happy Birthday to Me Giveaway – 55 CSN Stores Gift Card!My ComLuv Profile

46 Deidra October 13, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Thank you Kimba!! I needed this today. You have been reading my mail. I get overwhelmed with all I do and then feel I didn’t get anything accomplished because I didn’t finish my to do list. This brought tears to my eyes. Thanks!
Deidra

47 Jennifer October 13, 2010 at 7:23 pm

YES!! You go girl!! Thank you so much for your encouraging words. How easy it is for us to get “down” about our life. I stay home with our 5, 3, and 1 year old children, and I know that I will NEVER regret a single day! My mom was at home with us, and I only now am able to truly appreciate her! No one can ever do as good a job as we can at raising our children. It truly is a blessing. God has gifted us with these treasures, and it is MY pleasure to spend my days, not just raising, but training them! There are tough days. There are days when I want to shut myself in the closet. There are days when I want to pull out my hair. BUT there are also days that I will treasure forEVER. There are special things that we have done together that I will never forget, and I’m so glad I’m here to spend that time with them. These days WILL go by so fast. (All of the more mature mothers say so!) I don’t want to miss a single one of them!

48 Jannica October 13, 2010 at 8:14 pm

I so needed to hear this, I need to hear it everyday as a matter of fact. It’s so easy to get lost in the routine of daily life that it’s easy to forget.

Thank You.

49 Melanie October 13, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Kimba, what a great post. I have been a SAHM for 16 years and before that I stayed home for a year. I am the 50′s housewife and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I believe that ALL we do matters. Whether you work outside the home or you stay home. I feel as though my job it to take care of my family and I take pride in that. I don’t fault a woman that wants to work outside the home. So people are cut out to be SAHM’s and some are not. We should all do what feels right for us. I couldn’t handle the baby stage and so we only had mom child. I use to be told that I shouldn’t have an only child. I don’t judge people that have 5 or 6 or 7 kids. We just do what is right for us.
Melanie´s last blog ..The time has comeMy ComLuv Profile

50 Mary Lou October 13, 2010 at 9:35 pm

I needed to hear this so much today that it made me cry. God knew I needed to hear it. thank you for being the messager.

51 erin @ little apartment on the prairie October 14, 2010 at 12:21 am

I read this post earlier this morning before my day started. What a crazy day. Now it’s night, and here I am reading it again. With babies yanking on my legs for attention and 9 year olds were trying to get their own way (not to mention in laws dropping in, spilling my latte on the pavement before I could sit back and enjoy it, and having a laundry fail)…I didn’t have time for me. But I kept thinking: THIS is what matters, what I’m doing right now. Not my silly half done decorating and craft project. Oy. Thanks for your thoughtful posts.
erin @ little apartment on the prairie´s last blog ..Helpful Bloggers Kate at Oh WriteMy ComLuv Profile

52 Natural Mama October 14, 2010 at 12:34 am

This morning before 6, I was crying softly, rocking my baby, worrying that I would have to go back to work within the next couple of years. I was scared due to some spending we’ve done lately and some money choices. I love being home with my kids and wouldn’t trade it for anything. I know it matters but it’s so nice to hear you say it. Thanks again.

53 Jennifer Juniper October 14, 2010 at 11:20 am

It’s so funny you wrote this today – just last night the Big Guy and I were filling out paperwork for a home equity loan and the one section asked for your occupation and income. I laughed and said, “okay, I wrote “Mom”, how much do you think that’s worth?”

He looked at me startled and said, “Oh, I just thought we’d write “Artist”!” I’m proud to say it never occurred to me! I’m a mom and all the other little side ventures I have are just that, side ventures.

Right back at you with the “what you do matters”. We all need to hear it sometimes and it is the most rewarding “career” ever.
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54 Katie @ Not Just Decorating October 14, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Your blog is great and I am happy to be passing the Happy 101 Blog Award on to you.
Have a great day!
Katie
http://notjustdecorating.blogspot.com/2010/10/happy-101-blog-award.html
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55 Kelly | Purple Lemon Designs October 14, 2010 at 3:24 pm

I am sitting here with tears in my eyes as I read this. As a woman precariously sitting on the brink of motherhood {our first child is due January 22nd}, I am wondering how I am going to make it all work…My job, my side business, mywonderful husband and a new baby are all going to need my attention. I see now that my husband and baby are what will really matter in the long run, along with each and every second I spend with them. Thanks so much Kimba.

