November 8

My Struggle with Being a Stay-at-Home Mom


I really struggle with being home with my little ones. I love them, incredibly, but after six years of being home full-time it has become clear this is not a good place for me, right now.

It has been a hard pill to swallow, this realization that I can’t be the stay-at-home-mom I think I should be.  

Somewhere along the lines I have bought into the lie that to be a good Christian mom I need to stay home, keep my house clean, plan out my meals and bake my own bread. I must homeschool my kids, with a well-thought out plan for each day, and I should enjoy it every step of the way.

Fact is, my house is a wreck, my awesome husband does most of the cooking, and I dread making plans for our day. I am continually looking for ways to divert my children’s attention away from me, and I breathe a sigh of relief when they are all finally in bed.

I don’t like being a stay-at-home mom. There, I said it.

The Bible is clear that my family must come first. It is clear that I am to love, serve and teach my children. I am to be a worker at home—my home ministry is to be my base and what is most important. However, it is not clear on many things.

There is no command in scripture I see that says I must educate solely from home (as much as I wish I could homeschool). The Bible does not forbid me from having a ministry outside of the home, or working and putting my kids in childcare. I will not be condemned for feeding my kids McDonalds or letting them watch more than an hour of TV a day.

No one has said these things directly to me, but somewhere along the lines I have believed these lies. Slowly I have bought into the thinking that there is only one type of mom that is the “ideal mom”.

It has proven deadly to my soul.

We’ve made some big adjustments, in the last few months, in order to change the unhealthy trajectory of my well-being. I am settled and content with where the Lord has me. I have a messy house. I don’t meal plan, and when I do cook it usually involves a can opener and a microwave. I am not a homeschool mom. I work part-time, and a few days a week, my kids are childcare kids (and to my surprise, they love it!)

I have had to let go of what I thought the “ideal” mom looked like, and as I have, it has freed me up to become a better mom.

Life: UnmaskedLinking up with Joy.


depression, Family, Following Jesus, Home First, homeschool, parenting, Sojourning

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  1. I’m with you. I’m not at the place where I want to work outside the home (mostly because I don’t like the constraints of a work schedule…I like my flexibility), but I definitely feel that relief when the kids are in bed and all is quiet.

    I’ve been struggling with having the ideal schedule, homeschool day, fun activities planned by mom, etc. Most days my husband & I wake up to the kids walking/crawling down the hall, we’re in our pj’s until nearly 10, and we just go with the flow. My kids go to bed at 8 and are up by 6-6:30…one doesn’t nap, and {for the sake of rambling}, can I just say I’m tired of everyone’s easy solutions.

    What if my life, schedule, family doesn’t come out of a how-to book?

    So apparently I needed to blow off some steam. But good for you…we’re supposed to be following Jesus and his plan for our family, not the Christian American ideal.

    1. “we’re supposed to be following Jesus and his plan for our family, not the Christian American ideal.”


      Thanks for sharing, Jess. Ugh, I so feel that pressure, just about everyday. And I know in my head it is just silly. Bottom line, I guess I care too much about what people think of me.

  2. AHHHHHHH!!!!!! Someone else said it out loud!

    I have to confess that some days, I don’t even like being a MOM, stay-at-home or otherwise. I feel terrible for that. But some days are just that bad.

    You’re exactly right — we’re not all the same, and we don’t have to do the same things. Nor will the same things fit our individual families.

  3. Oh you know how as bloggers we say, “Your honesty is refreshing.” Well I am going to go one step further and say, “Your honesty is life-changing.” I am not a mom yet, but hoping to be soon, but as a wife, I felt this unspoken pressure when I first got married, probably mostly from myself to be this “ideal” that I had in my mind, and I almost fell apart under the pressure.

    Thank you for being real about your life, your desires, and YOU.

    My mom always told me, “Be true to yourself and to the Lord.” I am SO glad that you are doing that!

  4. Katie,
    This post is a great example of How God has given us all different gifts and callings. Not all of us are called to homeschool or stay at home with our kids. God has a special purpose and plan for us individually. Unfortunately society (at least in the Christian community) can make us feel like we are less of a Mother because we don’t do these things. I have done all of the above. There was a time when I had no choice but to work outside the home, and send my son to school. I now stay home and homeschool. I have always asked God each year what is right for US and not what anyone else thinks I should be doing.

    Thanks for your honesty!

  5. Hi Katie –

    I loved your post, and your honesty. Thank you so much for your openness, I know it’s not easy! I think many women can relate…I know I can. I love my 2 little girls to death (and I work 2 days a week) but the struggle with guilt, comparisons to the “perfect mom” picture in my head, that I should be at home more, be more interactive, be more patient, whatever…those thoughts and comparisons are hard.

    God’s been really working on that with me lately. I’m finding that many of my ideals of what it looks like to be a “Christian mom” aren’t all that realistic…just because every mom is so different, and God has a unique plan for all of our families. I’m trying to find that balance of being content in my season, but still making the necessary changes to ensure that we’re following His expectations for our family, and no one else’s.

    His yoke is easy, His burden is light. 🙂

    God bless you, sweet girl! Your family is beautiful, by the way! 🙂


    1. Thank you, Ashlie. No one can “do it all” and I KNOW that, funny how it just takes a while to really SINK into my heart.

      Thanks for your encouragement!

  6. Thank you, thank you…

    Thank you for your transparency.

    I used to be torn up with guilt because I KNEW in my heart that I am CALLED to be teaching in the public school where we live.

    And finally, I realized… Why is this tearing me up?
    I KNOW that I am doing exactly what He wants me to do, my husband is supportive, our children are doing great . . . why do I feel like I need to justify myself to others, who don’t know me very well, or our situation at all??

    Thank you for sharing this.
    It is freeing.

    1. You are welcome, Meredith! I am thankful for your reply, and knowing this is freeing for you. I have been scared to push publish!

      I had a realization point as well. For me, it was seeing the reality of the depressed, unstable mother I had become. It would have been stupid and crazy to continue down that path…regardless of what others thought.

      Thank you for your comment!

