I shared my heart a few months ago, about my struggle with being a stay-at-home mom. It was a post that I knew I was supposed to write, but felt myself extremely frightened hitting publish. For the most part, the “bearing of my soul” was incredible well-received, and you all just showered me with encouragement and stories of your own struggle.
Thank you, for that.
The more I share my heart, the real me, the more I realize that there are so many others out there that also struggle. This is all so strangely freeing.
To know I’m not alone in my depression and struggle with motherhood.
Of course, I know the struggle is mostly in my head—that I am not the only imperfect one. But getting it to sink deep down into my heart? That’s a different story.
Most of this is about the battle to connect my heart’s cry with my what my mind knows.
Dealing with Opposition
So, I said that it was mostly well-received. There was a bit of opposition. I’m not afraid of opposition, and I am so thankful for those comments. We all need to be able to hear the criticisms, and take them to the Lord. He has given us each other to point us to Him—sometimes through difficult conversations.
I did take the concerns to the Lord, and to my husband, but came out from it back where I had landed—that this IS the best place for us now.
Yet, I find myself feeling a bit mis-understood.
It is difficult to communicate by heart, and all of my story in 700 words. My struggle with being a stay-at-home mom is only one part of the journey. The words of the concerned commenters were very kind, but I could hear the worry in their words—the worry that I was going off the deep end, losing my focus—and my children would be the ones to pay for my “mistake”.
I don’t know, maybe this is all about the same issue, that I care too much about the ideal and what other’s think. But it still weighs heavy on my heart—that you all might be out there thinking that since I have given up my pursuit of being the typical stay-at-home mom, I am now giving my kids second-best.
How I’ve Become a Better Mom
There are certainly other factors involved, but the bottom line is that the pursuit of the ideal had led me to depression, and as I have taken steps away from trying to fit into a certain “homemaker” mold, my depression is lifting. (That, and a certain little blue and white pill.)
I did not making it lightly, this decision to not homeschool. Nor did I flippantly make the decision to start working outside of the home. Neither were made out of emotions—on solely what I feel. These decisions were prayerfully, slowly, and carefully made by my husband and me.
I was absolutely against going back to work and putting the kids in childcare, even for just a few days a week. It felt like a deferring of my God-given role to someone else. I had my heart set on homeschooling and continuing the typical full-time stay-at-home mom pursuits. But there was one big problem.
It wasn’t working.
Honestly, I was a really bad mother most of the time. Extremely irritable; completely un-motivated to do anything around the house, while I wallowed in my “failures” because my time at home didn’t look like so-and-so’s.
I was so overwhelmed by all that I wasn’t, that it paralyzed me from being who God made me to be.
I have been searching the scriptures lately, on this phrase in Titus 2 to be a “worker at home”, this phrase that so many see as the lynchpin to motherhood. I’m kinda surprised by what I have been learning, and observing…
…but that is all for another post.
Do you feel the pressure to be a certain “type” of “good Christian” mom?
Where do you feel you may be trying to fit into a mold God never designed you to be in?
Have you experienced this “walking away from the ideal” to find that it makes you a better momma?