56 Ammie @ domesticallyobsessed.com October 15, 2010 at 7:22 am

Kimba, I JUST posted about this. I was so afraid to “come out of the closet” about MY blog for a couple of weeks for fear of my family and friends reactions. I DID get a few raised eyebrows, but let me tell you something–I have learned this well. The people that judge me the most? I have learned they are really envious. They WISH they were doing what I do and long to be at home raising their children. What we do DOES matter. I’m glad you reposted this because it is so important that we mamas or homemakers (be it man or woman) take pride in our jobs. Is there any job more worthy than the sacred role of taking care of your family? I haven’t come up with one yet.

I did this post about how I am a homemaker and I’m no longer ashamed.

http://www.domesticallyobsessed.com/2010/10/i-am-a-homemaker-and-i-am-not-ashamed/

57 Lindsay Bay October 15, 2010 at 2:37 pm

This is absolutely true. I love that you posted about this topic, and were so passionate about it. Our society today places so much emphasis on self gratification that it is unthinkable to find fulfillment in the most important role a woman could ever hold, raising children. Thank you!

58 Josanne October 15, 2010 at 6:10 pm

It’s amazing how backwards the world has things! I am not at all throwing stones at women who work-I’ve worked different times in my marriage, and for some families, that is how they are making ends meet.
That being said, the real question that comes to mind is, who is the “greater” woman-the woman who works because of the pressure of the world telling her that she has to, in order to be looked at as a person of worth, or the woman who can say within herself, I’m capable of working a full time job AND running a home, I have skills no one knows about, and could make a 6 figure income if I wanted, but I don’t because I know what’s best for my family. ?
I enjoy being home, and I admire other women who master the art of homemaking. If only the world knew that those women DO work, MANY hours you aren’t even aware of! But it’s ok, she just keeps it her little secret!
Ladies, it is the highest calling! It is proven children do better when their house is really a home.
Get rid of the feelings of pressure that the world wants you to feel so that those feelings aren’t passed on to your daughters!
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59 Iowamom October 15, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Great post! I always knew I wanted to stay at home, but I also knew I needed a college education to support myself if Prince Charming never came along. I got that degree and met my now-husband and told him flat out “if we have kids I’m definitely staying at home”. He was ecstatic because he wanted a traditional wife/SAHM for his future children. The Lord definitely brought us together! I’ve been at home for almost 11 years now and have never felt anything but blessed. I sing the praises of being a SAHM and thank the heavens that I’ve had the opportunity. :)

60 Kelly Raudenbush October 15, 2010 at 11:22 pm

Love it–thank you so much for sharing this. A friend of mine posted a link to it on her blog. I’m so glad to read it tonight.

61 Jil October 16, 2010 at 12:02 am

Kimba – This is the first time I’ve ever read your blog. I’ve got to tell you, I’m so impressed. I’m much older than you and am still trying to come to terms with being a stay-at-home mom. I guess those things that were drilled into us in the 70′s are hard to let go. I’ve always felt that I was a failure because I didn’t have a career. I’ve always tried to help, you know, working part-time to get by and helping make ends meet. Now my children are almost all gone (I have a 15 year-old still at home) and feel like I need to go to school and get a degree so that I can finally get that career and be a success. I’ve felt that I’ve never really made much of a difference. So Thank You, Thank You for your blog. Hopefully I will gain the peace that you have and know that it’s okay to just be happy being a mom and grandma. I think it’s a beautiful concept that we all need to hear more!! Thanks again!!

62 Kelly Billhime October 16, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I have several sahm friends and I have always envied them. I guess it is sort-of opposite for me,in that I have always felt guilty not staying home full time and feel like I have to justify why I work. Although I work VERY part-time, I still don’t want to miss a minute with my kids or have need of someone else to care for them. Luckily that someone else has always been there Grandparents, for which I am forever grateful for. Staying at home just never seemed like an option for us, without my husband having to take a second job on weekends or a night shift, and we would have no family time. Now that my kids are in school all day, I have been able to adjust my hours to 2 days a week and just while they are in school. I love that I can be here when they are home now….but I’ll probably always hold some guilt over working part time when they were young….believe me, I know how much it matters. Beautiful post. Hope you don’t mind if I share it on my blog via link to yours.
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63 Courtney @ nesting instincts October 18, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Thank you for re-posting this, Kimba! I’m sure I read it when you first posted it, but it’s hitting me now as if for the first time. I just spent most of last week complaining about how I feel “trapped” in my role as a stay-at-home mom. My youngest has some special needs, and that’s not what I signed up for when I decided to be a mom! But, God knew what was coming and he knew that my character needed the shaping that would come from such a situation. I’m constantly wanting to do more with my business…be more creative…have the time to do what I want to do…and yet being a SAHM is important to me and I don’t want to sacrifice that. I think your post is another one of God’s gentle reminders that though there are many other ways I could spend my time, THIS is what he’s called me to right now. And it’s a high calling. There are so few people out there encouraging us SAHM’s that your voice is refreshing. Thank you!
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64 Fairfield House October 18, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Kimba,