  7. I love the transparency you share here. After being a single / teen mother (and obviously having to work) I was able to stay home after getting married 14 years ago, but then after an injury 5 years into our marriage I was forced back into the work field. Now being the mother of 5 boys…even though their all in school, I long to be home so badly….for years it hindered my marriage, my walk with Christ, and my mothering…I was always so bitter.
    I have changed that course of mind set…and while I truly believe God has something different for me….which would reflect more of a home mother, I am a bit more at peace that He has me where I am now for a season and for a purpose! Even Great women of the Bible worked outside the home!
    So glad to have connected here!

    1. Thank you for sharing, Stacey!

      As I’ve walked through this, and tried to “self-talk” myself out of things, I have often thought, “well, what about the single mom?” I wouldn’t have, and don’t now say that it is wrong for them to not be home. They don’t have a choice!

      Alas, it is still hard to get your heart to believe something, and we often have different standards for ourselves then everyone else.

      Thank you for sharing!

  8. Our first priority is to God and what He calls us to do, not man’s. And sometimes, He even breaks His own “rules”. Obviously, not to a point of sinning, but to the point of love (healing on the Sabbath, for example).

    He has called us to a life of freedom and love. He has called us to worship Him, not our homes or our ideals (or anybody else’s).

    I really am learning so much and it is refreshing to see how God pulls us out of the muck of everyone else’s yoke. Even I am coming up out of the yoke of trying to live the perfect life and learning to live in His grace; to embrace life’s messes. It has been so freeing and so beautiful–words could not express all that He has taught me about grace this year.

    Speaking of ideals, (ha ha), I’m starting the Resolution for Women on Thursday on my blog. 😛 But the beautiful thing about it? It’s broad enough to include every woman, in every walk of life–because it focuses on love, faithfulness and discipleship. These are things we can all aim for as God has called us to it. 🙂

    Blessings, Katie! Your honest heart is what He’s after! 🙂

    1. ” it is refreshing to see how God pulls us out of the muck of everyone else’s yoke”

      I love how you put this! Isn’t tht what we do? Take on burdens God never intended us to bear.

      Thanks for sharing, Kristin.

  9. Oh girl, you are real, honest, making a place where others can be vulnerable, too!

    So proud of you for sharing your heart. For stepping out, and taking a risk with your words.

    You must be a writer or something 🙂

  10. Oh Katie- I was looking forward to this post after talking at Relevant!! You speak truth many of us fear to speak of…I’m so thankful for you!!!!

  11. As the Mom of a 2 1/2 year old that just took on an internship with her church, I agree that being a SAHM has to be a calling in itself. As Christians we should go where we are called, recently God called me to help my church. This means my kiddo has to go to childcare twice a week, but it’s still right, good, and God inspired. So many times we try to put family first, but God is supposed to be first. I think we have to be open to letting God work in our hearts, but we have to stop telling God what that looks like!!! Great blog!

  12. Thank you so much for your honesty and transparency! In a world where we only show what we want others to see, it is often easy to fall into the lies that the enemy whispers into our hearts.
    God has called us to do immeasurably good works for those around us, and sometimes that means stepping outside the home to accomplish those things. I, too, have felt the tug to leave behind this season of my life – not because I don’t love my daughter or the relationship we’ve been able to build but because this whole stay-at-home thing is just not where I feel my purpose is. I am having a hard time sorting through the “shoulds” and finding the truth right now. Thanks for your openness.

    1. “In a world where we only show what we want others to see, it is often easy to fall into the lies that the enemy whispers into our hearts.”

      Yes! You know, as I have begun the route of sharing a deeper level of my soul, and admission of my depression and struggles, I have found that most struggle with these things too. You hit the nail on the head, Satan wants us to keep quiet, and believe his lies. Coming out of the darkness exposes his lies.

  13. Thank you for putting words to what no one will say. So filled with grace this morning, blessings.

  14. I am a stay-at-home mom and a homeschooling mom and a business at home mom. And a work in the ministry at church 8 hours a week mom. All of these things I prayed about and feel without a doubt convinced God answered my prayers about entering into each of these endeavors. And I love it all and I don’t feel led to let anything go at this time, but girl, this stuff NEEDS to be said. It breaks my heart when people see everything that I’m doing and make comments that make me think they’re comparing their walk to mine. I try to remind each of them that this is MY JOURNEY and God is walking with them in the same way He’s walking with me. It’s so hard for us not to compare ourselves to others.

    Staying at home should be just as prayerful of a decision as going to work and vice-versa. Putting your children in school should be just as much an act of faith and prayerfully considered as homeschooling. It’s all a faith walk and knowing with confidence that if you seek to do His will, He will light the path.

    We need women like you to help free women from the bondage of the LAWS we Christians burden one another with–especially sisters in Christ. There is FREEDOM in Christ to do EXACTLY what He’s calling ME to do, not to do what YOU are called to do!

    I praise God for your voice this morning. Preach it, and help set the captives free, sister!

    1. Thank you, Erin! I am so thankful to hear your perspective, and glad to hear how you are pointing people to seek God in His plan for THEIR lives.

  15. This … yes! I feel it and I echo my dear friend Joy’s comment above:

    “AHHHHHHH!!!!!! Someone else said it out loud!

    I have to confess that some days, I don’t even like being a MOM, stay-at-home or otherwise. I feel terrible for that. But some days are just that bad.”

    I love my child … but she is not the center of my world and being her mom is not the majority of my identity.

    If it’s even possible, I think I love you more now than ever!!

  16. Thank you so much for this! It made me cry. I recently had to go back to work full time because my husband is self-employed but we just were not making it. This decision was made right after I started homeschooling our 4 1/2 year old. I have been struggling with wondering if this is God’s will because a “true Christian mom” should be at home nurturing her kids, cooking healthy meals and so on. Your post was such an encouragement and eye opener, to trust God wherever He has placed me and to trust Him with my children.

    1. Oh, thank you for sharing, Kristine! I am so thankful to know that I am not alone in this struggle!

  17. Since I had my son later in live (age 33), I truly thought I’d be the 24-hour stay at home mom. I prepared as much as I could, both mentally and physically for the task ahead.

