Stay-At-Home Motherhood: The Hardest Job to Accept

Stay-At-Home Motherhood: The Hardest Job to Accept

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I thought I wanted stay-at-home motherhood—I had all the necessary delusions.

I thought I could just do stay-at-home motherhood, that those 9 months of prep would set me up to flip the switch into natural mommy mode, transform me into the mom who loved every stay-at-home minute of the next couple years or decades.

And then I became a mother.

And stay-at-home motherhood was no flipped switch for me.

I was still the same person on the inside, but with an underwhelming new title and a shipload of foreign, unexciting responsibilities. The girl who used to pride herself on her ability to know exactly what she wanted from the world—and then brute-forced her way to achieving it—seemed lost, misfit, all wrong for this new role.

Motherhood is a phenomenon I am dissolving into very, very slowly. I thought I could just flip a switch or brute-force my way inside—but it didn't work like that. The settling in goes slow. Excruciatingly slow.

And it's riddled with all these post-partum pains I never saw coming—constant, daily deaths to my former me-addicted self, the one hell-bent on chasing after the world, grabbing whatever she could for herself. This old me resents the forgotten life at home with kids, a life without the ol' thrills of results, purpose, validation, tangible reward. But the quiet truth of that self is that it's not the best version of me—and it's not compatible with the person or mother I want to be, could be.

Which is why I must crucify that old self, let her go that she might be freely transformed into someone of less-obvious, but greater, purpose—a mother. There's no other way for me, and I know it—it's why I'm so fixated on being a stay-at-home mom. It's why I've turned down multiple job offers that have come my way, despite my difficulty in adapting to or fully desiring this ungratifying role. 

And this whole process of stay-at-home motherhood makes me feel so small and feeble—like a baby phoenix, having been just reverted to a tiny state, still trying to understand what just happened and how she should proceed.

It's like I'm staring at the gown of motherhood, realizing just now—eighteen months later—that I fit, that I can, will, officially accept it and step into the role that's been laid out for me all along. And what's changed is that I suddenly have the desire to really, truly be a mother—not just do the expected tasks, disjointedly, but totally and completely embody motherhood.

And I can't explain this change, but the providential part is that the desire arrived around the same time as the wonder and high of finding out we're pregnant, again, after suffering a miscarriage just last month. So, ready or not, disillusioned or not, there is no turning back, no exit, only this—motherhood—for me, again, now. God called me to this, and I'm already in, so I might as well be all-in.

Motherhood is not a choice, it's a calling.

So I might as well want if for myself, welcome it with the fullness of my being, with my body and mind. With my heart and soul, will and passion. I might as well let myself enjoy it, even. Despite what it does to me—or what it doesn't do for me.

And if this embrace of motherhood has to happen little, by little, by little, by grace—so be it.

Points to Ponder + Discuss:

  1. Has the transition to motherhood been a fast, slow, or ongoing process for you?

  2. In what ways have/do you die to your old self?

  3. Does the world try to hook you back in to that old self, the person you were before you became a mother?

  4. What is the goal of motherhood, for you?

  5. Ponder / discuss the following verse as it might relate to this article's topic:

Jesus said to his disciples:
  “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.”

Then he said to all,
  “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
  but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
  yet lose or forfeit himself?”
— Lk 9:22-25
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