I wrote a post called Domestic Goddess that I think you would like:
http://fairfieldhousenj.com/2010/05/12/domestic-goddess/

I agree. It matters.

Your Friend,
Deborah

65 Ann October 19, 2010 at 8:29 am

I used to feel the same way… Right after college, I worked and got two Masters Degree because I know I am a career woman…but as you said came marriage and my child. At first my mother took care of my son, but after 4 years she passed away so I have to be the one to take care of him and our home. Sad part is… that is the only time that I start learning household chores even how to turn on the gas range…
But now, I am a happy stay-at-home Mom and a simple homemaker…
And I am proud that I was able to give up my career and not get a domestic helper to do it for me, because then I wouldn’t have the same bonding with my child that I have now.

66 Amber October 19, 2010 at 10:31 pm

I so relate. College, grad school…and then finally listened to my heart. Family is where my heart is. For me, being a mother to my two little ones is the hardest and most important job I can never quit.
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67 DeAnna October 20, 2010 at 12:16 am

WoW

68 DeAnna October 20, 2010 at 12:28 am

I hit enter before I could finish! Thank you for articulating what so many women, myself included, have thought. I have 3 boys; a 21 year old, a 17 year old and a 7 year old. I have first hand experience on how fast the time goes. During the older boys’ early childhood I worked and they were in daycare. I missed alot of things with them, things I will never get back. All for a career that I am no longer in and could care less to go back to. I would trade my career to go back and hear my oldest play and sing and tell stories, or just take the time to listen to my 17 year old just talk. I get that opportunity now with my 7 year old and while I am happy for it, I am wistful about the times lost with my older boys. I truly love being home. I love being present for my family. How we reached a point that women are devalued to being nurturers is amazing to me, but I will buck that trend to spend more precious time with my boys.

69 Audrey October 20, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Thank you. This is just what I needed to hear.

70 deidra October 20, 2010 at 7:52 pm

I clicked here and saw that photo and I remembered reading these words when you first posted them. Immediately I heard you leaning over coffee to tell me that what I do matters.
This post is classic and true. S
uch rich words that encourage and fortify those who feel as if they just muddle through each day.
These words bless deeply.
You bless deeply.
Thank you for re-posting this.

71 emily freeman October 21, 2010 at 10:58 pm

I was okay…until you leaned across the table and spoke straight to me. Thank you, friend. Your words are a gift.
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72 jennifer October 22, 2010 at 6:21 am

wow! I knew there was a reason I had copy and pasted your blog in my favs! I am glad you reposted this one as well! I grew up in the 70′s and had all the same conflicting drama EXCEPT that I married the guy next door and could cook, figured we would divorce when we were no longer good for each other! (even wrote our vows to this goal as well)
I am blossoming into my role way too late! I was miserable but believed what I was doing had to be done by somebody and might as well be me!
Now our youngest is about to turn 18 and we have been married for 32 years! amazing huh!!
I found the distaste from other women to be the most hurtful…and when I did have to go to work 8 years ago, the women in the work place were miserable and wanted to be at home…and actually thought Stay At Home moms hated them!!! I told them and anyone that said their wives would rather be home …to go home and pull in that belt!
What a woman does at home is SO MUCH MORE VALUABLE THAN MONEY! and will support more deeply than cash!
thanks for the moment!

73 amy October 22, 2010 at 9:25 am

i so get this. i love this post and wish i would have read something like this those first few months that i didn’t go back to work. i would say it took me a good year to be fully comfortable in my role as a sahm, fully and happy and contant and feeling value in it myself. i valued it in others but for some reason it took me a while to get there myself.
thanks for sharing this!
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74 LadySmith October 22, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Kimba:
First time to the site and wow! this is incredile. I have been trying to find some way of communicating these feelings since becoming a MOm. I love being at home with my kids but its overwhelming and a role that although I love, struggle with. I want to be really good at it, but feel like so many ppl think that this role is so passe … (how can a role that shapes, loves, gives security, strength and good examples to our children be passe, unimportant and not encouraged more?). Anyways, thanks for putting into words what I have felt. if it’s okay, can I link to your post from my site. I have some ladies that would love to read.