    About 9 months in, my thinking changed ~ greatly. I realized staying home 24-hours a day, everyday simply wasn’t for me or HIM. I began taking him to a Christian childcare facility 2-3 mornings a week. Like you, I found HE LOVED IT! It allowed me to work, which was extremely fulfilling for me.

    I struggled with guilt ~ lots of it. However, I am one to maximize EVERY moment I have with him, be it an hour or 12 hours. We talk, play, ponder, laugh, cry, etc… during the time we have. I don’t feel like I waste time, although there are times both of us just want time to ourselves. That’s OK.

    I’ve also gone back and forth with the homeschool idea. There are days I think “This is for us” while other days I ask myself “What was I thinking?” Our son, Alex, is in a wonderful Christian school where he is receiving a stellar education. He has developed wonderful friendships and knows the lay of the land well. Again, especially when I’m around homeschooling moms, I begin feeling guilty. I will not rule out homeschooling, but it is not for us now.

    Thank you for your transparency. It has greatly resonated with me.

  18. Katie, thank you for this post. I have stayed home with my son for most of the last 4 years. He started out in daycare while I worked fulltime. Then my job was outsourced and my husband left his job. We decided at that time that we wanted me home with my son. We have struggled financially with that decision, but emotionally we have been very happy. But I would like another child. And we are unhappy with our current living situation. If we want to add to our family and change our living situation at the same time, I will have to go back to work. I have been struggling with that. How will I keep up with the demands of a job, and the demands of a household, and the demands of a family, while cultivating a relationship with a new little life and not sacrificing time with our son or my husband? I know I can’t do it all, and I find myself intimidated by moms who seem to have it all together. I have trouble remembering that bloggers rarely post about the bad days. I don’t post about my bad days on my blog. But you know something? I know a family who seems to have it all together. The dad works A LOT, away from home most of the time. And the mom has had some MAJOR health problems and the Drs haven’t found a cause yet, they did choose for her to stop working for a few months while she was recovering, but she has recently returned to work. And yet they are happy, faithful Christians whom I have never heard complain about their situation, and even in the worst of times, had smiles and encouragement for everyone around them. Their 3 children, a boy and twin girls, happily (thrivingly, if that’s a word…) attend a low-rated public school. They also make time to attend church every week, rarely missing a service; to volunteer at their kids’ school and in church activities; and to develop relationships with other church members. Oddly, I don’t find myself intimidated by them, but intrigued and inspired. I wish I knew more people like them, and it is my hope one day that my family might be the example for others that theirs is for me.

  19. Yes! I agree with Joy and Teri Lynne. My heart breaks that you were scared to hit ‘publish.’ I want to come over, give you a big hug, and not let go for a while. We are all uniquely created for His purposes. Somehow, we forget that when it doesn’t always fit the cultural mold. I work pt five days a week and it is the best thing becaus I doing what H

  20. He has called me to as well as being/raising my kids. He has created you uniquely-to serve Him at home and beyond-no one else can do this! I’m proud of you for recognizing your boundaries and setting up a healthy structure that fits you and your family. It takes guts and a lot of maturity.

    Sad we didn’t get to connect at Relevant-would have LOVED to. You are a treasure!!

    (sorry ab it being broken up…was replying on my phone and somehow hit submit too soon!)

    1. Thanks, Kristi, I appreciate your word of wisdom and encouragement! Hopefully the Lord will cross our paths again soon!

  21. Katie, Love that you gave yourself permission to not fit into the mold of a stay at home mom. My kids are older now but like you, I really struggled in that season and realize how much I need to time to myself to feel “normal”. So glad you took the risk and shared honestly.

  22. Thank you for saying it out loud!! I live in community with many Christian women that do not identify (or will not admit) this. I am a stay at home mom to 4 children (7,4,2,and 9 months). This post was so needed for me right now. I truly felt alone. Just last week I was struggling with the same thing and spoke with my hubby about it. He’s encouraged me to go back to school for my Masters degree (something I’ve been wanting to do for some time). Having this time to be “more than mom” is healthy for me AND them! Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

    1. Ty, there is so much more to be said, that has gone behind the scenes of this post. But, the truth is that my time at home was not working for anyone.

      As part of me still wants to be home full-time, wants to homeschool, and wants to enjoy my kids. But, though I was seeking the “ideal,” things were falling apart.

      I was falling apart.

      I think it is all a journey of figuring out God’s will for our lives, and how He has made each of us to uniquely fulfill His plan.

      Thank you for sharing your heart, and I pray that you would continued to be guided by the Lord’s heart and plan for your family!

  23. This is such a brave post, Katie!! My take on the situation is that when we are called to be parents, we are called to be parents for the REST OF OUR CHILDREN’S LIVES. There is no one on earth who is a perfect parent for every age your child is. Some are better with newborns, some people love toddlers, and I really believe that some parents don’t really LOVE being a parent or feel great at it until their kids are waaaaay older (high school and beyond).

    In m opinion, blogs make it WORSE – we see perfect snapshots of perfect families living perfect little lives, and never get to see the chaos or the struggles!! So in turn, that makes us feel worse about having dirty toilets or not shopping ORGANIC (THE HORROR) or putting our kids in daycare. You are awesome to be so brave and say it all out loud. I love you!!

    1. I agree, blogs make it worse. We HAVE to remember that everyone is posting those few things they do well. They are doing things that I don’t so well, but there are other things I am able to do that they aren’t. We can all do it all.

      Love you. Miss you. GIRLS WEEKEND SOON!

  24. Isn’t it wonderful to throw off false guilt that tells us we are no good and embrace the freedom that comes from being real. I agree with Emily that blogs make it worse, which is why I have taken pictures of my dirty laundry and posted them on my blog. And I don’t homeschool. I hate scrapbooking. I hate to exercise. I have a whole site devoted to poorganics, which is the lazy-mom’s not-quite-organics, and let me tell you, my house is wreck. There I said it. But, thanks be to God, he’s not grading me. 🙂 I love grace.