75 Tricia Heliker October 23, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Obviously you touched a lot of people with your comments and feelings about doing the wonderful work of at-home Mom. I was able to stay at home with my children until they were 4 and 5 at which time I divorced and had to get back into the work force. I am still very grateful that I had that time to be the primary influence in my children’s early development. Now my daughter is 37 and expecting her first child. As a school principal she is facing that tough decision herself. There are so many variables that must be considered, but if staying home is a possibility, it is a wonderful gift you can give to your children and not something their father could purchase elsewhere at any price.

76 Ruthie Staalsen October 23, 2010 at 3:00 pm

There is a season for everthing and you never want to have regrets. I was fortunate enough to be home with my two girls and it was very hard work, especially since I had a career for 12 years prior to their birth. Every day was the mundane and I had to grit my teeth and bare the hard times and treasure the beauty of being able to watch them grow up. Now, they are in middle school and don’t need my full time attention like they did and I’m able to run my own business and spend more time with my husband. There is a season and you do what you have to do at the time and then you can look back and count it as a priviledge that you got to raise them!

Amen to your post, preach it girl!

77 Lisa October 23, 2010 at 3:14 pm

God dragged me kicking and screaming to my stay-at-home mom role. I was a career woman who had worked many years and many long hours to obtain a role I thought I wanted. God had other plans. Now after 18 months of being a stay-at-home mom, I no longer feel the need (usually!) to tell people “I am a stay-at-home mom but I used to be ….” I have peace about being with our children and providing a loving home that like you, can be a “soft place” for them to land.

Thank you for expressing and sharing what so many women feel.
Lisa´s last blog ..Monkey See- Monkey DoMy ComLuv Profile

78 Alethea October 24, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Hi Kimba, a friend of mine sent me to your blog for this specific post. I write a blog called I’m Domestic…not DEAD! and have posted many an article on this very subject. It’s so good to hear this sentiment from others as well. I can’t tell you how much I’ve had each one of the feelings you spoke of on your post. The catharsis happens, though, if you allow yourself to be who you really want to be, and thankfully for me (and you, too!), that is a housewife. I’m not ashamed to say it!

I love you’re blog, and am so glad my friend introduced me to it!

79 susanne October 24, 2010 at 8:39 pm

I’ve not had the opportunity to stay home when my daughter was young , but what time I did stay at home , I loved to work in my home . Even a stack of laundry and scrubbing something I try to think , I am blessing my home and family by this . I think it helped ! God Bless .

80 Rona October 25, 2010 at 12:15 pm

A work related injury “forced” me home. After 2 years of rehab and a settlement check I was left with what am I going to do now?
What a blessing to discover that I loved being a stay at home mom, homeschooling our son and loving every minute.
These days I work at home fulltime but I still miss those days of having lunch with my husband and teen at his work. Or attending a sporting event that our son was in.
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81 Rona October 25, 2010 at 12:47 pm

I wanted you to know that this post was very inspiring. I returned to my blog and shared my stay at home experience.
I also provided a link to your site.
Have a blessed week.
Rona´s last blog ..Menu Plan Monday – October 25- 2010My ComLuv Profile

82 Felisha October 25, 2010 at 3:33 pm

THANK YOU!
I needed this today. After doing the career thing for 12 years, and then having our first child a year and a half ago, we made the decision that I would be a stay at home mommy. I love it, but boy there are days…..
Many days I feel as though I’m the only one who is staying home and okay with it. I have friends that stay home, who have maids, dog walkers, nannies, lawn people, or send their kids to daycare during the week, and are constantly asking “how could you ever …..” about actually taking care of my child AND doing housework, walking my own dog, doing our own lawn etc. There is nothing wrong with hiring some help, but boy did I need some encouragement today! Its tough when you feel like you made the best decision for you and your family and no one else understands it. Thanks for reminding me that what I do matters :)

83 April @ HomeHinges.com October 26, 2010 at 11:46 am

You stated it so well. Thanks.
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84 Larissa October 26, 2010 at 12:35 pm

I’m not a mother and plan never to be one. I’m a career person. However, part of the reason I don’t plan to be a mother is because if I did, I’d want to do it right and stay home. And since I don’t stay home, I don’t intend to do it half-assed. My mother stayed home with us when I was a kid, kept the house, fed us a good breakfast every morning, packed us lunch, got us to & from school, helped us with homework, fed us after-school snack, and had a good dinner on the table every night. She was class mother and on the PTA. She came on class trips, did bake sales, ran fundraisers. I value that time and attention she gave us and think other kids were shortchanged, and I wouldn’t trade my childhood with my stay-at-home mom for ANYTHING. Kudos to you moms. It’s not an easy job, but it’s a valuable one.