    1. Thanks, Katrina!

      Something freeing in knowing that my house is not the only one that is a wreck!

  25. Just now getting around to reading this and am glad to see that you didn’t get blasted in the comments but rather got loved. So proud of our blogging community’s acceptance of doing what God has called us individually to do, and not pushing each other into cookie-cutter roles.

    And so proud of you for your courage to put this out here. I don’t know many who would be so bold. May the Lord continue to bless you as you serve him in the variety of ways you do, Katie. You have many beautiful ministries!

    And of course I love all that AU gear on your kids! War Eagle. 🙂

  26. Katie, your transparency is admirable and refreshing. I know that pressure to be the “ideal” Christian mom, too. In fact, I was absolutely determined, in the name of feminism, of course, not to be pigeon holed into being a stay at home mom before. Before I had little ones, I thought I would work full time and my children would be cared for by family members; after all, didn’t I, too, have dreams?
    And then G was born. And God began working out what it meant to be the ideal Christian mom in my mind. And, for me, it didn’t include working outside of the home in a traditional way. He had to breakdown those stereotypes of the ideal Christian mother in my mind in order for me to be who I was created to be: a mostly stay at home mom with her hands in a business and writing. It’s funny how we all feel we have these ideals to live up to when really we should just be trying to live as we were created to be.

  27. Oh I am so happy that you wrote this brave, honest post. I have been a stay at home mom since I had my oldest, 16 yrs ago… But my husband is having to retire from the military soon, so I have been attending college for the past 2 1/2 yrs, thinking of our future. My kids are in public school also. I have loved being a mom, but have so struggled when I just wanted to be alone…

    Whenever my kids do things I wish they didn’t, or life isn’t going according to the last Christian Super Mom Blog I read, I always beat myself up about things like: “If I had only schooled.”. Or, “If only I lived out in the middle of nowhere & could start over.”. “If only I didn’t have to get a job…. Or spend my time studying so much.”

    Thank you again for your transparency….

  28. Thank you for posting this! I thought I would be extremely fulfilled forever by being a SAHM but that wasn’t the case. I often wondered what was wrong with me while everyone else seemed to be fulfilled by it. I drew inward and pushed myself furthur to be the perfect mom and homemaker. The truth is, I love having outlets! I also need them! and enjoy getting away for conferences (Hello Relevant!) and even working one day a week. I love my girls and am committing to pouring into them during their years at home. I won’t probably be homeschooling (another thing I can feel guilty about) so I am praying even now what my life will look like then. Thanks for making me feel like there is someone else out there like me!

  29. I was a career woman before I married and the Lord changed me somewhere along the way to my (and everyone’s! surprise)after I DID read His word about the Titus 2 and Proverbs 31 woman, as well as his commands in Deut 6 to educate our children all day throughout the day. I have homeschooled my five children, ages 22-16 and I have surprisingly loved it! I am surprised to hear myself say to myself often lately, as the last two are in high school here and basically school themselves (!), that I am actually going to miss homeschooling someone! I hope the oldest gets married soon (Lord willing) and has some babies quick who I can help her homeschool! I loved it! I guess b/c I was career minded/oriented I did not expect stay at home motherhood to have the perks it has….getting to ‘be there’ for all those moments the littles have…True, it was a lot of work and I was also tired alot! and GREATLY enjoyed my daily QUIET time after lunch. I made everyone take this time and it was the thing that kept me sane in those early years. But I don’t regret making the choice to obey what I understood to be God’s plan for women, and stay home. As I see my youngests now nearing the end of their formal education at home, and I think about what I may want to ‘do’ even outside the home, I feel kind of sad. I know that God wants to and does use us outside our homes, but I still can’t read Titus 2 any other way than that my focus (main thing)ought to be home. And like I said, His commands have not been burdensome. I am thankful for this ‘calling’ and , well, maybe I can come over and educate some of your kids! God has changed my heart and I really love it! (I was the teen who hated babysitting/kids!) Anyway…..God bless you all as you seek to do His will. Amen.

  30. I have never had the opportunity to be home with my children. My oldest is 20 and my youngest is 8, and I have two in between. I juggle work, ministry, children, husband, home — it gets overwhelming at times. I have not desired to stay home with my children until just recently, partly because I am older now and well, life is hard to juggle. But a teacher I am not. I don’t think I could school my children well without a fight every morning.

    Thank you for your honest post. I am certain it will ring true in the hearts of many women.

  31. ah. wouldn’t it be nice if we were all just comfortable to be who Jesus made us to be and walk in the truth of His freedom? I am not saying that you shouldn’t have standards and expectations, i certainly do, but it shouldn’t be what drives our home or life. My husband has called me out a couple times in our 14 years of marriage ‘we live in the house’ (there will be some mess) and ‘your family has way too high of a standard of cleanliness’ (you need to lighten up on yourself and others!). i do stay home, and i don’t want a job outside the home… and i do do a lot of the things that you don’t… but those are a value to me. at the same time i feel guilty and like a failure for not doing it as well as well as Sally DoGood from church…

    So, after i read your post i thought, this is what she isn’t… but what IS she? I wonder if you would write and tell us about what you DO want to see in your life?

    One more thing… can we delight in our kids and still want them in bed by 8am. yes indeed, i believe we can…

  32. My family is unconventional. I work full time, my husband is a stay at home dad. I’ve heard the lies that I should give up my job (which supports our expensive bills in South Florida) and stay home with the kids. Let my husband go back to work, even if it means living on 1/4 of the salary we live on now. I’m not buying it. We were called to not live in debt and right now my job is steadily paying down our debt. I work full time and I have my struggles connecting to my kids, I write about it, I pray about it and I’m constantly looking to improve. My comment to you is congratulations for realizing you needed something more than being at home. Now your kids are thriving in a social environment and you are a happy women which in the end makes everyone in the family happier. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  33. I love this! You might be wondering why a stay at homer(or somewhat work from homer) loves this so much, but I really do. For myself, I needed the flexibility of not being in an office at set times of the day and being home was best for me as well as my whole extended family. I used to work a 40+ hour a week job and I was good at it, but I didn’t like the person that it forced me to become. I also couldn’t escape the nagging feeling that I was not using the gifts God had given me to best serve Him. We all have different gifts and callings, though, and so how we serve Him and minister to our families is going to look different from woman to woman.