85 Mandy October 26, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Thank you so much for reposting this. I’m in my third year of being a SAHM with my first baby and the constant feeling that I could be doing something more important for our family has been a continuous struggle for me. Fortunately, I do feel that I’m over the hump of this false, pre-fixed idea and on my way to a better, more confident mother and wife. I sincerely appreciate the perfect way you put this condition into words, you made my heart leap for joy as I realized once again the truth to a mothers commitment and love to her children.
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86 Gayathri I October 26, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Thanks..is too small for the comfort I received by reading your words…These are words I have been waiting to hear from someone across the coffee table since I left work after my delivery. This is the first time I am visiting your blog…Thanks to moneysavingmom! I am into first years of really not knowing what to do in this new role. . .as rightly said did’nt bother to learn.

I would continue to visit your blog for the comfort I receive!

87 Ashley J. October 26, 2010 at 6:33 pm

“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.”

I don’t know why, but I cried. Thank you.

88 Kath M October 26, 2010 at 6:50 pm

A wonderful hearfelt blog post! Amen!
I have linked over to visit you from moneysavingmom’s sight. I’ll be adding you to my blogroll. :~)

This past spring I graduated my youngest. I had the pleasure, honor and joy to be a stay at home mom who homeschooled for over a dozen years. When asked what I did I always told the person “I am so richly blessed to be a stay at home homeschooling mom of two great boys!”

Thank you for sharing
Blessings,
Kath M

89 Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates October 27, 2010 at 1:50 am

SUCH a fantastic post Kimba!! Bless you for posting it again (I loved it the first time too)!
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90 Courtney McAulay October 27, 2010 at 4:59 pm

All I can say is “thank you.” I felt like you and I were sitting here right next to each other and I seriously wanted to lean over and give you a big hug and cry a little on your shoulder. I definitely needed this today. :)

91 Michelle October 28, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Thank-you!

92 Audrey October 30, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Bless you Kimba for this post. I was so there with you and some days I still am. I have been very blessed to be able to be a SAHM but there are days……..
God Bless You!!
Audrey´s last blog ..Published!!! in Copper Wire Jewelers Magazine Volume 4 page 15My ComLuv Profile

93 Sarah October 31, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Kimba: This was a soft place to land right when I needed it. Thank you so much.

94 Tami C October 31, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Thank.You.

95 Sheila October 31, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Very sweet of you, you have a great big heart!

Hugs,
SHeila

96 Penny October 31, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Thank you for writing this. This is my second time back to re-read your post. The first time I was so overwhelmed that I couldn’t even respond. I work and I LOVE what I do, but I also resent that I have a job. All I wanted to be when I grew up was be a stay at home Mom, like my Mom was. And all my Mom wanted to do while I was growing up was get out of the house to work, but she was an at home Mom. I wanted her there at home but she wanted out. My Dad won out (there were 6 of us after all!) It was very conflicted and confusing and I never liked feeling like she would chose to be away from me (us) instead of with us. Now as my children grow up I wish I was at home but I need to work. Although, I did work from home with an “in home” Nanny until they were almost in school I still feel like I should have done better. I am grateful for your post because it reminds me that what I wanted for my kids is not wrong or un-valuable. I wish I was at home but I need to work, so I make sure that whether I am at work or home I am always available to my kids. I can drop what I do at the drop of a hat and everyone involved knows that my kids come first. But deep inside there is still a longing to just be at home. Good for you for making the choices that need to be made. All the best.
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97 Natasha November 19, 2010 at 4:32 am

I am so very late in reading this but I just have to say that this post was brilliant. Oh how I agree with everything you have said…I am a child of the 70′s who was told that I could do everything and be anything I wanted. I am now at home with my kids, doing a little bit of substitute teaching and enjoying being a loving wife to my wonderful husband.

Thank you for re-posting this-you have made my day!

Best wishes,
Natasha.
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