  34. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this!

    I struggled through being a stay at home mom for 12 years. But I can honestly say that is where God wanted me…struggling…He used those 12 years (some of them homeschooling & some not) to refine me. He stripped me of my pride (I wish I could say “completely”, but that would be a bold-faced lie), and He helped me to become much more “others-focuses” and less self-centered.

    My last child went off to kindergarten this year (times have changed…I wouldn’t have DREAMED of putting my first child in SCHOOL at five!) and I spent about 2 weeks dancing around the house and celebrating and emailing people just to say, “my last kid is gone and I’ve never felt better!…How are you?”. I recently began turning my part-time job working for someone else, into a self-employed business and I am energized beyond words.

    Recently, though, I have had to check my heart. I am one of those wayward souls, and if I find too much joy & fulfillment in my new “job”, I notice I actually begin to resent my children for interrupting me to ask about homework or my husband asking, “Hey, hon! What’s for dinner?”

    This stage of my life is teaching me that my true joy and fulfillment MUST come from God and God alone…I did not find fulfillment in being a stay-at-home mom, and my hunch is I will not find it in being a business-owner. I must enjoy each stage of life–the hard things that grow me as well as the joys & rewards. And along the way, my source of life must be Christ alone.

    Blessings to you on your journey as well!

  35. Well, if that’s what a ‘Christian’ mom is supposed to do, then I’m totally screwed! lol. I despise cooking. Which means I have no iDEA how to ‘meal plan’. My meal plan involves picking which ‘take-out’ for which evening. (Dominoes Pizza sends me Christmas cards each year. Yup, I’m THAT mom.) Our three kids are on the autism spectrum so the thought of homeschooling (which we may have to do once 6th grade hits) almost makes me nauseous. I started my blog for survival…and now it’s my lifeline some days. I love my kids and my family, but sometimes just hearing the word ‘mom’ being yelled…makes me crazy! 😉

    Thanks for the honesty. You are so not alone!

    1. I just love it when women are real…i’m a struggling stay at home mom. My 2 yr old is beautiful and my husband is great. Its just difficult to give as much as i have to daily. God is teaching me selflessness, and quite frankly i would like to cut class sometimes…God bless

  36. I felt the same way when my kids were little. The summers were fun because we could get out, but the winters were incredibly difficult. It was hard on my marriage too as I expected my husband to come home and make up for my non-fun day.

    At the height of my depression, God showed me the importance of renewing my mind every day and that began to make life more bearable and eventually enjoyable.

    It seemed like most of the homeschool moms I knew at the time loved staying home. It’s hard when you’re not that type of person!

  37. Hi.. im probably the only one who has to say i am a little saddened by this artical. I am a 24 yr old women who stays home with 3 children.With all due respect id like to share with you what i beleive the Lord would have me to say.Ive been staying home for about 3 yrs now and i have to admit it was a huge struggle for me.At first i down right hated it(i understand those who are there) but as i read the bible and sought the heart of God i truly believed that the Lord has called us to the home.I would cry out to the Lord night and day to change my heart.To give me his perpective.And little by little HE has done a great work in me.(this sounds so simple but really it was along hard process).Here’s the bottom line of what i wanted to say though. I can not say fully that not staying home is a sin (although a keeper at home is pretty self explanitory)nor can i say dropping off your children at day care is a sin.What i can say is that what is coming from these blogs is all about how “we” feel..”our desires” not nessasarily the heart or will of God. i once heard a pastor say that you can find out God’s will by looking at your passions and desires but i have to say that it not truly biblical. even our Lord said himself “if any man will follow me let him DENY HIMSELF” or how about “whosoever looses his life (his own wants)for my sake(the sake of his will) shall find it”. The will of the Lord is not always easy for our flesh.. but in the end we will find our life in his will. I am not saying God donsnt give us any desires we have nor do i think we cant do any outside ministry.. when time allows i love to go hand out tracks and witness at differnt places. My sisters in Christ… you are on your own journey with the lord and im not trying to bash anyone but what about the more excellent way. our children are so young for such a short time. I think if we truly belived that our children are our little disciples and our minstry we wouldnt give up on focusing on them… I have hard days .. very hard days.. when im so overwhelmed and feel like i cant meassure up, but my life is not about me… what “feels” good. sence when did children become burdens and not blessings.. sence when did christian women settle for what the world says is more fullfilling.. i encourage anyone who reads this to truly ask your self.. are you giving up being a stay at home mom because you think your not “doing” enough for the kingdom?(thats a lie striaght from hell) Are you seeking whats more “satisfying” instead of letting the Lord have his way in you producing in you more than you could ever imagine.Are you striving for your desires instead of what is truly the heart of God?… will you children be messes up or not follow the Lord because you worked or whatever… maybe not but i tell you God has called us to paths less travled.. to selflessness and surrender.. then will you reap a harvest of evrything he has for you… choose that path.. even with its valleys … choose the more excellent way… God bless

    1. Leah, I can hear your heart in your post. As an “older woman” I’d like to encourage you to continue to heed God’s call on your life. You are doing what our Abba has called you to.
      Yes we are called to the narrow way, not the way of the world. Jesus was refering to salvation in this context, not our role as women.
      Motherhood is a calling, a mission and a ministry. None of these things change when we are led to a different path from what our “Christian culture” says is the right way to serve our husbands and families. Our God has created us with the unique role of ezer kenegdo-life sustainer beside thee. We are also called to honor our husbands. God gives them so much insight into what makes us healthy and able to serve. Our cups must be filled at the well with living water so that we may splash that water all over those around us. I am not advocating selfishness or disobedience to the Word of God, simply reminding that we are all unique creations and the way we fulfill our calling will look a little different for each of us.
      When I struggle with my seasonal depression to the point that I can barely get out of bed in the mornings, I crave the love and acceptance that Jesus offers me and I long to reflect that love and acceptance to others who feel that they are “too much” or “not enough”. My children will be exactly who my God created them to be whether I stay home, homeschool, private/public school, cook every night or not at all, I am first and foremost a daughter of the King who has been given opportunity to build into the lives of the disciples He has given me. However, I am NOT called to save my children or make them good. Only God’s Spirit can do that!
      Katie, I love your refreshing honesty and I pray for you upon every remembrance of you that you will continue to heed the voice of Jesus and follow the footprints He leads you in.

      1. thank you shelly.. i am very senitive to depression and the hurts of others as i grew up with a severly depressed mother. But i to say how much of what of what we our feeling or thinking is really of God.. i know for me i could have walked out on this so many times in these last few yrs if i let my mind take controll or my emotions for that matter… i do agree we all have talents and gifting and God has a plan for each of us.. but what i dont agree with is putting aside the Lords clear command for us as wives and mothers for some “indivividual plan”… … we are to Be keepers of our homes… a keeper is there.. watching and guiding and taking care.. I know i am young and in no way do i think ive arived or know it all.. actually this is coming out of a great stuggle for me .. I struggles greatly accepting this call.. i litterly would cry day and night trying to make it through … acting like i enjoyed it.. all the while thinknigni dont want to dot his.. but as i kept seeking the Lord and his word and cryed for him to change my heart to fit HIS plan he did.. little by little.. the reason i talked about the mind is becuz that is where satan gets us.. one thought at a time… “im bored with this” “i have no life” hey, shouldnt you be out evangilizing” “this is to hard,i dont have what it takes” … “i wanna be working maybe then id feel like somebody notices all i do”… we all know the thoughts and then the emotions that flow from our thinking.. probably the same ones that flowed from the femmists movement… agian i love all of you.. ani probabaly the youngest one on this blog. so i pray noone is offended but my opninion.. all in all thank you for hearing what i believe to be true.. in the end we all have to live before the King!!.. Katie i pray the Lord does help you with all you sruggling with and conforts you with the comfort ive also recieved.. I n christ.. Leah

      2. “we are all unique creations and the way we fulfill our calling will look a little different for each of us.”

        Well put, Shelly! I appreciate your encouragement, and your prayers. I do long to “heed the voice of Jesus,” more than all else.

        Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

    2. Hi Leah, thanks for your patience as it has taken me a while to get to your comment. I wanted to be sure to give your concerns thought, and prayer.

      I appreciate your heart, and I hope you can hear mine as well.

      I think you and I are in agreement that a mother has a role at home that only she can fill. It is not one to be taken lightly, nor is it one that should be flippantly cast aside.

      My heart behind this post, and the others I have recently written about my journey, is that I am discovering that I have put parameters on my own life that don’t need to be there; I have placed “should’s and shouldn’ts” where the Bible doesn’t. And, it has been the pursuit of the “ideal” mom that has driven me to depression—not my kids.

      Do I enjoy many of the tasks of taking care of my home? No. But it is not those tasks that make me “feel” this way. Is motherhood difficult? Absolutely. But it is not the calling of motherhood that is affecting me. It is the constant feeling of not measuring up to a certain standard.

      The journey I am on is trying to get to the place that God has for ME, and stop pursuing the place other mothers out there (who do wonderful, God-glorifying things) are in.

      I hear your warning about not making decisions based on the way I feel. I wrote a post last week that addressed this a bit, giving a few non-emotionally based reasons why I can walk forward into what God is calling me to.

      I long to be in the Lord’s will, and for Him to be glorified in my life, my motherhood, and this blog. I am prayerfully walking forward in what both my husband and I feel is best for our family, and as long as we continue to walk with Him, and our children are thriving, I feel great about where we are.

  38. I wanted to say…I found you along the way tonight. Somehow from this page or that via Pinterest using the search keyword “Bible Study”. Anyway, I have recently been struggling with the idea of being a failure as a proper Christain mom. I shouldn’t have a messy house, I shouldn’t have days when my kids make me nuts, I should be homeschooling, I should have a perfect daily routine, I should have a month’s worth of meals planned out, I shouldn’t complain to my husband about my day, I shouldn’t be relieved when they all finally go to bed, shouldn’t loose my temper, I should be all of these ideals and I shouldn’t be doing all of these other ideals…blah, blah, blah. But, what I finally realized is that God knows exaclty who I am, my shortcomings, my weaknesses, my Strengths, my Joy, my true love for my kids, my love for Him, my husband, and my kids. He who created me…already knows these things about me. He knows them and loves me anyway. It doesn’t make me a bad mother. It doesnt mean I am selfish. It doesn’t mean I am not a “good” Christian. It means I am human, I am flesh, and I am still a good mom…even if I don’t fit the mold of the ideal perfect Christian mom.
    I am ok with that and so is God. Thank You for being such a Blessing to me today. : )

    1. “what I finally realized is that God knows exaclty who I am, my shortcomings, my weaknesses, my Strengths, my Joy, my true love for my kids, my love for Him, my husband, and my kids. He who created me…already knows these things about me. He knows them and loves me anyway. It doesn’t make me a bad mother. It doesnt mean I am selfish. It doesn’t mean I am not a “good” Christian. It means I am human, I am flesh, and I am still a good mom…even if I don’t fit the mold of the ideal perfect Christian mom.”

      Yes! What a comfort. It frees us up to continue the pursuit of who He has made us to be, in the context of giving glory to Him!

      Thank you!

    2. you’re comment helped me A LOT. thank you for your honesty. found this site while in tears over not being able to do it all and be perfect.

  39. Katie, it is good to hear your testimony that you no longer desire to make decisions based on what other humans are doing (the “Christian community” as you refer to the ones who have largely influenced you up until now). It sounds a bit like you may be trading “crowds” to follow though. Human beings, whether they are Christians or not, hold up all kinds of unreliable standards for us to follow. And then there’s our human tendency to go with whatever “feels” good and right to us at the moment. I’d like to encourage you to make visionary decisions based on a higher perspective than any human one as well as based on something more stable and reliable than feelings. A visionary decision would be one that chooses a route which will ultimately bring the most glory to the Creator for all eternity. What that is for each of us may look different, and we need to have the strength of character to be obedient to Him and His Word…rather than other humans and our own current emotions. Life is brief. Your life is brief. Your children’s lives are brief. If you are a child of the Living God, then you will want to be able to look back on this precious gift of time God has given to you…and be confident that you invested it in His Kingdom, for His glory…no matter what the personal cost. That is living a visionary life. A noble life. A revolutionary life. A courageous life. An admirable life that will reverberate into eternity to good purpose. We all need to work toward not looking to various groups of people for direction. Trying to please humans…including our fallible “selves” will always backfire. So while I see some good in this epiphany of yours, I also see a gamble going on here, and the stakes are your children. In less than 15 very short years (or less!) you will begin to experience the fruits of your experiment. If it truly is of God and His eternal Truth as found in His Word (not other Christians…I’m assuming you are saturated in His Word daily as your blog seems to imply)…then it will be a joyful reaping for both you and your beloved posterity. Then you will be able to have a far reaching influence on others in the world for the glory of Christ. I sincerely hope for your sake and your future joy…and even more for the sake of the glory and honor of the God Who created you and your children with purpose and meaning…that you will experience the fulfillment of the destiny He has for you.

    1. Hi Natalie! I replied to your comment a while back, and just realized that I didn’t “reply to” under your comment, so you probably didn’t get a message from me.

      If you are interested in my response, it is right below your comment.

      Thanks for reading!

  40. Hi Natalie,

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment (and for your patience in me replying to your comment.) I wholeheartedly agree with your charge toward living a visionary life. That is what this blog is all about. Devoting myself to that which is of eternal significance.

    The main factor in the pressure I was feeling to be a certain way, was my own unhealthy thought patterns. Making something “biblical” when it is not. Trying to define what “worker at home” looks like, and putting way to much emphasis on that one little phrase (which is only used this once in scripture.)

    My heart behind this post is that somewhere along the lines, I have defined “the ideal mom” and have been pursuing that life. But as much want to be “that mom”, it has been clear that I am not cut out for it. He may call us there later, or He may not. But, I don’t want to waste anymore time as a mom trying to be something I am not.

    I fully believe that I can work the one day a week that I am currently, and still devote myself to the eternal. I am not working to climb some ladder, or make more money. I am simply there as one way, one change we’ve made, to get in a better place emotionally.

    I certainly don’t feel as this decision is an “experiment”. Of course, there is no way to communicate all of my heart or my journey in 700 words, but this has been a long, careful process. Here is one piece of that puzzle:

    I think you and I agree that God’s glory is to be sought after in all that we do, and that our decisions affect our children’s lives in big ways.

    I am experiencing the freedom to be who God has called ME to be, not the other moms I see out there, and not the “phantom” mom that I have created in my mind—the perfect mom that doesn’t exist. As I have let go of the “ideal” and given up the dream of being “her” I have seen how the pursuit of “her” has driven me to depression and entrapment, and I am now in the process of figuring out how God has created OUR family to function.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “trading “crowds” to follow” or “I also see a gamble going on here”, and I am certainly open to understanding your warning better.

    Thank you for reading, and for sharing your heart with me.

  41. Hi there! This is my first time seeing your blog–and I appreciate your honesty–however, my heart breaks over what you wrote this time.

    You see, I, too, was at that unhealthy place as a stay-at-home-mom. I was on the very brink of depression (if not past the brink), I was barely managing to keep up with changing the diapers when I had THREE in diapers at once–much less keeping the house clean, being available to my husband, and I was FAR from able to minister to anyone else, as I needed ministering to all the time. And then I read it. I read the verse in Titus 2. And that passage SET.ME.FREE. Free to be and do and live as God wants…and to set everything and everyone else in my life to the side.

    I have been leading a Bible study group of women as we walk through the Titus 2 passage, where, as I’m sure you’ve read, young women are to be taught by the older women how we are to live. That list consists of loving our husband and submitting to him, loving our children, being a homemaker (or “workers at home” or “busy at home” as some translations read), being kind, and being pure/chaste.

    In my study time preparing for our group study, I found lots of history of our country wrapped up in what most women believe is the “norm”. You see, if you look around at our culture around us here in America, you’ll truly find feminism at work. And if you look back in history of women, sure–there have been milestones in our favor (like the right to vote), but the groups that have pushed for these things have been those groups of women running from the Truth here in God’s Word for young women. Those same groups of women also fought their own husbands (the ones they are to submit to) to stay in the workplace after those men returned from World War II. They *demanded* that they have equal rights to work. They demanded that they were going to “wear the pants” from now on. And that generation, and at that time in our history, is when women literally started wearing pants, started working outside the home and depending on childcare for their children rather than caring for them themselves, and when they stopped submitting to their husbands–and to God–in the roles they are to have while here on this earth.

    It hurts my heart that I can’t find an older woman to mentor me, because they are the children of that generation of women–and they have jobs now too. I’m not bashing jobs for women in general–because I know plenty of single mamas who must work to feed their children–but as I seek His face and His will, I also find myself digging deeper into history to find out what life as a Christian woman looked like BEFORE our culture looks like it does today. DRASTIC changes have taken place. And that feminism has gotten into our churches too.

    I am an at-home, homeschooling mama of three little ones. I have a husband who works TWO full-time jobs to support our little family so that I can be at home with them–because we see in His Truth that this is where He (God) wants me to be. Not because I am “called” or “feel” like I should be here–but because I read it in black-and-white in His word.

    I once heard it said, “When life was breathed into Adam, he woke up with a job to do. When life was breathed into Eve, she woke up a wife.” He created us differently, with different purposes and different roles, and to try to wrap truth around our own agendas, rather than embracing the one He has for us, is a rejection to Him, in my opinion. He truly knows best! He could have made me a man! But he didn’t! He made me a woman! And you know what? As I read the story of Adam and Eve, I truly know my value to my heavenly Father! Because, you see, He couldn’t rest until he made me and you! And because I see the value He has placed in me and you! It is evident in Scripture as well as we read verses such as “it is not good for man to be alone”–he needs me! and “her worth is far above rubies”–I’m of significant value! and also when we read how much power we have in our homes and with our husbands to influence them–not to lead them, but to have real godly influence, depending on our “conduct/behavior”.

    I am a young woman seeking truth–and Truth is found only in His word. Some say that they “just know in my heart” that they are to …… whatever that follows. But the Word says our hearts are deceptive! We must stand firm on what can’t deceive us–and that is the Word of God.

    I highly recommend to you and all your readers to read the book called “Passionate Housewives Desperate for God” by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald. It is an amazing read written in this day and age (not 50 years ago, like some books out there on the subject). And most importantly, stick to what the Word says!

    I sincerely mean no disrespect to you or any of your readers here. I know that everyone is made differently–and some of my best friends are opposite of me in their personality and spiritual gifts–but we carry on in the same role as wives, moms, homemakers, the role laid out for us in Titus 2. And I learn so much from all of them! I encourage you to continue to seek Him as you are doing–and stay in His Word.

  42. Hi Katie! I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog! This post is very encouraging, because I am already stressed about how I will do as a stay at home mom (and we don’t have kids!). It’s so good to hear truth–that it’s ok to put kids in childcare & not give into what Christian culture says is “the ideal mom”.

    Your kids are beautiful and I’m so glad to see you and Chris are doing well! My husband, Michael, is completing his Masters of Divinity and wants to be a pastor as well!

  43. I’m so sorry to hear a mom say she’s felt that pressure to be THE-PERFECT-MOM so intensely. I am in Christian community with many mom friends, and know not a single family who home schools. Not one. I love staying home, but I wonder if it’s based on my community-based experience and you yours? My husband does a lot around the house (like yours, yay for hubbys!), I have zero plans to home school, and my daughter’s “lunch” yesterday was the icing from my lunch – a cupcake haha!

    There’s still discipline in our home and I try to tidy up every evening, but I feel really free from those pressures, and after reading your post, I’m seeing that I may be a minority in the Christian stay-at-home Mom bubble.

    I hope and pray for some encouraging women in your circle and for no guilt if you choose to to stay home anymore. But especially if you end up staying home, for grace from yourself and others that it doesn’t HAVE to look any certain way. As long as your conscience before the Lord is clear, enjoy 🙂

  44. It’s so nice to hear from someone else in the family that everything has to be perfect. Now I could only get your uncle to listen and understand that it doesn’t always have to be perfect.

  45. Good for you for your honesty. I agree, there is that Christian ideal (or maybe it’s more of a Church ideal) that makes many mothers feel they aren’t “right” if they like to work, to talk to grownups or don’t find the at-home gig what they thought it would be. It’s good for children, too, I think, to have a break from mom and home. I’ve worked part-time since my son was very small. I think it’s helped him open up a lot to have that outside contact and it’s helped ME retain my sanity! Looking forward to reading more here!

  46. Oh. my. Thank you so, so, so much for saying this “out-loud”! I needed to know that someone else felt the way I did. I know you wrote this a long time ago, and may not even read this, but if you do, thank you!! Just today I was sitting at my sewing machine (which I just learned how to work) and was balling my eyes because I’m tired of the dirty diapers and feeding schedules and “mommy, mommy, mommy’s” defining my life!! We have also struggled with the homeschool/public school debate. Sometimes it feels like no matter what you choose someone will be upset with you. Christian moms can be so judgmental of each other with out even realizing it!!

  47. I find comfort in seeing others dealing with the same thing I am.Thanks for posting:-)

  48. Hi i was searching to see if this feeling was common , i never knew the cookie cutter idea of a Christian stay at home mom and glad that i didnt i would have given up with the thought of failing God! But im going to push and persevere and go with the flow as i continue to build structure through His word day by day, brick by brick.

    I lost my job and couldn’t find another in 3 years , im learning to enjoy this opportunity to grow closer to my children. Thank you for your honesty and transparency it has blessed me greatly.

  49. Reading this brought me to tears !! I googled “I am not fulfilled being a mom” in a desperate need of assurance that I wasn’t a selfish, crazy, depressed, lunatic!! Somedays are goo. Some days I feel like running out of the front door for air!! Both my kids were not planned but my husband and I are doing our best to have me be a stay at home mom. Their crying makes me cringe at times. I love them deeply but am always consumed by guilt for my feelings. I feel healing already just knowing that I’m not alone
    Thank u

  50. Thank you for your honesty. It is refreshing and liberating!! I am also encouraged by the number of people who responded to you in agreement.

  51. War eagle! I heard about your blog from the Inspired to Action podcast. Thank you for being vulnerable! While I feel like God has called me to work in the home at this stage of my life, I appreciate hearing others differ. It is important for us to follow God’s calling in our lives and pray along with our husbands for guidance in every step of life.

  52. Well, I so needed this one today, too! I am the homeschooling mom (10 years) that said “I’ll never homeschool’. Last fall I enrolled in my local university to get a degree in counseling in preparation to join my husband’s private practice in a few years. I still homeschool and they are quite independent as 8th, 10th, 11th graders, however, I struggle constantly with guilt. I am a type-A perfectionist and I have a long list of “shoulds”. I have admired you and your life/ministry for so long so to hear you speak these words today has lightened my heart-load. Thank you.

  53. Thanks for sharing this post, I have been struggling recently with guilt of not being able to be a SAHM! I work part time because I have to. Thankfully, I really enjoy my job.
    I did not want to have any children to begin with and now I’m a new mom to an almost 5 months old! After I had my son, I feel the strong urge to be at home with him! It caught me by surprise!
    I talked with my DH and we made a plan to enable me to be a SAHM in the near future!
    It helps to know that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
    But at times, I second guess myself whether I would be content once I become a SAHM!

    I have been reading posts regarding godly Christian moms who want to be a SAHM but can’t, and has been blessed with it. Here’s the link for anyone who wants to read it:

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